V (Movie Review)

V Movie Review

V should have had a theatrical release. Not because it is visual spectacle deserving of the silver screen, but because theatres can be breeding ground for mediocre content. This movie is only slightly above mediocre and hence, might have thrived in the single screen environment. In the OTT landscape where the best of content is available at the touch of a button or a simple voice command, V fails to make a mark.

A Letdown or a Bold Experiment?

It starts with promise as Sudheer Babu engages in the introductory fight scene reserved for stars, especially in Nani’s 25th movie. It initially gives the impression of being a novel attempt but turns out to be a letdown. If you’ve seen enough Telugu movies, you can predict the plot’s direction within the first 10 minutes. When a mainstream Telugu star portrays a completely negative character, improbable things occur (watch the movie to understand the joke). Sudheer Babu handles a decently written role well, embodying the commercial hero package that Tollywood needs but often neglects. Nivetha plays a variation of the “loosu ponnu” character, and her interest in criminal psychology doesn’t add depth to the role.

Aditi Rao Hydari plays the typical flashback heroine role, a character recycled from the late ’90s that hasn’t gone out of stock. Tanikella Bharani’s performance involves overacting and praising with platitudes, fitting into the stereotypical mold of senior police officers. Shrikant Iyengar, RGV’s latest muse, has a brief role as a garage mechanic, standing out with his accurate portrayal of Hyderabad’s old city slang, avoiding hyperbole.

Mohan Krishna Indraganti’s “V”: Lost Potential and the Quest for Darker Cinema

Nani disappoints. Although V might have seemed tempting on paper, the final product falls short. When in killing mode, Nani’s dialogue delivery becomes irritating, making you wonder if you accidentally turned down the playback speed. The overall writing appears lazy, with forced-in references like ‘internal bleeding’ in Kashmir, seemingly fitting current emotions but lacking relevance to the plot. Routine build-up dialogues praising the hero feel out of place and distract from the thriller’s main focus. Nani’s interactions with co-passengers follow an identical pattern in two different scenes, creating a sense of déjà vu.

Does the movie have flaws? Yes. Can they be overlooked? Hell, no. Not when the novel coronavirus bomb is ticking, and every moment counts. Getting disappointed with a movie directed by one of Tollywood’s most promising directors and headlined by the poster boy of entertaining movies borders on a criminal offense.

A Promising Start that Fizzles Out – Analysis of Nani’s 25th Movie

V is not a patch on any of director Mohan Krishna Indraganti’s earlier work, including the national award-winning Grahanam and the runaway hit Astha Chemma. Nani’s portrayal of negative shades in Mohan’s earlier movie Gentleman was far superior. Certain scenes and dialogues offer glimpses of Mohan’s talent, like the Viserys Targaryen reference from Game of Thrones, but those moments are lost in the overall generic writing.

All one can do is hope for theaters to reopen, allowing content to be compartmentalized for specific platforms. Filmmakers could then design content according to the platform, potentially resulting in more interesting content. One might wonder if, without the commercial considerations that come with a big star, V could have been much edgier and darker.

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About the Author

Sandeep Padhi
Captive of the 24 frames and admirer of the written word.  If it is not on the silver screen or on the pages of a paperback, it might as well not exist.

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