CEASEFIRE boasts of moments that will be loved by the masses.

Salaar Review {3.0/5} & Review Rating

SALAAR: PART 1 – CEASEFIRE is the story of a fearless man. The year is 2017. Aadhya (Shruti Haasan) arrives on a fake passport in India after hiding in the USA for almost 7 years. Aadhya keeps her father Krishnakant in the dark about her decision to land in Varanasi. Krishnakant’s enemies, however, get to know and they station their men outside Varanasi airport. They attempt to kidnap Adhya; on the other hand, Krishnakant asks Bilal (Mime Gopi) for help. Bilal smartly gets Adhya out of their clutches and takes her to Tinsukia, Assam. Here, he tells Deva (Prabhas) to take care of her. Prabhas’ mother (Easwari Rao), a strict headmaster of a school, has no idea about the danger to Adhya’s life. The mother employs Adhya as an English teacher in her school. Sadly, the plan is foiled as Krishnakant’s enemies find out about Adhya’s location. Meanwhile, from Kandla Port, a consignment with a prestigious seal is on its way to Burma. The men are told to go via Tinsukia and kidnap Aadhya. They do so but the truck is forced to stop as Deva attacks the team while trying to save Aadhya. However, it’s forbidden to stop the truck with the seal as it belongs to Khansaar, an autonomous, lawless territory. Vardharaja (Prithviraj Sukumaran) of Khansaar is informed about this fiasco and that his childhood friend Deva is the one who committed the ‘crime’. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Movie Review: Salaar

Prashanth Neel’s story is detailed and quite imaginative. At the same time, the mass moments are well taken care of. Prashanth Neel’s screenplay is massy and entertaining. He uses the KGF template to heighten the tension and commercial moments to give the audience their money’s worth. However, there are far too many characters in Khansaar and it’s sure to confuse viewers. Dr Suri, Riya Mukherjee and Maneesh’s Hindi dialogues are sharp.

Prashanth Neel’s direction is exemplary. To give credit where it’s due, he has riddled the film with interesting characters and a fascinating lawless world. The depiction is superb and fit for a big-screen experience. His USP is that he adds to the scene by having parallel sequences which are as tension-filled as the principal sequence. The way he switches between the two sequences while establishing a common factor between them is seen to be believed. He also smartly doesn’t let Deva attack initially so that when he does, the impact is manifold. This happens in the second half as well, where the audience will go in a frenzy.

Movie Review Salaar

On the flipside, the biggest issue is that it’s extremely complicated. Apart from too many players in Khansaar, they have their politics and many of them are related to each other. The audience will find it difficult to get the hang of the complete picture and also the conflict. In fact, the whole ‘Ceasefire’ track is not easy to decipher. The twist in the climax is intended to amaze the audience and that doesn’t happen. Also, the pace is slow and the scenes of suffering go on and on. This formula worked well in KGF – CHAPTER 1 [2018] but here, the impact is limited.

Speaking of performances, Prabhas could have done better but his performance is much better than his works in ADIPURUSH [2023], RADHE SHYAM [2022], SAAHO [2018] etc. He looks at ease in doing action and his starry screen presence is enough for the mass audience to root for him. Prithviraj Sukumaran has a late entry but rocks the show. Shruti Haasan is hardly there and is just fine. Easwari Rao leaves a mark. Mime Gopi and the actor playing Krishnkant are quite good. Jagapathi Babu (Raja Mannar), Sriya Reddy (Radha Rama Mannar), Ramachandra Raju (Rudra) and Tinnu Anand (Gaikwad) deliver fine performances. John Vijay (Ranga) hams. The actors playing Selfie, Vishnu and Bharwa are okay.

Ravi Basrur’s music is soulful but both the songs ‘Sooraj Hi Chhaon Banke’ and ‘Qisson Mein’ won’t have a shelf life. Ravi Basrur’s background score is not too loud and works.

Bhuvan Gowda’s cinematography is first-rate. Anbariv’s action is very violent and disturbing. T L Venkatachalapathi’s production design is well researched. Thota Vijay Bhaskar’s costumes are stylish. Prime Focus’s VFX is top-class. Ujwal Kulkarni’s editing is stylish and could have been sharper as the film drags in certain places.

On the whole, SALAAR: PART 1 – CEASEFIRE boasts of whistle-worthy moments that will be loved by the masses. However, the excessive violence, a needlessly complicated second half and a limited showcasing due to DUNKI will affect its box office prospects to an extent.

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