Senapathi 2021 Telugu Movie ReviewBOTTOM LINE

Emotional Thriller



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What Is the Film About?

Krishna (Naresh Agastya) is a sincere police officer. He is preparing for IPS simultaneously as he wants to become a powerful person. Unfortunately for him, he loses his service revolver while chasing a criminal one day. A double blow of sorts happens when the same is used for a robbery, and a small girl is killed.

Who is the person in possession of Krishna’s revolver? How did he retrieve it is what the movie is all about?


Naresh Agaystya as Krishna comes across as a picture of sincerity. It, therefore, means he looks the part. But the problem is his blandness. There is a lot of intensity in the role, which isn’t conveyed as effectively as possible.

The good thing is a sustained serious look from the beginning to the end has things under control. The last half an hour is where we see the best of Naresh Agastya. It is a good outing for him, no doubt, but is it the best one for the narrative is something that is debatable.


Pavan Sadineni of Prema Ishq Kaadhal fame directs Senapathi. It is a complete departure for him from the kind of movies (or series) he attempted in the past and based on an original story by Sri Ganesh. The tale of Senapathi is a serious and intense one with a simple line.

The change in the approach of Pavan Sadineni from his previous attempts is right in our face at the start with the black and white narrative. The darker theme couldn’t have been made more obvious. Still, it helps set up the background of the lead Krishna in a hard-hitting way.

The slow pace is evident at the start, which is further extended with Krishna’s introduction as an honest cop. The director takes time in establishing the world. The visual choices are made to compound the realistic drama effect.

The first one hour until the story takes off is very routine, and despite the efforts of the director to spice it up with the presentation and slick editing, it doesn’t come across that way.

The narrative picks up with the introduction of the Senapathi, aka Murthy (Rajendra Prasad) character. He brings an element of intrigue and some urgency to the proceedings. The presence of Param (Harshavardhan) further adds to the interest.

There is also a change in tone and story of the narrative With the arrival of Murthy. He begins to hog all the limelight, and Krishna and his ambition take the backseat. The screenplay fails in crisply and smoothly blending this, creating a slight unease intermittently.

The cat and mouse game that ensues following the trail of the police and the escape of Murthy are neatly conceived and executed, and it is from here that Senapathi takes off. The tale gets dramatic and exciting as the proceedings move forward. What looked like a silly thing at the start gets more dramatic, as well.

However, the real drama is packed in the last half an hour. There is an air of predictability, but a senior artist like Rajendra Prasad pulls it off. The emotions are neatly infused into the thriller narrative without losing the balance. What we get as a result is a proper emotional thriller during the climactic portions.

Overall, Senapathi takes a lot of time to get going, but it delivers eventually. It offers a proper blend of emotion and thriller elements in a realistic setting. Watch it if you like the genre, but have the expectations in check.


Rajendra Prasad is sincerity and honesty personification, once again. At the start, the part of Senapathi looks like he might be a misfit, given the image that he has cultivated over the years. However, by the time we reach the end, it is entirely understandable why he has been chosen for the part. Rajendra Prasad lives in the role and delivers the required. The styling and overall presentation make him look different, which is icing on the cake.

Harshavardhan is another notable presence in the movie. He also livens up the proceedings with his act, although we have seen him do similar parts before. Gnaneshwari’s role begins promisingly, but it goes missing pretty soon. Sathya Prakasha and Rakendu Mouli are apt for their characters. The rest of the actors are alright for their parts even though they have less runtime.

Music and Other Departments?

Shravan Bharadwaj provides the background score for the movie. It is a significant asset for Senapathi. It feels a little loud at times, but on the whole, the BGm helps the narrative big time. It creates a sense of urgency mentally, even when there is none visibly. There is a conscious effort to attain a specific look within the realistic space. Vivek Kalepu’s cinematography helps partially in achieving that. However, it is not entirely there. Gowtham Raj Nerusu’s editing is fine. It could have been a bit sharper at places, though. Rakendu Mouli’s dialogues are adequate.




Final Half An Hour


The Beginning Hour

Flat Narrative (In Parts)

Uneven Storyshift

Did I Enjoy It?

Yes, For The Most Part

Will You Recommend It?

Yes, But With Little Reservation

Senapathi 2021 Telugu Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti