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Film review: Devaraya – Masala with a dash of history – The Hindu

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December 07, 2012 05:00 pm | Updated 06:11 pm IST
Srikanth and Meenakshi Dixit in 'Devaraya'
The director doesn’t wait upon a chance to introduce the audience to a garishly clad Dorababu (Srikanth); he sports a fuchsia coloured shirt; viewers squint or it could blind your eye. A hedonistic and popular village bloke, he believes in downing full bottles of whiskey, losing his dough to gambling and of course takes his pick among the village belles (who for some reason seem to be besotted with this ‘Dorababu’). He lusts over Swapna (Vidisha), a city-bred village girl, but eventually he wakes up to a world with morals and respect for women and realises he is in love with her. She gets Dorababu to mend his ways; the grandfather however plays spoilsport to all this. Amidst all this humdrum, there is a keen archaeologist who chances upon artefacts from the 15th Century, belonging to the Vijayanagaram Empire beyond the boundaries. Because these artefacts are so valuable, the archaeologist randomly hands them over to Swapna’s grandfather who is an expert in Devanagri script without a receipt of any kind (just saying!). The artefact is a diary of Sunandha, Krishna Devaraya’s courtesan and lover. This historical account ends abruptly as the pages of the diary become blank. Dorababu, we know now is the descendant of Krishna Devaraya and has taken birth to finish the construction of a temple. He walks into Swapna’s grandfather’s house with the archaeologist present and walks to the diary in a possessed state. The archaeologist then hands him a pen and makes him finish the diary, just like that; no verification of facts or reasoning required, lets take a chance and ruin a 500-year-old archaeological find! The rest of the story surmises how he finishes the construction of the temple. Oh! Wait, there is more there are ‘villains’ who want to construct a cement factory in place of the ancient temple; the reason we forgot to mention this is that, the director failed to give this central plot its dues!
With a plot in shambles, loud costumes, crass dialogues and illogical scenes, there is little that saves this film; add to this a CG that overkills. Direction, narration and screenplay and editing add to the mess instead of salvaging the film. Srikanth as Krishna Devaraya was bearable. The girls: Vidisha and Meenakshi Dixit contributed to the film with mere plastic expressions. The out-of-place, unnecessary and obtuse songs exerted tremendous pressure on the viewers’ temples.
Director: Naveen Krishna
Cast: Srikanth, Meenakshi Dixit, Vidisha, Jai Prakash Reddy, MS Narayana, Raghu Karumanchi, Ranganath and Sivaji
Music: Chakri
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Plot: Krishna Deva Raya reincarnates to finish an incomplete task
Bottomline: A pungent masala you can’t digest
The Hindu Cinema Plus
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