2 Hr 26 Mins | Action | 29-12-2023
Cast - Kalyan Ram, Samyukta Menon, Malvika Nair, Edward Sonnenblick, Srikanth Iyengar, Seetha, Satya, & others
Director - Abhishek Nama
Producer - Abhishek Nama
Banner - Abhishek Pictures Banner
Music - Harshavardhan Rameshwar
Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, who bounced back with Bimbisara, suffered a debacle with Amigos. He now banks upon a period spy thriller set against the backdrop of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The film hit some controversies due to differences between the makers and finally, producer Abhishek Nama is credited as the director as well. All these brought a lot of attention to this espionage period film. While Nikhil’s Spy failed, will Kalyan Ram score a success? Here is our review.
Set in 1945, Devil (Kalyan Ram), a secret spy working for British police, is ordered to resolve a murder mystery in a royal family only to get close to her cousin Nyshyda (Samyuktha Menon) who is suspected to be working for Subhash Chandra Bose’s INA. Devil has to get a secret code from Nyshyda and thus find out the whereabouts of Netaji. Is the Devil successful in his mission? What is his true identity? The film answers these.
Kalyan Ram acts in his usual style. His look suits the character and he is presented well. Samyuktha Menon’s character starts suspiciously but progresses to be a substantial one. Actor Satya evokes some laughs, and also irritates at portions, owing to his loudness, and excessive talking. There are several actors in the film who are adequate to their roles.
Devil has a very ordinary and cliched writing of an espionage thriller. It has informers on either side and the information gets leaked. The film is mounted on a big scale. Action scenes are heavy, but impactless. Production is praiseworthy, but the content is underwhelming.
Subhash Chandra Bose Backdrop
Pre-Climax Twist and Production Scale
Lack of Strong and Specific Villain
Devil is set in the pre-Independence era of British India where the British army is looking out for Subhash Chandra Bose. However, such a macro point (social conflict) is converged and linked to a girl’s murder in a family in a village. This connection is not well established and causes a lot of confusion that eventually flows to further proceedings. However, as things start to unfold, clarity emerges. But the first half and the happenings turn out to be a big patience-tester.
The major stumbling block for a patriotic background film is the core theme itself. It is not quite easy to raise a strong emotion out of the things that happened decades ago. And to make the audience connect to the stories of fictional characters – shown as followers of freedom fighters. The biggest problem lies in the lack of a definite villain or antagonist. Kalyanram’s Devil suffered the same problem. No doubt, British rule was brutal and powerful. Colonels, and Majors in this film were shown as dumbwit as the protagonist is always a step ahead of them. A few logics also go for toss.
The writing is quite cliched and what happens next is too predictable. The first half is quite unbearable and sets the ground for the crucial second half. The latter half to an extent rescues the film. One major twist in the pre-climax is commendable, though it is guessable. The usage of Morse code and other secret communication methods holds the intrigue. The film has some saving moments in the final portions. Once again, Devil proves that patriotic and period backdrop films need to be dealt efficiently. If it is not done so, the result will be a half-cooked film like Devil. Finally, the mission misfires.
Verdict: Mission Misfires