Salaar Star Cast/ Actors: Prabhas as Deva, Prithviraj Sukumaran as Vardharaja Mannar, Shruti Hassan as Aadhya, Tinnu Anand as Gaikwad alias Baba, Jagapathi Babu as Raja Mannar and Bobby Simha as Bhaarava.
Salaar Release Date: December 22nd, 2023
Salaar Available On: Theatrical Release and (likely to be released on Netflix )
Salaar Released/ Available In Languages: Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada and Tamil
Salaar Runtime: 177 minutes
Salaar Critic Review:
How long is writer-director Prashanth Neel going to keep bludgeoning the viewer with a blood-splattered dystopic world? And he can’t seem to move away from mines. Goldmines in KGF and coalmines this time around.With dreary lighting to enhance the ambience of perpetual gloom.
There has to be a method in storytelling especially if it’s non-linear with multiple time periods and a dizzy number of locations, some fictional dating back to the 1700s and some like Delhi, Hyderabad, Varanasi, Bhubaneshwar and New York identifiable, with fierce armies from even Ukraine, Afghanistan and Sudan marching in to further muddle the plot.
The plot itself is like a patchwork quilt put together without a pattern. Or maybe the pattern is strictly in Prashanth Neel’s head. What the Hindi movie viewer will gather is that Deva (Prabhas) is like the Salaar to the Sultan of yore, always ready to give his life to childhood friend Vardharaja Mannar (Prithviraj Sukumaran). It begins with a young Deva breathing fire and brimstone and taking on a beefy adult in the arena to have Vardha’s nathuni (nose ring) restored to him. Vardha, still just a 10-year-old, does his bit too by giving away a chunk of his kingdom to free Deva and his mother from a bunch of lecherous and bloody thirsty monsters. And then they’re separated for the next 25 years.
So far, comprehensible. It’s the strange land of Khansar, ruled by dahshat (abject fear), with its own constitution and several gory tribes that’s a mess. Two unidentifiable women in dark, scary lighting, predict in husky voices that dire consequences are around the corner.
The one-line plot is that Deva returns to Khansar to fight for Vardha whose right to rule is under threat from blood lusty rival tribes. Deva finds Khansar full of grotesque injustice. Neel strews the screen with maroon-hooded dystopic women of all ages in despair as a kite that lands on a hut entitles the karta of the tribe to help himself to one girl from that family with everybody looking on either with lustful glee or helpless gloom. Vardha and cohorts too look on impotently with hands across their chests until Devaa breaks loose. And the maroon hoods turn cheerleaders with a desolate dance step.
Deva’s actions call for complete chaos because rules have been broken.
There’s a call for a ceasefire and a countdown to it while many more buckets of blood are spilled. By who and why, don’t ask. It’s a free-for-all with a cackling, demented villain, several distorted faces and Deva and Vardha sharing a stronger bond than any couple.
A foreign-accented Aadhya (Shruti Hassan) who has landed in India is the one to whom all this mayhem is being narrated in confusing flashbacks for her to understand what Deva is all about.
The ceasefire, Vardha’s rival unleashing drug-fed beastly men trained to brutalise, and more bludgeoning go on. Until there’s a question mark inserted in the friendship between Deva and Vardha before it comes to an abrupt halt. That’s Part 1. All the bedlam and strange women talking in forbidding voices will probably get sorted out in the next instalment.
Salaar– Watch Or Not?: To say that this week I preferred the sanitised serenity of the very boring Dunki to this bloody mess, should sum it up.
Salaar Review Score Rating: 2 out of 5
Salaar Official Trailer: