What is it about?
Narasimha Reddy (Chiranjeevi) is a Polygar of Uyyalawada, who rebels against the tax system and atrocities of British rulers. He unites all the neighboring Polygars and people of Renadu to fight against British. Despite having power, army and weapons, British couldn't overcome Narasimha Reddy and his men that they resort to cheating to stop him.
Chiranjeevi at the age of 64 is physically not fit to play a young freedom fighter who is in his thirties. However, the Megastar's enthusiasm and stupendous acting skills make us overlook such minor issues. He looked a bit odd in the initial scenes that revolve around Tamanna and Nayanthara, but he is in his elements in the scenes where he revolt against British. He is superb in the war episodes and the emotionally rich climax sequences. Amitabh has a minor role, but his presence is felt. Sudeep gets a well etched character and he did a fantastic job in playing it. Nayanthara and Tamanna also got their moments to shine and the latter has one of the best moments in the second half. Vijay Sethupathi, Jagapathi Babu and the remaining actors who played supporting roles did their bit.
Surender Reddy may not have directed mega budget action spectacles, but he knows how to present a big star and play to his strengths. Despite telling a story where the ending is known to everyone, Surender excelled in creating moments that strike a chord with the masses. There are so many whistle worthy moments in the film in spite of a few lows here and there. Surender's stylish direction has come in handy for Sye Raa as some shots made a lasting impact on viewers.
Amit Trivedi's songs are situational. Sye Raa song is good but Telugu audience will surely miss the mark of a native music composer. Background score by Julius Packium is inconsistent. Cinematography by Ratnavelu will be ranked as the best amongst his works to date. Visual effects are good for our standards. There aren't any shots where the visual effects seemed tacky. However, editing sticks out like a sore thumb in this film that is high on technical values. Dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra are power packed. Production values by Konidela Productions are awesome. Ram Charan has spent hundreds of crores and made sure that every penny spent is seen on the screen.
Interval and Climax sequences
Slow paced first half
Firstly, it is not an easy task to make a film on this scale within the budget limitations of a regional film. Thanks to Baahubali, the producer could confidently shell out big monies to ensure superior quality in terms of visual output. Sye Raa has the best production values and splendid technical flare coupled with good visual effects that make it look like an authentic period film. Is the story historically accurate? Maybe no. Which is why they had put a lengthy disclaimer at the beginning of the film. They took cinematic liberties to make Narasimha Reddy a larger than life character. In spite of doing so, the makers and writers are able to make a convincing period drama where there is little to complain about.
The film is made like a war drama than sticking to the facts. There is also too much commercialization so that it suits the image of Megastar Chiranjeevi. Also there is little to talk about many supporting characters who don't get enough screen time. Factors like these will surely trouble a section of the audience, but the masses will be impressed with the over the top dramatization and hero worship. There is not much information about Narasimha Reddy in the history books, but showing Polygars like Kings seem a bit odd and too cinematic. Sye Raa isn't a perfect film, but it has its heart in the right place. The director and writers created moments that appeal to the masses. These moments are scattered all over the film and they maintain a steady graph without bring the mood down.
Sye Raa runtime is too big and there are not many songs or other commercial elements to hold the interest. Despite that it never gets boring nor loses steam at any point. It takes a while to get into the thick of the things, but once the fight begins, we are served with scenes that will keep us hooked until the climax. Interval sequence is one of the best moments in the film. It takes the mood to a whole new level and the second half is consistently good with many goose bumps moments. Climax sequence has been done with uttermost conviction that it will leave us awestruck. Even the over the top ending to Narasimha Reddy's character doesn't bother much.
Sye Raa is a must watch not just for its scale and visuals, but for its storytelling, patriotic moments and for Megastar's stellar performance as Narasimha Reddy. It has all the makings of a commercial blockbuster in spite of few lows and a lethargic first hour. Team Sye Raa is a collective effort and delivers what is expected out of a film of this scale. It is a film that takes Telugu Cinema in the right direction. Experience it on big screens.
A Spectacle That Cannot Be Missed!