Highly Predictable Yet Passable Watch
‘U/A’, Certified, 2 hrs 46 mins
What Is the Film About?
Krishna (Kichcha Sudeep) is an orphan, adopted as a child and brought up as a wrestler by Sarkar (Sunil Shetty). The latter’s goal is to make Krishna a National Champion. What happens when Krishna (Sudeep) falls in love with Rukku (Aakanksha Singh)? How Krishna live up to the expectations of Sarkar is what the movie is all about?
How Is Sudeep’s Performance?
Sudeep is in his elements, playing an out and out commercial hero part. While this may be a routine thing to the local Kannada audience, it is a revelation of sorts to those who have not seen this side of Sudeep.
Right from the start to the end, Sudeep underplays the role barring a few parts that need exaggeration. He conveys the various emotions of the character neatly without too much melodrama. The economy of emotions is the best part of his act. Sudeep has also dubbed for the role in Telugu, which is commendable.
Direction by S Krishna?Pehlwaan is written and directed by S Krishna. It is a simple commercial masala story. The director has managed to present a crisp and clear narration that is full of heroism and emotions to engage the audience.
The first and foremost thing that stands out is the well-defined characters and casting. They help in providing a smooth narrative to a highly predictable storyline. Each actor does their part, however routine it might be, well.
There are multiple subplots, the father-son like bonding between Sarkar and Krishna, the love angle between Krishna and Rukmini, and the character of Rana (Sushant Singh). Within the predictable terrain, they are all managed well as the actors do their job well.
The surprise in the narrative comes in cutting down clichés. Or else there is a slight twist to those, like the first meeting between heroine’s father and hero. It is as outdated a scenario as it comes, but is handled entertainingly by cutting and pausing at unexpected timing.
The first half of the movie is more fun and less dramatic compared to the second, which is precisely opposite. The screenplay is neat, and the narrative is clean at a fast pace. The various subplots are appropriately blended in the main track. However, there is a feeling of one-too-many.
The plot involving the kids is essential; however, by the time it arrives, it only adds to the length. There is also the feeling of formulaic usage as it is brought to add emotional depth to the climax fight. One can literally see it, feel the emotional manipulation on the screen to give the push to the climax.
However, the climax is well done. Even though what precedes is highly manipulative, there is an identifiable point and emotion. It works out eventually. And as said before, the director avoids dragging cliches, he immediately ends the movie post the culmination of the fight, with no further lag.
Overall, Pehlwan is hugely predictable and routine fare, but the emotions involving various tracks have worked out well. It also has proper casting who get the best out of that predictability. Watch it only if you don’t mind too much of predictability. Otherwise, stay clear of it.
Aakanksha Singh and Others?
Kichcha Sudeep is the star of the show, and he hogs the limelight all the way. However, there are many different character parts which have been given importance even though they are less in duration. Aakansha Singh is lovely playing the lover initially, and then the wife. She has decent chemistry going on with Sudeep. The husband and wife portions are good as a result.
Sunil Shetty makes his South Indian debut with Pehlwan. He has been given a proper, robust role, which the actor delivers it effortlessly. Sushanth is fine in a cliché antagonist role. Kabir Duhan Singh is useful as the boxer. His physique comes to great use here. Sharath Lohitashwa is adequate.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Arjun Janya is alright. The songs are a mixture of typical commercial stuff containing regular beats and an emotional and inspiration number. The background score is excellent. The cinematography is a primary reason for the grand look of the movie. The editing is neat and crisp barring parts of the final boxing fight. The dialogues are par for the course and don’t do any harm.
Manipulative Emotions At Times
When the teaser of Pehlwan surfaced online, many assumed it to be a remake of Bollywood movie Sultan. Well, the reality is that it is not a remake rather an alternative take. The wrestling and boxing aspects are taken to bring freshness to a stale and outdated story.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes but with huge reservations
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