Just when you start appreciating director Bobby Kolli’s attempt to reinvent the image of Chiranjeevi, the film shows him playing it safe with a regular plotline that has been repeated on screen since the early days of Telugu cinema.

Waltair Veerayya review: Chiranjeevi’s performance is the only redemption in this mess
Flix Review Friday, January 13, 2023 - 17:08
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Expectations were high for Waltair Veerayya, considering the film has two big stars—Chiranjeevi and Ravi Teja—working together. The film also stars Shruti Haasan, Catherine Tresa, Prakash Raj, Bobby Simha, and others. Chiranjeevi fans can be happy that their favourite actor has finally let go of the stereotypical serious roles to show his comic side. The megastar is a delight to watch in the film, and you are reminded of what a brilliant performer he is. Director Bobby Kolli, who seems to know the pulse of Chiranjeevi fans, has put the actor’s talent to good use and offered them a feast. The film includes numerous references to Chiranjeevi's past films, and also includes a small scene with his iconic dance number. Bobby also displays his familiarity with all memes and trends through hilarious scenes made special through Chiranjeevi’s performance.

The first half of the film looks like a complete departure from the regular Chiranjeevi film, even though he is given the ‘hero’ entry of a typical  masala film. There is a scene where Veerayya, played by Chiranjeevi, and his gang plan an abduction, which is brilliantly written and executed. Just as you start appreciating the director’s attempt at reinventing the image of Chiranjeevi, the film shows that Bobby is playing it safe with a regular plotline that has been repeated on screen since the early days of Telugu cinema. There is a stark contrast between the first and second halves of the film, that you begin to wonder if you have been watching two different films. If the story lies in the second half, why have a pointless diversion in the beginning?

Chiranjeevi’s humorous performance might redeem the movie to some extent, but the poor writing weighs down his performance. The inconsistency in the tone of the film and the writing affects the viewer. There is no coherence in the film. It feels like a hundred people had directed the film and added a hundred ingredients to it, leaving us with an unpalatable product. 

The twists in the film are a let down as they feel all too convenient. It leaves one wondering how it did not occur to the film’s team to hire a better writer by cutting down on the expense of shooting dispensable songs in exotic locations. Both the background music and the songs by Devi Sri Prasad are underwhelming.  Not only do they add nothing to the narrative, but they also come across as disruptive.

A few moments after the entry of Vikram Sagar, played by Ravi Teja, in the second half, you are fully aware of where the film is headed, that there is nothing to expect for the next hour or so. Ravi Teja delivers a good performance, matching the tempo of Chiranjeevi. It is a pleasure to watch the two actors challenge each other.

Shruti Haasan, who plays Athidhi, is shown as a promising character in the beginning, only to become  irrelevant in the second half. Athidhi (meaning guest) works as a guest manager in a hotel. Imagine the heavy brainstorming that went behind it. Thankfully, there is no romantic angle between Athidhi and Veerayya. Even though Waltair Veerayya works in parts, overall it is an absolute mess. 

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.

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