Devadas Review: A bromance of laughs
The film works in bits and may appeal to the masses due to its lead actors who give it their all
Director Sriram Adittya's Devadas is like Rajkumar Hirani's Munna Bhai MBBS executed averagely with a wafer-thin storyline, light-hearted comedy, action and melodrama. The film is set in the backdrop of Hyderabad with Nagarjuna playing Deva, India's most wanted fugitive, and Nani slipping into the shoes of Dr Das MBBS, MS (Gold Medallist), who values his job with great purpose.
After an unusual meeting, they end up as friends with the latter trying to propagate moral values about the purpose of life and pleading the former to change his approach to life. But his efforts go in vain and everything goes downhill as Deva wrestles his power and continues to terrorise the mafia syndicate with his menacing acts. Learning that Deva is in love with a news presenter Janhnavi (played by Aakanksha Singh), Das tries to kindle romance in their life and sets up a date for them. Deva finds himself in a tricky situation and pretends that he is a CBI officer to impresses her.
Cast: Nagarjuna, Nani, Aakanksha Singh, Rashmika Mandanna
Direction: Sriram Adittya
All of it works until one insightful outburst by Das in the second hour where he explains why money and power cannot save lives is one of the talking points of the film. While Hirani films were driven by the plot and its characters, Adittya’s Devadas is held together by humour and action without the sense of pathos, heartfelt emotions and a soul that’s hard to find.
The intention of the director is clear -- to play it safe. He tried to weave a message in the story offering entertainment and by reinforcing the importance of human goodness. Unfortunately, the moral in the end appears superficial and hollow like the film’s script. The story doesn’t let you completely surrender yourself owing to its tepid and stretched narrative.
Nani shines as Das and such roles are a cake walk for him. His impeccable comedy timing, especially during the Vaaru veeru song rendition at the television studio, leaves the audience in splits. Nagarjuna couldn’t bring the believable texture to the character of a mafia don. He looks unenthusiastic and some crucial scenes involving him seem hurried and staged. Otherwise, he is looking dashing and charming. His conversations with Nani trigger the film’s biggest laughs. Rashmika Mandanna dishes out a mediocre performance, while Aakanksha makes a good impression. Kunal Kapoor and Rao Ramesh were reduced to stock caricatures. Mani Sharma's music and background score pass muster, while the Shamdat Sainudeen's camera work is refreshing.
Overall, Devadas isn’t a great film. However, it doesn’t completely derail due to some crowd-pleasing moments and the enjoyable bromance between Nagarjuna and Nani. What it has is a host of familiar tropes, but it lacks a genuine surprise. The film works in bits and may appeal to the masses due to its lead actors who give it their all.