Agnyaathavaasi movie review: Strictly for Pawan Kalyan fans

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Agnyaathavaasi movie cast: Pawan Kalyan, Keerthy Suresh, Anu Emmanuel, Kushboo, Aadhi Pinisetty, Boman Irani
Agnyaathavaasi movie director: Trivikram Srinivas
Agnyaathavaasi movie rating: 3 stars

Director Trivikram Srinivas has adopted the basic premise of French film Largo Winch and a chapter from the Hindu epic Mahabharata to create a star vehicle called Agnyaathavaasi for Tollywood star Pawan Kalyan. The film opens in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, where the author of Mahabharata, Maharshi Veda Vyasa is believed to have spent his life writing Vedas and Puranas.

Abhisikth Bhargav (Pawan Kalyan) is in Varanasi to scatter the ashes of his dead father and half-brother in the Ganges. In the Mahabharata context, he is Arjuna. And he has four brothers in arms who are equivalent to Yudhishthira, Bhima, Nakula and Sahadeva. He sets up his camp right opposite the towering AB office, which was owned by Govinda Bhargav aka Vinda (Boman Irani), who died an untimely death living behind his throne defenceless. Or so do his enemies think.

Abhisikth steals the identity of Bala Subramaniam (Vennela Kishore) and infiltrates his own office. You may have guessed it already. He goes undercover to find the killers of his billionaire father Vinda. Abhisikth also has multiple girlfriends, Sukumari (Keerthy Suresh) and Suryakantham (Anu Emmanuel). Arjuna spent a year of his exile as a dance teacher. Abhisikth’s body language and mannerism as Bala Subramaniam are also dramatic.

Writing films for superstars like Pawan Kalyan has certain limitations. First, the writer has to write scenes just to set up the audience for a hero introduction. And continue to keep feeding the fans with hero shots, slow-mos, frequent punch-lines, gravity and logic-defying action sequences. And then give one song to each heroine before the writers get to the actual story.

The focus of Agnyaathavaasi should have been the boardroom coup, which involves murders and a big conspiracy. And the struggle of an apparent heir to prove his legitimacy to the take over the business empire that rightfully belongs to him. Trivikram circumvents corporate politics and other challenges that the plot throws at him. He even makes clowns out of what should have been powerful characters in the story, hoping that the popularity of Pawan will overshadow the reasoning ability of the audience.

In Agnyaathavaasi, anybody could bump off anyone and walk away from the crime scene. No matter how powerful the victim is. Abhisikth can even kill a car full of attackers by shooting them in the head at a crowded marketplace, without anyone noticing. This action sequence sounds interesting on the paper but visually it is composed in a hasty manner.

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