King Of Kotha Movie Review


2 Hr 56 Mins   |   Action   |   24-08-2023

Cast - Dulquer Salmaan, Aishwarya Lekshmi, Shabeer, Prasanna, Usha, Anika and others

Director - Abhilash Joshiy

Producer - Dulquer Salmaan

Banner - Wayfarer Films & Zee Studios

Music - Jakes Bejoy, Shaan Rahman

Dulquer Salmaan became dearer to Telugu audiences with Mahanati & Sita Ramam. He is now back with a rugged-mass avatar in the gangster film ‘King of Kotha’. The trailer has raised the expectations on the film. Will Dulquer continue his success streak and will he cement his position? Let’s check out our verdict.


Kanna Bhai is a dreaded don who is ruling Kotha. Newly-transferred police inspector Shaul Hassan (Prasanna) challenges him to put an end to Kanna’s rule. But he is defeated. He decided to bring estranged criminal Raju (Dulquer) to Kotha to put a check to Kanna. What is the past between Raju and Kanna? How Raju settles all the scores from the crux of the story.


Dulquer Salmaan gives up his class look and turns into a rugged avatar. He dons the role of a rowdy, albeit a good rowdy. This shade of Dulquer fails to work. Acting-wise there are no complaints though. Shabeer as the baddie does what is expected of him. Inconsistency in his characterisation makes him a weak villain. Aishwarya Lekshmi as Tara is alright. She got a cliched role of a heroine without much screen-presence. Anikha Surendran as Duqluer’s sister gets an unimportant role. Chemban Vinod gets the role of Ranjith, another villain. His fascination for English is good thought, but could have been executed well. The dialogues of his broken English failed to engage. Nyla Usha as Manju is seductive and her back story at the end is somewhat interesting. Shanthi Krishna as mother Malathi is fine. Her role has a twist towards the end. Gokul Suresh is seen as SI Tony. Dhruv Vikram is seen in a brief role as a guest appearance. The film has stellar performances which are backed by good characters. But weak writing plays the spoilsport.


The story of the King of Kotha is quite familiar. But the idea on paper sounds great. But it loses to the bad treatment. The film drags and drags. Weak screenplay takes away the steam. Direction suffers to an extent. Technically, the film is flawless. Production design and sound design deserve special mention. Background music is good. The film struggles with its pace.


Production Design & BGM


Weak Story & Screenplay
Lacks Powerful Villain
Dragged Portions


Dulquer and director Abhilash Joshiy team-up for a gangster film. The film’s scale, look, template all give a huge elevation. The expectations before its release were high. After watching the trailer, what one expect is a kickass action crime drama, but what is finally offered is a mediocre gangster film with no surprises. The film begins with Kotha intro and how it eventually ruled by one don Kanna Bhai. He is portrayed as a notorious and dangerous villain. But his original characterisation is revealed when the story progresses. With the backstory, it is revealed he is actually a weak and feeble who rose to the position without much effort. All these make the villain less impactful. The writers have to be blamed. Even Dulquer’s elevation is not effective. It is all in words. He is called as Raj Madarassi in UP. He has introduced new-style of killing people. All these really need better translation onto the screen. And he is seen saying he bought ‘Apple Farms’ to turn the farmer and leave the violence. There is a disconnect and this wasn’t narrated well. There is a satire in the film from Dulquer where he mouths, “Everyone is going to Mumbai. So I went to Uttar Pradesh.”

Director Abhilash seems to be inspired from KGF, but this Kotha is nowhere close. The villains here in Kotha are mere jokers. The gangster action movie falters in terms of the story. Lack of a gripping screenplay adds to the woes. Dulquer and direction rescue the film to an extent. But the dragged portions bore the viewers. The film tests patience. Of all, the film is highly predictable and has several nostalgic moments squandered all over it. The love track between the lead pair is also unconvincing. The film towards the interval raises some hope. Dulquer aka Raju leaves the town of Kotha due to love failure and deceit in friendship. But the second-half doesn’t improve at all. It just moves in a sluggish way with highly predictable scenes.

Having said this, King of Kotha isn’t completely bad. It has its moments occasionally. There are several crafts in the film that have delivered. The production design, background score and the artistes performances are the biggest strengths that make one sit through the whole film. However, the formulaic scenes and lack of enough action, unworkable emotion make this a tiring watch. The film just drags and drags and make audiences wait for the climax sequence. This Kotha is ‘Rotha’. This gangster drama is damp squib.

Verdict: King Of ‘Rotha’

Rating: 2/5