Naa Peru Surya Review: Dull film, but Allu Arjun sparkles
There's a lot going on in this film, which ends up being a mixed bag of emotions driven by Allu Arjun's intense action and solid performance
Quick-tempered Surya (Allu Arjun), who serves in the Indian Army, defies the code of conduct in his military camp as he believes in awarding speedy yet decisive punishment to the perpetrators. His explosive behaviour lands him in trouble. To keep his dream to fight at the border alive, he has to come to terms with his rage disorder and get an authorised letter from a psychology professor. The professor in question, Rama Krishnam Raju, happens to be Surya's estranged father.
Director: Vakkantham Vamsi
Cast: Allu Arjun, Anu Emmanuel, Arjun, Sarathkumar
Before he is summoned for psychiatric support, there’s an effective scene where Surya explains why he wants to take on enemies at the border. Surya, who likens himself to a knight in shining armour, is unapologetic and doesn’t spare a cop when he demands a bribe for him and asserts that "Aakalesinappudu tinta, nidravachinappudu padukunta...kopam vasthe kodatha." That's Surya. He justifies his anger and has an explanation for why loses his cool every time.
He realises the need to clean things up within the country before fighting enemies at the border. He emphasises that the lives of soldiers are as sacred as ours and is ready to give up his love when his girlfriend feels marrying an Army man is a concern to her family. There's a lot going on in this film, and you never know what to expect. There's drama, emotion, action, pathos and romance.
Naa Peru Surya is a soldier's fight with himself for self-discovery. The theme debutant director Vakkantham Vamsi has chosen could have made for an interesting watch, but too much melodrama and a lot of talking ruin it. Too many issues are touched upon, and as a result, the narrative is seldom interesting. And though some of the action sequences are impressive, the length of the second hour is problematic.
The potentially intriguing storyline meanders with some banal plotlines involving the supporting characters, who are given more screen time than they deserve, more even than the female lead. There are also several unnecessary characters, members of Surya's family, who serve no purpose whatsoever.
Despite all the flaws, Allu Arjun shines as the soldier who is prone to bursts of extreme anger and violent aggression. He gives a stylised performance. One wishes he had a better script to work with and a director who could use him effectively. Vamsi tries hard to fit the star into an action avatar, but only manages to succeed to an extent. The narrative moves at an irregular pace in line with the uncertain emotions exhibited by Surya and follows the standard fight-song-fight template.
Anu Emmanuel as Varsha is just eye-candy, as her role lacks depth. Actors like Rao Ramesh, Boman Irani, Vennela Kishore, Pradeep Rawat, Nadhiya and Sarath Kumar have the smallest throwaway moments and their characters aren't fleshed out well.
The film benefits enormously from Arjun Sarja's performance and his skirmishes with Surya are a delight to watch. It's one of his coolest, most relaxed performances. The film makes important observations about not losing your character and ethics to make your dream come true, and also about issues like youngsters being lured by anti-social elements. Such moral points will no doubt resonate with some viewers. Otherwise, it's just a mixed bag of emotions driven by Allu Arjun's intense action and solid performance. You can certainly give it a shot, but keep your expectations in check!