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Review : Shirdi Sai – A treat for Sai Devotees
Release date: 06 September 2012
123telugu.com Rating : 3.5/5
Director : K. Raghavendra Rao
Producer : Mahesh Reddy, Girish Reddy
Music Director : Keeravani
Starring : Nagarjuna, Srikanth, Srihari

Akkineni Nagarjuna has had two successful outings with devotional flicks in the form of ‘Annamayya’ and ‘Sri Ramadasu’. He has now come up with ‘Shirdi Sai’ and the movie has released today across the world. The film has been directed by K.Raghavendra Rao and music has been composed by M.M.Keeravani. Let us see how the movie is.

Story :

As the name implies, Shirdi Sai is the life story of Sai Baba. The movie starts off in 1854 by showing a young Sai Baba, who is seen by the people of Shirdi in a meditative pose under a neem tree. After giving a few glimpses of His holy nature, Sai leaves for the Himalayas to seek wisdom and attain enlightenment.

After he finds His answers, Sai comes back to the town of Shirdi and sets about solving the problems of people. He becomes their emotional and spiritual Guru. He heals the sick and takes care of the hungry.

Doubters and skeptics like Bhatia, the Englishman Wales and a few other people become devotees after witnessing Baba’s miracles and His good nature. The story ends when Sai decides to leave this earthly abode.

Plus Points :

Nagarjuna is simply magnificent as Sai Baba. He looks so serene and peaceful and he is perfect for the role. His performance in the last 20 minutes of the film will leave a strong impact on you. Perhaps no other actor of this generation could have done a better job as Sai.

Vinaya Prasad is very good as Baayija Bai and she emotes well in key scenes. Srikanth and Sai Kumar shine in key roles and they have done a good job. Sharath Babu and Shayaji Shinde were good. Rujutha Deshmukh was excellent as Lakshmi Bai. Brahmanandam was ok.

The climax is terrific and will leave viewers with tears in their eyes. Raghavendra Rao has shown great skill in screenplay here and this will surely be the highlight of the movie.

The first half of the movie is very good, especially in the scenes leading upto the interval. The movie has many emotional high points and devotees will connect very well with the scenes. Keeravani’s re-recording and background score are major assets for the film.

A nice balance between spirituality and dramatization of miracles has been maintained throughout the film. Songs have been shot well and with great colours. Some scenes stand out, like Baba re-entering his body after three days and his practical explanation of spiritual concepts.

Minus Points :

Comedy, if you can call it that, was terrible. These scenes should have been left out completely. Ali and Ananth have been wasted in poorly written roles and their sequences actually get on your nerves without making you laugh. Srihari is too loud as the Englishman Wales. Anchor Jhansi is seen in a very brief role.

The second half of the film dips slightly and does not get very engaging until the last 20 minutes.

Some historical bloopers, like hanging the portrait of a very old Queen Elizabeth in a pre-independence era setting and Shayaji Shinde speaking in contemporary English vocabulary, will seem a bit obvious.

Technical Aspects :

S. Gopal Reddy’s cinematography is a major asset for the movie. He has given the visuals a very rich feel. The film’s dialogues are good and have been written well, keeping in mind Sai’s nature. Editing is good. Production values are rich.

Keeravani’s music goes well with the situations but as I said earlier, background score and re-recording are phenomenal. Raghavendra Rao excelled in the climax episodes and through the latter part of the first half. Screenplay in emotional scenes is good. However, he should have taken care with respect to comedy scenes and the starting stages of the first half.

Verdict :

Nagarjuna deserves a hearty applause for having the courage to take up this role and he has managed to pull it off with conviction.This film will appeal immensely to Sai Baba devotees and it will be a good watch for casual movie lovers. Comparisons are bound to happen with Vijay Chander’s version of Sai Baba but the two films are very different from each other. From a commercial perspective, we need to see how the masses take to the film.

Watch the film without any expectations and immerse yourself in Sai Baba’s spirituality.

123telugu.com Rating : 3.5/5

Reviewed by Mahesh S Koneru

Click Here For ‘Shirdi Sai’ Telugu Review

Legend:

5 – Flawless
4 – Must Watch
3 – One Time Watch
2 – Wait for the DVD
1 – Stay Away

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