ABO Review : `Salaar'

Salaar: Focused writing, masterful execution!


Deva (Prabhas) has been living in exile after parting ways with his bosom buddy Varadharaja Mannar (Prithviraj Sukumaran). The former has been staying away from violence, thanks to his mother (Eeswari Rao) restraining him everytime he becomes mercurial.

In the dystopian Khansaar, autocratic monarch Raja Mannar (Jagapathi Babu), who lords over the empire, is planning to install his son Vardharaja as his scion. In a devious turn of events, his minions plan a sabotage by allying with gigantic armed forces from other countries. Only one man, a superhero-like figure whom kings will bow down to, can save them. He is Deva. The rest of the film is how Deva makes a return to Khansaar and helps out Varadha. There is more to Deva`s identity than meets the eye.


Prabhas excels in the role of a lone wolf who has a knack for pulling off crushing victories with might. Amping up his screen presence, he strides like a colossus. Since he is the metaphorical dinosaur, there is no limit to the director`s imagination. And it is to Prabhas` immense credit that he does justice to Prashanth Neel`s image of a tireless titan.

Prithviraj Sukumaran is very good, so also Master Karthikeya Dev, who played his childhood version. As a wannabe who wants to establish his suzerainty over Khansaar, he is believable. Compared to the two Ps, the film doesn`t belong as much to anyone else, including Jagapathi Babu and Shruti Haasan. Eeswari Rao, Bobby Simha, Jhansi, John Vijay and Mime Gopi perform as if this was a film without an epic scale.

Technical Departments:

Background Score: Ravi Basrur`s work is throbbing when needed, measured when not.
Stunts: Anbariv delivers a dekko! 
Songs: The two songs are just average.
Cinematography: Bhuvan Gowda`s camera work never goes for excesses.
Production Values: This is a jumbo meal from Hombale Films.
Production Design, Sound Design: Masterful.


Director Neel yet again weaves a larger-than-life story set in the backdrop of a world of its own. This world is populated by all sorts of characters - good, bad and ugly.

The final stretch takes the film to the next level. The second part of `Salaar` is going to flesh out Prabhas` character with even more gusto. For the actor, this is the best film since `Baahubali 2`. He is dashing without having to deliver punchlines. The style of heroism heralded by Neel is a welcome change at a time when mass directors were stuck with elements like loud punchlines, etc.

`Salaar` is yet another pan-Indian film that doesn`t rely on item songs and a customary rom-com track. The narration is focused and unflinching. The focus is always on the rivalry between the good and the evil.


1. The interval block. It works more as a build-up stretch than a typical action sequence.

2. The Ceasefire voting element works as an idea.

3. The characters in Khansaar are divided into lords and governors. The hierarchy and the  multiple character names might confuse some but the idea is impressive.

4. Decent melodrama involving the two friends.

5. The girl brides track. The fight sequence where Prabhas` character unleashes his fury is top-notch.

6. The drama built around the internal dynamics in the Khansaar.


1. The first hour is template driven. Saving a woman from goondas, etc. all seem run-of-the-mill.

2. The mother character could have been depicted in a better way.

3. The phone conversations between baddies/villains lend a typical masala action entertainer feel.

Movie Rating: 3/5

Box-office Verdict: This probably has more in it to work at the BO than not!

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