2 Hrs 40 Mins | Action | 14-01-2022
Cast - Akkineni Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya, Ramya Krishna, Kriti Shetty
Director - Kalyan Krishna Kurasala
Producer - Akkineni Nagarjuna
Banner - Annapurna Studios
Music - Anup Rubens
Nagarjuna scored a blockbuster for Sankranthi with Soggade Chinni Nayana and now again, he is coming to theaters with its sequel Bangarraju. While the original had Nagarjuna in a dual role, the sequel is bringing Naga Chaitanya as Bangarraju’s grandson. The real-life father-son duo last acted in Manam and now with them joining hands again for a Sankranthi release raised curiosity. The trailer looked colorful and with the expected rural backdrop and plots. We already know Nagarjuna as Bangarraju and we have to see how Chaitanya becomes Bangarraju and how well he did it. The movie is in theaters now and here is the review.
What Is It About?
In continuation with Soggade Chinni Nayana, Bangarraju (Nagarjuna) has to return, but to heaven after the purpose, he came on earth, gets served. Sathemma (Ramya Krishna) also reaches heaven after her demise. But Bangarraju will be sent back to earth as Sathemma asks him to put the things right for their grandson Bangarraju (Naga Chaitanya). Except that Bangarraju did not know that he was sent back on a god’s work. Like in the original, the temple’s wealth is guarded by the Bangarraju family for centuries and there are miscreants trying to steal that. Bangarraju has the power of entering his grand son’s body. How Bangarraju sets everything in order, keeps the wealth safe, and how he gets the Junior Bangarraju to get married to Naga Lakshmi (Krithi Shetty) forms the story.
Nagarjuna excels in the role of Bangarraju senior just like he did in the original. He owns the role with the accent and attitude in every bit. Nagarjuna maintains consistency throughout the film. In Bangarraju, he is more than a supporting character as the main lead is actually Naga Chaitanya. Nagarjuna is flawless with his performance.
Naga Chaitanya tried the ground rural character for the first time and he is good in it. Though he did some lines and scenes with ease, there is still a lot of voids that don’t give us the satisfaction of watching Bangarraju’s soul in him. As Nagarjuna too appears all along as Bangarraju, the comparison obviously arises.
Krithi Shetty is okay as Sarpanch Nagalakshmi who often gets into fights with Bangarraju. She revs up the screen as and when she appears. Her chemistry with Chay works.
Ramya Krishna is usual and so is Rao Ramesh. Vennela Kishore tries to bring some laughs, but his comedy is stale mostly. Govind Padmasoorya appears as a baddie. Rest of the characters are okay.
Bangarraju looks rich and colorful, except that the plot is similar to the original.
Almost all songs are tuned from original folk numbers and some of them are foot tapping. Background music is fine. Editing is good.
There are many mini-episodes in the first half to give strength to Jr Bangarraju’s character, which are completely dragged beyond the limit. The cinematography is neat. Production values are good.
Bangarraju is made as a sequel of Soggade Chinni Nayana, but the movie sticks to the original theme with minimal changes. The basic plot of Bangarraju’s soul entering the son’s body in the first part is brought back only this time he enters his grandson’s body to set many things right. Other than that, the baddies attempting to steal the temple wealth and a villain in disguise of a gentleman and many crucial parts remain the same.
The director tried to keep more screen time for the love track of the young pair in lead. The short stories of Naga Chaitanya and Krithi Shetty, like she visiting his house for a family member’s seemantham, Bangarraju’s birthday scenes, he saving a kid from raging bull are all cliched.
The romantic track and the supporting scenes slow down the story to snail pace and disengage the audience. Krithi Shetty’s Sarpanch scenes are passable.
As the original has got a hidden villain like Nasser in the family, the sequel follows the same pattern. Bangarraju jr’s best friend Aadi who is too good to be a good guy hints to us in the first frame he appears that he is up to something, which is a stereotypical thread.
From the opening scene where the thieves try to rob the temple to the sacred thread/ring that stops Bangarraju from entering his son/grandson’s body is all repetitive.
Bangarraju shadowing and entering the body of the junior happened many a time in the film, but it is finally elevating the Bangarraju senior himself. There are many scenes and parts where Nagarjuna comes to Chay’s rescue, be it in love or action, or a conflict. Even as he stays in the background from start to end in a single costume, Nagarjuna unintentionally dominates Chaitanya everywhere.
The climax twist where Bangarraju is helpless is good. The entry of Ramu (Bangarraju’s father) is saving grace for the film. Nagarjuna takes over the climax completely only to show that he saves his grandson, just like he did with his son earlier. The pre-climax action block hits the right chords with masses.
Having said that, the core concept of Bangarraju remains the same as the original with little twists and a romantic track added. With no other big movies around and with the rural backdrop filled with songs and fights, Bangarraju has got a fair chance to attract the crowds and do well at the box office this Sankranthi.
Bottom-line: So So Sequel Of Soggade!