Director: VV Vinayak
Cast: Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas, Nushrratt Bharuccha, Sharad Kelkar, Bhagyashree, Karan Singh Chhabra and Freddy Daruwala.
First things first. The storyline. Shiva has a loving stepmother but a scheming half-brother, who wants to erase him from the family picture. Their life in a small village called Mubarakpur in Pakistan is by and large a happy one until a sinister plot hatched by jihadists renders them homeless. Saving their life, they land in a coastal town in Gujarat.
As the migrant community falls prey to drug mafias and corrupt politicians, Shiva is forced to assume the role of Chatrapathi, the messiah for the oppressed lot. So, what do we have here? A perfect elder brother, a melodramatic mother, a wimp of a younger brother who can’t handle jealousy, a semi-Partition-like situation, gang wars, conspiracy theories and a happy reunion with the change of heart for you know who!
Did Vinayak leave out any Bollywood clichés in the Hindi movie? Not really. If the director wanted to evoke nostalgia by introducing a Nirupa Roy kind of mother, he made Shiva’s character the typical moralistic angry young man. So, by the interval, when Shiva transforms into Chatrapathi, we are subjected to gravity-defying action scenes, mindless violence, pedestrian dialogues and forced humour. What follows post-interval is more such action and melodrama but by then, we are blissfully numb to register much.
The ray of hope, however, comes towards the end when the villain announces that a bomb will go off in ‘seven minutes’ in a temple where Shiva’s mother and brother are performing puja. Finally, the end of the story is in sight!
There is a scene when Shiva tells his dying friend, ‘I have come” and his friend replies, “But I am leaving.” Had it not been a professional obligation, I would have taken the hint and followed suit.