2 Hr 29 Mins | Action Rural | 29-09-2023
Cast - Virat Karrna, Pragathi Shrivatsav, Rao Ramesh, Naga Babu, Anasuya
Director - Srikanth Addala
Producer - Miryala Ravinder Reddy
Banner - Dwaraka Creations
Music - Mickey J Meyer
Post Brahmotsavam debacle, director Srikanth Addala shifts to bold and rustic content. His previous one was Narappa (Asuran remake) with Venkatesh. Now, he comes up with Pedda Kapu that marks the launch of Virat Karrna as the male lead. Will Srikanth score success and cement his position?
Set in 1980s in a fictional village near Rajahmundry where caste politics and family feuds rule, Peddha Kapu (Virat Karrna) fights against oppression in the village by two power centres – Satya Rangayya (Rao Ramesh) and Bhaiyanna (Aadukalam Naren). How things drastically changed after NT Ramarao starts political party in 1982. How Peddha Kapu settles all the scores by taking on mighty Satya Rangayya and Bhaiyanna is the story. Who is Akkamma (Anasuya) and how is she involved?
Debutante Virat Karna has made a decent performance. He scored points in action scenes, while he underscored in emotional scenes. Rao Ramesh is best-suited for the role of a crooked villain and selfish politician set in rural milieu. His mannerisms and behaviour create an aura. Pragati Srivastava plays a rural belle and she pulls it off well. She was abandoned by her parents which gives emotional depth. But she is jovial and extroverted. Her character has a twist to the story. Barring this, she doesn’t have much scope to perform. Tanikella Bharani is seen as a drunkard who is vexed with caste and opportunistic politics. He is presented as a person who cares for society and the village. Naga Babu is seen as party incharge. His character is largely involved in bringing Satya Rangayya and Bhaiyyana together to create peace in the village. Anasuya as Akkamma has got a meaty role. There was a lot of hype around her role. But it didn’t translate as expected. Her character couldn’t leave the desired impact. As a villain, Srikanth Addala leaves half-impact. Rajeev Kanakala and Easwari play the parents of Pedda Kapu. They have nothing much to add value to the story. Overall, some performances are over-played and some are too subtle. This uneven in the cast’s performances confuses the viewers.
Pedda Kapu sounds and looks quite ambitious, thanks to visuals, production design and the scale of the film involving large canvas and huge crowd in camera frames. But this suffers with its writing. Director banks on cinematography, background music technically. Songs have failed miserably. Mickey J Meyer couldn’t do the magic. After listening to songs, Mickey was the wrong choice for this genre. The slow-paced narration is yet another shortcoming.
Rural Set-Up & BGM
Stretched Out Drama
Slow & Predictable Narration
Rangasthalam, a film set in rural backdrop involving caste politics, turned the Tollywood’s landscape. Allu Arjun’s Pushpa is also the rise of a common man against all the odds in rural setting. The blockbuster result of these films gave huge breather to big-budget rural backdrop movies. Nani travelled the same path with Dasara (again village domination politics and rustic backdrop) and yet again scored success. Even films like Palsa and Uppena has lower-caste and oppression as the core-elements in their plots. And Telugu Cinema has quite familiar with this lower-caste and self-respect theme. Director Srikanth Addala is a late entrant who catches the trend a bit late. After remaking Narappa, Srikanth seems to have believed there is still room to explore this genre.
With Pedda Kapu, Srikanth largely banks upon bold content. He chose raw and rustic content. There was no supporting base (story) to add weight to the raw, rustic content. On top of it, director has gone overboard. The violence is what drives Pedda Kapu with scenes of head-chopping. Blood and gory was all over. All this indicate Pedda Kapu is intentionally a bold attempt. The film has got large canvas, big scale with prominent cast, technicians. But it couldn’t work.
‘Meeku Ante Vunte, Maaku Entha Vandali’, this dialogue sums up the Peddha Kapu’s plight. The first half is decent and promises to be somewhat intense. The interval scene was spine-chilling and gives some high. But the second-half of the film nosedives, leaving audience disappointed. There is a twist as well involving Akkamma (Anasuya). But this twist and following consequences didn’t pan out as it was intended. After Akkamma, the film turns out to be predictable. The climax portions are not engaging. The whole story is narrated in confusing way. The drama has been stretched out without the engaging scenes and without depth. It is only build-up and elevation with BGM. There was no supporting base. Pedda Kapu might be ambitious and intended to become a big film, but it falters marginally in terms of narration. For debutante Virat Karna it is not the end of the world and it is a decent start, for Srikanth Addala, Pedda Kapu is certainly a blow.
Verdict: Addala’s ‘Mass’ter Stroke!
Tags Pedda Kapu