'Acharya' review: Ram Charan outshines Chiranjeevi in this visual spectacle
For films that have larger-than-life stories, the actual USP lies in the emotional quotient. No matter how stunning the visuals are, if the emotions don't touch you, nothing works in favor of the movie. And, it looks like Koratala Siva knew this exact formula and he incorporated the same along with other commercial elements in Acharya, while striking the right balance. Here's our review.
Set in a fictional village of Padhaghatta, Acharya revolves around two heroes who are true followers of dharma. While Acharya (Chiranjeevi) is a Naxal leader, his "comrade" Siddha (Ram Charan) is a young man from the tribe of Padhaghatta. How they save the forest, tribes and an ancient temple from the brutal antagonist Basava (Sonu Sood) makes the rest of the story.
Basava is a ruthless man. He and his troops have occupied the once holy temple of Ghattamma. They rape any woman they set their gaze on, mercilessly kill government officials, and no question are asked. When the tortured and battered people of the village yearn for a divine force to put an end to this audacity, our alpha male Acharya arrives.
Charan as the beta male Siddha is charming and has a royal presence. His chemistry with Pooja Hegde is compelling. The actor has a strong grip on his emotions and we root for him more than Acharya. Giving him the lead might be unintentional but it surely makes the film better. However, we won't divulge his backstory as that would spoil your experience.
Cinematographer S Thirunavukkarasu has done a tremendous job and he makes Padhaghatta look jaw-droppingly beautiful. As far as the performances go, megastar Chiranjeevi is as usual splendid but this time, he has let his son take the limelight. Sood as the villain is menacing, while Nassar as Siddha's mentor/guru is decent, too. Hegde had nothing much to do except play Siddha's love interest, Neelambari.
Positives aside, Acharya has two major cons. One, it keeps going back and forth between the backstories and present-day events. Also, the flashback scenes have been included without any balance making us lose track. Another negative is the easily avoidable dance number.
I found the song Saana Kashtam featuring Regina Cassandra highly problematic. It had no purpose and the song did nothing except objectifying the actor. Oh Kajal Aggarwal's portions have indeed been chopped off and no, Anushka Shetty has not replaced her in the film. Over all, Acharya needed to be more tight, nevertheless, it deserves a theatrical watch. Verdict: The film bags 3.5 stars.