Salaar Movie Review: Prabhas' charisma elevates Prashanth Neel's violent and lengthy power-politics



    Childhood friends Deva and Varadaraja Mannar are separated in war-torn land of Khansaar and years later, they become key players in a web of power politics.

    Director :
    • Prashanth Neel
    Cast :
    • Prabhas,
    • Prithviraj Sukumaran,
    • Shruti Haasan,
    • Jagapathi Babu,
    • Tinnu Anand,
    • Sriya Reddy,
    • Easwari Rao
    Genre :
    • Action drama
    Language :
    • Telugu, Hindi
    Platform :
    • Theatre
    Salaar Movie Review: Prabhas' charisma elevates Prashanth Neel's violent and lengthy power-politics
    Updated : December 25, 2023 01:35 PM IST

    Given the genre, Salaar significantly masters the action department with never-seen-before swag and cinematography but fails on the editing table. The Prashanth Neel directorial has a mass appeal but for those who have the patience to grasp each character entering the lengthy and extra-stretched second half. Prabhas, ‘the rebel star’ makes for several heroic sequences throughout the movie, only to add a layer of suspense and thrill which mostly falls flat. The movie will remind you of the American fantasy drama series Game Of Thrones at times for its storyline, but it has its original element too, credit goes to the exemplary screenplay by Prashanth and effective BGM by Ravi Basrur.

    The 2-hours-55-minute narrative begins with a gripping incident in the fictional town of violence-ridden Khansaar in 1985 that separated two friends Deva(Prabhas) and Vardha(Prithviraj Sukumaran). The plot foundation leaves you anticipating an edge-of-seat thriller experience. Then follows a chain of events keeping the suspense element intact as to know why Deva’s mother(Easwari Rao) behaves so extremely, and what lies behind Radha Rama Mannar's(Sriya Reddy)sickly behaviour in the first half. However, the introduction of Aadhya(Shruti Haasan), the only weak thread of the well-knitted storyline becomes a buzz kill. While one expects a powerful entry of Prabhas in the first half, Prashanth leaves you in wonder with a lukewarm effect. However, the actual goosebumps effect, he kept for the second half which happened too late to bring impact, but Prabhas’ fans will not be disappointed.

    The first half may feel disjointed with a few unnecessary dramatic scenes laced with a dash of humour added by a few child artists that will keep you hooked. The actual peak arrives before the interval when the restrained soul, Deva comes into his actual form. The engine-ignition sound analogy with Prabhas' seven-year-long self-controlled body kickstarting for a power-packed sequence will definitely give you a high. Not only axe fights, but Prashanth Neel’s spectacle has also advanced fighting weapons and techniques, not to forget Deva’s armoury-his jeep. To sum up, the first half successfully triggers you to sit for the next hours to know what Prashanth’s Salaar is actually capable of.

    Mounted on large sets and shot on a ‘Dark Centric Theme’ technology, the first Indian film to do so, Salaar perfectly serves a fine cinematic experience in the second half, courtesy of cinematographer Bhuvan Gowda. Prashanth’s decision to introduce pivotal characters in the latter half speaks a volume about his commendable screenplay and risk-taking ability. However, to many, it will be quite boring to sit extra long to understand the twisted tale of power and revenge, but the action sequences weave magic and will leave you spellbound. It would be not wrong to say that the film outperforms Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal in the violence department, however, it underperforms in evoking emotions. Several scenes attempted to tug at the heartstrings but failed miserably. All in all, the second half is high on drama, action, and swag. The camaraderie shown between Prabhas and Prithviraj Sukumaran’s characters is something to look forward to in the upcoming second part of the film. The Ceasefire days were too long, which may not work in favour of the film, weak editing is to be blamed. The dialogues by Sandeep Reddy Bandla, Hanumaan Choudary and Dr. Suri seamlessly blend with the narrative.

    Coming to performances, Prabhas shines in every scene with his demeanour and powerful voice that help bring out the essence of Deva’s character. Prithviraj Sukumaran’s subtle and nuanced acting will leave the audience interested in exploring him more in the second part. A special mention to characterisation of Ranga which John Vijay pulls off effortlessly. Easwari Rao, Sriya Reddy and Bobby Simha are convincing, while talented Jagapathi Bapu and Tinnu Anand justify their characters with finesse. Shruti Haasan underperforms to an extent that will make you feel she could be replaced.

    In a nutshell, Salaar serves as a teaser to Prashanth Neel’s exemplary vision and storyline which has its low and high points. However, it scores high on the commercial aspect with high-octane action stunts by choreography duo Anbariv and larger-than-life sequences penned by Prashanth. For Prabhas fans, it would be a treat to watch their favourite in the extremely violent avatar. Otherwise, it is a one-time watch spectacle that fuels your excitement for the Salaar Part 2: Shauryanga Parvam.