Arjun Suravaram movie review: Nikhil Siddharth's film works only in parts
The Telugu remake of Tamil thriller Kanithan lacks the punch and ends up being a middling affair
Joining the league of this year's remakes – ABCD, Falaknuma Das, 1st Rank Raju, Oh Baby, and Evaru – actor Nikhil Siddharth's long-delayed film Arjun Suravaram, a remake of Tamil action thriller Kanithan, has finally hit the screens. Faithful to the original, the Telugu version is about an investigative journalist and do-gooder, Arjun Lenin Suravaram (Nikhil Siddharth), who gets trapped in a fake certificate scam as he begins preparations to get his dream job. He sets out to track the mastermind behind this scam with the help of his lawyer-friend, a police constable, and his colleague. The cat and mouse chase between Arjun and his nemesis is the plot of the movie.
To begin with, this movie will constantly remind you of Dhruva, the 2016 Ram Charan-starrer. For the most part, the story is nothing but a dramatic battle-of-wits between its two central characters. Director TN Santosh gives us conflicts with resolutions that appear exaggerated and unrealistic. Take, for instance, the scene where our protagonist attends a job interview with the BBC features five interviewers, of which one insults the young man's language skills. Soon, a riled-up Arjun rises from his chair, gives us a demonstration of his speaking skills and storms out, giving up his life-time ambition just to prove a point!
Arjun Suravaram never fully exploits the intriguing complexity of its premise. The film neither provides any genuine surprise nor exciting execution to keep us invested in the story. It's hard to find one moment without melodrama or far-fetched and unconvincing scenes, even though the film deals with some real-life and thought-provoking incidents.
Vennela Kishore and Sathya lend some comic relief to the film, while Tarun Arora, Nagineedu and Posani Krishna Murali deliver compelling performances.
But the director takes too many cinematic liberties to get out of the screenplay situations and the film comes off looking way too contrived. Arjun Suravaram would not have turned out this artificial and amateurish had the film stayed true to its genre and the actors performed their parts convincingly. As it is, Arjun Suravaram works only in parts.