Eagle review: Great action sequences can’t save this hollow Ravi Teja film

Eagle review: Great action sequences can’t save this hollow Ravi Teja film

‘Eagle’ tries its best to mimic ‘KGF’, but director Karthik Gattamneni fails to pull off Prashant Neel’s grip over direction and screenplay.
Eagle (Telugu)(1.5 / 5)

Nalini (Anupama Parameshwaran), a Delhi-based journalist, gets intrigued by a rare variety of wild Indian cotton that has a huge market in Europe, but no popularity in India. She writes an article on this, only for it to be buried in the last page of a newspaper. Nonetheless, her write-up catches the attention of Indian security agencies who raid the newspaper’s office. Nalini gets fired from her job, but the chaos pushes her to probe further into who has been exporting the said cotton to Europe from Andhra Pradesh. This is how the story of Eagle is set into motion.

Starring Ravi Teja, Anupama Parameshwaran, Navdeep, Kavya Thapar, Madhoo Bala, and others, Eagle is directed by cinematographer Karthik Gattamneni who employs non-linear storytelling to unravel the plot through Nalini. 

As Nalini travels to the Talakona forest near Andhra’s Madanapalle in search of the mysterious cotton, and as she pieces bits of information together, we get a glimpse of the lead character Sahadeva Verma (Ravi Teja). Each person she interacts with gives an over-the-top description of him, and the first half is entirely about these build-up sequences. The story does not progress at all, and Karthik Gattamneni runs out of ideas to keep the mystery alive without sounding repetitive. He has made each subplot a separate chapter with interesting titles, but the scenes are not as unique as their chapter names.

After the painstaking first half, we understand that Sahadeva Varma, who works with the tribal community to produce cotton and support them earn a livelihood, has a different past. Terrorists and Naxalites are also on the lookout for him, apart from security agencies. 

Eagle tries its best to mimic KGF,  but Karthik fails to pull off Prashant Neel’s grip over direction and screenplay. Further, the success of KGF seems to have forced all contemporary filmmakers to use a ‘unique machine gun’ that would explode the screen with adrenaline. Credit is due to Karthik for being inventive in this regard. He has put commendable effort into designing the action sequences, especially one major sequence that was almost jaw-dropping. But nothing compensates for the dullness of this film.

Coming to the women in Eagle, Kavya Thapar appears in a brief role, but this portion makes you wonder how an independent, self-aware woman starts admiring a stalker. She develops an intense love for him without even meeting him in person, and they get married. And as you may have guessed it, Kavya’s character Rachana is nothing more than a mere plot device to take the story forward.

Karthik also furthers the dangerous stereotype of placing Muslim characters as terrorists. Even if these characters are terrorists by action, irrespective of their religion, the characterisation lacks any layer. They come across as trivial, using empty threats that are at best laughable.

Ravi Teja is adequate in both the roles of Eagle and Sahadev. He makes a convincing performance by using his voice modulation for us to distinguish between the two characters. As journalist Nalini Anupama fits in the part. Navdeep just becomes a tool to elevate Ravi Teja for most of the film, but his character becomes memorable briefly when we get to his past. Avasarala Srinivas, who appears as a RAW agent, is under-utilised. Actor Madhoo Bala too is wasted in the film. 

The run-time of Eagle is 2 hours 40 minutes, but it could have ended in an hour if the fillers were done away with and the story was presented in a more linear format. Eagle has a wafer-thin plot with some terrible dialogues inspired by the Mahabharata, in an attempt to elevate the lead character as a legend. In the post-climax, it is revealed that there is a second part to Eagle. Why make two parts of a film when you can make one crisp film with decent content? 

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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