DevaDas Review: An interesting first-half
'DevaDas' has a not-so-engaging story and the second half falters with many dull moments
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Thursday 27 September 2018
Nagarjuna, Nani, Rashmika Mandanna, Aakansha Singh, Naresh VK, Sarathkumar, Kunal Kapoor, Rao Ramesh, Vennela Kishore, Avasarala Srinivas, Satya
By Vishwanath V/Telugucinema.com
'DevaDas, starring Nagarjuna and Nani in contrasting roles, hit the cinemas this Thursday. Let's find out what works and what doesn't.
Deva (Nagarjuna) is a feared don who lived in exile for 10 years. He is now back in the city, this time to avenge the killing of his guru (Sarathkumar). On cue, an intelligent and trigger-happy cop, played by Murali Sharma, is ready to nab him. The catch is, nobody knows how Deva looks like.
When Deva is bruised in a shootout, Dasu (Nani), a timid but confident and moralistic doctor, treats him and saves his life. An impressed Deva appoints Dasu as his friend!
The contrasting natures of the two individuals lead to a life-changing experience for the gangster.
A journalist named Jahnavi (Aakanksha Singh) and another youngster named Pooja (Rashmika Mandanna) have a role in their journey. David (Kunal Kapoor) wants to kill Deva before the police can.
DevaDas relies heavily on the well-known and much-exploited idea that powerful men have no peace of mind. All happiness, joy, mirth and blissfulness is the sole preserve of those who live a simple life. Deva may be the most-dreaded don, but he can't even talk about his identity openly. Das may be an average man with no money and muscle, but he can always be proud of who he is.
And we all know how such a story is usually told in Telugu cinema. The don knows no love because he is an orphan. The doctor has the perfect family, complete with a woman who can cook like a mother! One meal with this family and the don will miss ordinary life. The don may have killed many ruthlessly, but when it comes to women, he is very principled. He doesn't womanize. Rather, he keeps waiting for true love. She comes like an angel and changes him too! The plot is too convenient.
Das is not only ethical but he also has this urge to do good. So, when Deva commits a crime, he lectures him emotionally and the don has a mini-enlightenment. Haven't we seen such boring tropes a number of times in the past?
Deva keeps moving around with Das normally, his goons keep roaming in the hospital where the police have positioned their undercover cops. But, stunningly, the police can't nab Deva! He is India's most wanted don, for God's sake! Just because this film is not a crime drama or thriller, does it mean cinematic liberties have to be this ridiculous?
Everything said, the film makes for an interesting watch in the first half. Director Sriram Adittya, however, uses the comic timing of the two lead actors pretty well. Watch Nani when he is made the in charge of the mortuary ward at the hospital. Watch Nag in the scenes with his co-star. These scenes work pretty well, although characters sharing love stories over a booze fest is an over-exploited idea.
Style and substance go together in a few scenes. Sai Madhav Burra's dialogues are a plus. They are brief and measured.
The likes of Naresh pull off comedy. Sathya, Vennela Kishore and Venu are wasted, though. More than Avasarala Srinivas, 'Kalakeya' Prabhakar is good. Naveen Chandra, Rao Ramesh and others do their parts well.
Both Nag and Nani share a vibrant chemistry. The former actually looks more glamorous than he did in his recent films. Nani changes his comedy style, compared to MCA and Nenu Local. Aakanksha Singh is better than Rashmika, who struggles to strike a chemistry with Nani.
Mani Sharma's music is a relief. Shamdat Sainudeen's visuals are beautiful. Prawin Pudi's cuts are an asset.
DevaDas has a not-so-engaging story. But the comedy works very well in the first half. The second half falters with many dull moments. A violent don becoming a good man is an oversimplification. Nice technical output needs a pat.
DevaDas review: 3 stars
Reactions from Social Media
sandeep dhanapala @dsandeepd25
#Devadas Plus points: Nagarjuna screen presence aa age lo 6pack body Nag Nani combination scenes. first half and Background Music
Minus: Slow narration, songs & 2nd half. Average flick!!#DevaDasReview @iamnagarjuna @NameisNani
Anoop Reddy @anoopreddy27
#DevaDs is totally about how Friendship blossoms between the King of Romance @iamnagarjuna & the King of Comedy @NameisNani !
Filmy Raja @filmyrajaa
#DevaDas is full fun pack entertainer. @NameisNani and @iamnagarjuna rockz. @iamRashmika hatrick completed no doubt. Congratulations to @VyjayanthiFilms. @SriramAdittya #Manisharma music is another advantage #DevaDasReview #DevaDas
Sheela Panicker @SheelaPanicker
#hilarious turn of events & some #fantastic #performances make #DevaDas a laugh riot. #DevaDasReview an clear addition to the superhit list of @VyjayanthiFilms
#NagarjunaAkkineni #Nani #DevaDasOnSept27th
Movie is super Nani comedy timing extraordinary..@NameisNani & @iamnagarjuna sir combo scenes simply super..Good action entertaining movie..#FunFeelGoodMovie..
#DevaDasReview #DevaDasOnSept27th #DevaDasFromToday #BiggBossTelugu2 @StarMaa