Like how mountains, rivers and oceans do not change in the nature, Nandamuri Balakrishna’s films do not change in the film industry. As he is about to reach his 100th film milestone, he came up with “Dictator” as his 99th film. Directed by Sriwass who got famous with flims like Lakshyam and Loukyam, this film stars Anjali and Sonal Chauhan as female leads. Eros International and Vedaashwa Creations owned by Sriwass produced this film.
Chandrasekhar (Balakrishna) works in a mart happens to rescue Indu (Sonal Chauhan) from a trap. What happens next? Why Shruti (Aksha) pretends herself as Katyaayani (Anjali) to her father? Who is dictator? forms the rest of the story.
It’s not new for Balakrishna to do these kinds of films, not new for Kona – Gopi to write them, not new for Telugu audiences to watch them. It’s a kind of adorable thing that an actor who did 99 films had a lot of films with the same story and screenplay.
Though there are no things to be remembered for a long time, regarding this film, there are some good things. For example, the scene where Chandu rescues Indu, the scene where dictator gets introduced to the audience in the intermission time and the scene where he confronts Mahima Roy (Rati Agnihotri) in the second half were good. Balakrishna and background scorer Chinna were responsible to make them appear better.
I completely agree with the principle that a film should convey something to the society. If a film conveys one message then that is fine. But I don’t know why Balakrishna tries to convey a lot of messages through his films. It feels like reading all the subjects in a single class hour. Moreover, Balakrishna doesn’t do a role that lets a common man imagine himself on the screen. He has a lot of villains who never lay a finger on him and just lie to challenge Balakrishna and get their ass kicked by him.
Coming to the narration, this kind of narration is being seen from “Samarasimha Reddy”. Since then there is change in Balakrishna’s costumes, film’s locations and his body language despite in the story and screenplay. In this film, dictator gets introduced as the “Highest Tax Payer in India” but no one recognizes him though he is not in disguise. Instead they recognize his brother played by Suman. Writers and director used that dialogue to elevate the protagonist and get some cat calls from the lower stalls but they forgot to take care of a simple logic behind this.
The entire film goes as per audience’s expectation yet the director came up with a runtime of 155 minutes which had lengthier action sequences, slow and boring narration with horrible songs by Thaman beside. The dialogues written by Rathnam and Sreedhar tested the patience with their rhyming rather than meaning. With this film, screenplay writers Kona and Gopi have become professionals in torturing audiences in the name of comedy.
So, “Dictator” is a real dictator who said what he wanted to say rather than coming up with what makes audiences happy.
Commenting Balakrishna’s role is unnecessary as he is not new for these kinds of roles. The way he appeared on the screen and the way he delivered dialogues showed that he should stop doing these kinds of films and roles and act as per his age. Anjali appeared to be acting something but once you rub your eyes and see again then you will know the truth that she is not. Sonal Chauhan was sizzling in the song “What’s Up Baby” but she was of no use in the remaining film. Suman, Rati and Posani were casted to elevate Balakrishna’s character rather than elevating their acting prowess. Nasser, Sayaji Shinde, Raghubabu, Chalapthi Rao, Vennela Kishore, Kabir Duhan are all trash materials. Prithvi Raj, Prabhas Sreenu, Shakalaka Shankar and Hema thought of entertaining but tested the patience with their comedy.
- Sam. K. Naidu’s Cinematography. The main eminence of this film is this man’s cinematography who used very good lighting in the climax fight and at other places.
- Chinna’s Background Score. It helped elevating the film at some places.
- Production Values. Eros International and Sriwass should be appreciated for their guts of trusting this story and investing a huge amount of money on it.
- Writing. Kona, Gopi, Rathnam, Sreedhar worked on this film and made it like “Too many cooks spoil the dish”.
- Thaman’s Music. He completed 50 films as music director yet he doesn’t know how to opt apt singers that suit the actors on screen. I don’t know how he thought the voice of a Bollywood singer like “Divya Kumar” can suit an actor like Balakrishna and the complete Telugu song “Ganesha”.
- Narration. Slow paced, lots of lengthier action sequences made this film felt as a film of five hours.
- Performances. Including Balakrishna, there are a lot of senior actors and no one impressed with their performances.
– Yashwanth Aluru
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