Banner: RRR Motion Pictures & Vaaraahi Chalana Chitram
Cast: Sudeep, Suniel Shetty, Aakanksha Singh, Sushant Singh, Kabir Duhan Singh, Avinash, Sharath Lohitashwa, Appanna and others
Music: Arjun Janya
Cinematography: Karunakara A
Action: Ram Lakshman, A Vijay
Producer: Swapna Krishna
Written and directed: Krishna
Publication date: Sep 12 2019
‘Eega’ fame Sudeep starrer ‘Pahilwan’ is one of the highly anticipated movies of this year. After impressing the audience with the trailer, the multilingual film hit the screens today.
Sarkar (Suniel Shetty) raises an orphaned Krishna and makes him a good wrestler. Krishna (Sudeep) is being trained to win the national championships.
Like Sarkar, he vows to be single, but his heartbeat skips a beat when he sees Rukmini (Aakanksha Singh), the daughter of a wealthy businessman.
Sarkar promises Rukmini’s father that he will make sure that Krishna does not disturb her.
Krishna beating up the local leader Rana (Sushanth Singh) in a regional wrestling match and marrying Rukmini leads to a huge rift with Sarkar.
The rest of the film is how Krishna wins the championship and regains his bond with father figure Sarkar.
Performances by artists:
Sudeep as Pahilwaan Krishna is impressive. He has that body of a wrestler and his macho acting has worked well according to his characterization. However, this is a typical mass roll that offers nothing new.
Former Bollywood hero Suniel Shetty is believable in the role of a guiding force for Sudeep.
Aakanksha Singh as the lead actress, Sushant Singh as villain Raja Rana Pratap Varma and Kabir Duhan Singh as wrestler Tony have played cliché roles in a corny way.
The film is made with rich production values for a Kannada production. The film is largely set in a village and mainly focuses on wrestling fights, which are well shot.
‘Kanne Pichuka’ is the only standout song. The screenplay is predictable.
Yawning first half
Boring romantic thread
Old style narration
After winning the hearts of Telugu audiences as the antagonist in Rajamouli’s ‘Eega’, Kannada superstar Sudeep has become a familiar face here.
‘Pahilwaan’ is the first pan-Indian film for him. Sudeep is one of the strongest male stars in India and the story of a wrestler is suitable for him.
Director Krishna did his homework by picking up the characterization of a wrestler for Sudeep, but he made a mistake in writing the compelling screenplay.
The scenes and situations may appeal to Sudeep’s main Kannada fanbase, but when the movie is being pitched as a Pan-India movie, the writing department and director should have come up with a better romantic thread as well as emotional sequences that would connect. for the wider public.
Devoting the entire first half to forging the bond between Suniel Shetty, Sudeep with hackneyed situations and weaving an outdated romantic song between Sudeep and Aakanksha has spoiled the interest.
Fortunately, the film really picks up after the break when the emotional rift develops between Sudeep and Suniel Shetty.
The wrestling fights in the later section are also very appealing as the emotional angle is added here, unlike in the first half.
The first half gives us the impression that the film is about winning the championship, but it quickly turns into a serious drama with a social message. This changed the overall impact of the film forever.
Before you can appreciate the final parts, you have to put up with all the crappy scenes in the beginning and outdated comedic situations.
The film eventually becomes a ‘Bhadrachalam’ meets ‘Sultan’ meets ‘Kick’. Still, it worked to some degree in the penultimate parts.
“Pahilwaan” is a movie that is intended for a large audience and it is filled with such good sequences. But the rest of the drama is full of formulas.
In general, “Pahilwaan” is a mishmash of various Telugu and Hindi movies in the background of wrestling. This is strictly for a large audience.
Bottom line: Pahilwan Punch