Kathanayakudu – a leader for sure!
Release date: 01 August 2008
123Telugu.com Rating: 3/5
Director : P. Vasu
Music Director : G.V Prakash
Producers : C. Aswini Dutt
Starring : Rajnikanth, Nayanatara, Jagapathi babu, Meena, Mamatha Mohandas, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, Sunil...
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When Sivaji released, the internet was flooded with debates about how no one really cared about Rajni the actor any longer. All his movies were supposed to just showcase the Superstar and his mannerisms. In a delicious bit of irony, in a movie where he plays himself, there are no starry airs and Rajni – the actor is out in full force. Kathanayakudu reintroduces good old fashioned story telling and it is a great family outing for one and all.

What is it about:The story is about barber Balakrishna and his family that consists of wife Sridevi and three children. He is a poor barber in the village of Sirisilla and walks on the path of righteousness always. Does not have a penny in the pocket or a care in the world. His world is suddenly turned upside down when Superstar Ashok Kumar’s movie unit comes to his village. Superstar Ashok is his childhood friend and everyone in the village expects him to help them get an audience with Ashok. But the self respecting Balu does not want to go meet the superstar now and let him see his position. Whether the superstar meets his friend finally or not forms the crux of the story.

What is Good: First, Superstar Rajni and his acting skills are brought back to the fore in this movie and he is not the usual cigarette flinging, baddie bashing superhero. His speech in the climax is worth a thousand ‘stylish’ scenes and will surely draw families. Jagapathi Babu, Meena, Dharmavarapu, Sunil – all of them pitch in with good performances. Jagapathi Babu deserves special mention for holding his own and acting out the helpless part beautifully. Nayantara in her ultra glamorous and sensuous avatar is a treat to the eyes. Director P Vasu is a man from the old school. He knows that songs, fights and everything else are mere props and the story is what drives a movie forward. Whenever you think the movie is getting slow and heavy, he puts in a lavishly picturized song and since he is showing a movie in a movie situation, the songs really don’t disturb the flow. And the sentimental climax might not find a lot of takers in the youth but families will definitely like to see this movie. The production values are outstanding and the camera work is topnotch. The songs fit the bill perfectly, not numbers that will stay in memory forever, but perfectly functional for the situation.

What is bad: The movie slows down in the second half and the sentimental and emotional climax might not be everyone’s cup of tea. And Superstar fans expecting some fights or some punchlines from him will definitely be disappointed. Rajni’s role is certainly bland if you look at it from certain angles. The story - hare and tortoise or Krishna and Kuchela or the good triumphs in the end – whichever way you look at it is old fashioned to the core.

Me Thinks:Go to the movie, if you want to see a film with a good script, good performances and a sentimental climax which will definitely bring a tear to your eye. Another very good family outing. If you are expecting to see slam bang stuff with Rajni doing superhuman stunts, stay home and watch a DVD of Sivaji. This is, however, not the old fashioned tear-jerker. It is a stylish take on an age old tale and director P Vasu can put another hit in his kitty.

- Chantabbai  
123Telugu.com Rating : 3/5

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