The film has a mediocre script and it's time Nani realised he must not take his audience for granted.

Krishnarjuna Yuddham review This Nani starrer is let down by lazy writing
Flix Tollywood Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 14:21

One of the more interesting movie titles in recent times, Krishnarjuna Yuddham invoked images of a clash of epic proportions, and a moral dilemma. After all, that was what the mythological clash was about. In this case though, it is just a pun on the names Krishna and Arjuna (Nani), who are waging a war to save their respective soulmates.

Krishna is a simpleton from a village in Chittoor district who finds his love in the form of a sophisticated, girl-from-abroad, Riya (Rukhsar Mir). Arjun is a rockstar in Europe and a heartless womaniser who stumbles across love, thanks to Subbalakshmi (Anupama Parameswaran). These two unrelated love stories get intertwined at some point, bringing the lookalikes together.

Krishnarjuna Yuddham is burdened by the expectations from a Nani movie. One of the most versatile actors in Telugu cinema, Nani is a favourite with a certain section of fans – fans who expect sense and sensibility, humour and sensitivity from the movies. Nani’s target audience is not the crowd that whistles at punch dialogues, or watches eagle-eyed as heroes bring down a dozen goons at one stroke. Nani’s target audience walks into a movie hall expecting a good story, expecting the makers to respect their intelligence – well-capable of identifying sexism in all its forms. That is how Nani turned into a star, through a long, relentless journey with good stories, despite being an outsider in a nepotism-laced industry. And now, the time has come for the "Natural Star" to realise that he must not take the audience, he has earned with so much hard work, for granted.

Krishnarjuna Yuddham lets you down with a mediocre script that has picked bits and pieces from several other movies. It is hard to empathise with the village tale or with the rockstar’s characterisation – something that felt weird in a ‘Nani movie’. The novelty factor is missing in the movie completely. Hero harassing the woman in the name of love, hero bashing dozens and dozens of people, and hero doing totally brain-fade stuff and getting away with it because he is the hero – these are normal for a Telugu movie; but Nani doing them feels a little awkward. A duet in the middle of the climax is a classic example of a trope good movies avoid, and commercial Telugu movies often use.

Action apart, the movie might still keep the audience interested because of sporadic bits of comedy that are interspersed with the story. They give you some good laughs. While the movie gains a few brownie points for highlighting the human-trafficking issue, it is confused about its own narrative – should it be funny and witty or should it be an action-heavy thriller. In the end, it ends up pleasing none. The movie looks rich thanks to good cinematography – especially the village scenes. Hiphop Tamizha’s music gives us a couple of good tracks. However, the rockstar-soundtracks are a far cry from rock/pop or anything remotely hummable.

All in all, it is a movie that is watchable – Nani can make anything watchable – but so much could have been done with an actor who has given us gems with much lower budgets. Also, director Merlapaka Gandhi, of Venkatadri Express fame, seems to have tuned down on his originality, leaving his audience with a movie they wouldn’t remember for long!

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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