Regular Sports Drama with Routine Mass
2h 18m, ‘U’ Certified.
What Is the Film About?
Sundeep Naidu (Sundeep Kishan) comes to Yanam on a vacation. He falls in love with Lavanya at the first sight. While trying to woo her he gets a chance to accidentally showcase his Hockey skills.
While the love story is happening, there is simultaneously a corrupt sports minister who is trying to make a multi-million deal by selling the hockey playground to a pharma company.
How the two parallel tracks connect with the common element of Hockey. What is the past of Sundeep Naidu and how does he know hockey? What happens to the playground, in the end, is what the movie is all about?
How Is Sundeep Kishan’s Performance?
Sundeep Kishan is in the form in A1 Express. He breezes through the part without breaking a sweat. It is more to do with the character design which works to his advantage. The depth in the aggressive portion is missing, but that is more to do with the conception of the role rather than his act.
Direction by Dennis Jeevan Kanukolanu ?
Dennis Jeevan Kanukolanu directs A1 Express. It is a typical masala sports drama with all the ingredients added in the right proportions.
The story of the film is utterly predictable from the start. Once we know the intention of the politician, things are pretty crystal clear. It is now all about the execution and A1 Express is decent on that score.
The comedy initially looks very forced and slows down the proceedings. However, as it isn’t a major hindrance as the focus of the movie is elsewhere.
The sports backdrop and the setting is where the heart of the movie lies. The details to engage the viewer in this aspect are superficial but they are nonetheless alright.
Adding the ‘Basha’ formula to the regular sports drama is where A1 Express scores in the first half. It is utterly predictable but enjoyable at the same time if one has the expectations in check.
The second half takes the formulaic narration to it’s the logical end. So we a mandatory flashback, which could have been handled well. It drags the movie down even though the emotion it wants to convey is right.
It is the narrative after the flashback where the movie picks up. Initially, it is slow but it gets back on track with the grand hockey match, towards the end.
The hockey match is done well within the available resources. It is punched in between with some extended drama and heroic elevation, but that is what makes it okay and not make the whole thing look flat.
Overall, A1 Express is a routine sports drama. Its strength is that it manages to engage, albeit intermittently, and provide mass moments, despite the predictability. If you are a hardcore mass movie lover give it a try.
Lavanya Tripathi and Others?
Lavanya Tripathy’ parts start on a positive note as if it’s going to be very crucial to the movie. However, as the movie progresses it is relegated to the backseat. As a result, she seems totally out of mind, after a point.
The real acting parts in the movie are given to Murali Sharma and Rao Ramesh. The senior supporting actors deliver. They are the main pillars of the central drama. Rao Ramesh feels a bit over the top, but Murali Sharma is excellent throughout portraying a sincere coach.
Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramesh are okay. The former showcases glimpse of his ‘Loser’ web series act. Sathya could have been better utilised. Posani Murali Krishna is wasted. The rest are apt for their brief roles.
Music and Other Departments?
The songs by Hiphop Tamizha are okay. However, the background is superb despite the loudness. The cinematography is decent, but the overdone grading surely sticks out at times. The editing is fine. The writing is decent considering the mass attempt here.
Few Scenes Involving Rao Ramesh and Murali Sharma
Slow Pace At Times
A better flashback for masala elevation would have aided in making the narrative smooth without too much melodrama.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But only for Mass Movie Lovers
A1 Express Telugu Movie Review by Siddartha