Agnyaathavaasi: Misses the bull's eye
This Trivikram Srinivas film is strictly for Pavan Kalyan fans; everyone else will be sorely disappointed
Director Trivikram Srinivas has a distinctive and well-defined filmmaking style among his contemporaries. He uses unique storytelling techniques such as flashbacks, shifting points of view, humour, cohesive narration and stories that emphasise urban settings and convey realism. This time too, he has set out to focus on lived-in moments involving primary and secondary characters and tried to integrate them into an engrossing tale, but falls short of expectations.
His latest film Agnyaathavaasi, featuring Pawan Kalyan, is one of those stories that’s not humorous in the first place. The film begins with the killing of father and son duo -- business tycoon and AB group CEO Govind Bhargav aka Vinda (Boman Irani) and his son Mohan Bhargav. While everyone suspects the involvement of Sharma (Murali Sharma) and Varma (Rao Ramesh), a devasted Indrani (Khushbu), wife of Vinda, doesn’t wither away and tries to take stock of the situation with the help of her step-son Abhishikth Bhargav (Pawan Kalyan).
Direction: Trivikram Srinivas
Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Anu Emmanuel, Keerthy Suresh, Khushbu, Boman Irani
Blatantly ripped off from French film Largo Winch, for the most part, Agnyaathavaasi works against its genre as it's flat and relies largely on the showman Pawan Kalyan to save the day.
Unfathomably, at times, it becomes an arduous task even for the actor with the gargantuan image to deliver witty one-liners and try to redeem himself. Unfortunately, the star can’t rise above an incoherent script. Even the shoddiest stories have at least some high points, but with Agnyaathavaasi, it’s difficult to understand the very purpose of why it was made. I’m still wondering how on earth Trivikram Srinivas could churn out a film that’s this tepid and bland.
The film also offers plenty of puerile gags. It’s kind of humour we have seen in several love triangle stories from the 70s and early 80s. Wonder why Trivikram did not care enough to re-shoot all these dreary portions of the film and tweak his script a little to at least make it a watchable affair.
Agnyaathavaasi is an apt title for this film as Pawan Kalyan doesn't got an opportunity to unleash his acting prowess and entertain with his trademark mannerisms. The film doesn’t reinvent the wheel for emotional films, but it tries to use some twists to trick us into feeling it is fresh and new. Trivikram has done a mediocre job as director, and shows neither creative flair nor control over the screenplay.
The film's transporting moments are the ones which show the bond between Khushbu and Pawan Kalyan, Boman Irani's plan B concept, the thread that connects all the dots of Vinda and Mohan’s deaths and Nakula dharmam and the title justification which gives the feel of Mahabharatha.
If there’s anything besides these aspects that brings a smile to our face, I’d say it's the conversations between Rao Ramesh and Murali Sharma. The one featuring Raghu Babu, which leads to Kodaka Koteswara Rao song isn’t too awful either. These small pleasures bring a huge sigh of relief in an otherwise tired plot.
An actor with potential like Aadhi Pinisetty is wasted in a lifeless film that he may look back at years later and feel like it was a horrible dream. Boman Irani, too, doesn’t make an impact. Tanikella Bharani, Vennela Kishore, Srinivas Reddy, Sampath Raj and Khushbu provide some much-needed support. The female leads, Anu Emmanuel and Keerthy Suresh, have no story arcs of their own and they never feel properly incorporated into the plot.
Agnyaathavaasi will entertain Pawan Kalyan fans with its powerful interval bang, emotional moments and spine-chilling action sequences, but anyone looking for more than that will be sorely disappointed. Perhaps, it's time for Pawan Kalyan to go on a 'temporary' exile, take a small hiatus, review his work and come back with a bang. His fans definitely deserve more.