In a sense, Balakrishna has painted himself into a corner. He is a man of mass films and such movies have to, almost mandatorily, carry certain elements. And to spin a script with all these ingredients calls for certain compromise and ingenuity.
In Veerabhadra, you get to see all these and the film would seem to match the expectations of his fans. Though in terms of story, the sister sentiment is nothing new. The scriptwriter and the director have fused together some intriguing suspense and all the mass materials to deliver a watchable flick. And Balakrishna himself looks relaxed and delivers an acceptable performance. The stiffness that we saw in him in Vijayendra Verma and Allari Pidugu seem gone.
Murali (Balakrishna) is pursued by the brothers of Peddaraju (Sayaji Shinde), who is cooling his heels in jail. We are not told why they are look after him. Murali is the loving brother of a handicapped woman, whom he carries to the college everyday. Of course, Murali has fun escapades with a girl in his neighborhood (Sada). And slowly but surely we are let into the past of Murali and as to what happened between him and the arch villain. It had something to do with Peddaraju's sister (Tanushree Dutta). And in the end, all is well, and you know well.
It is Balakrishna's show all the way. Doing a character with of lighter shades, he looks very convincing. Of course, there are his trademark punch dialogues and revels in them. He has fun with both Sada and Tanushree. He also unveils his comedy repertoire, something that had been lying in 'disuse' for long. Of course, his dance movements (some of them new) have his fans going delirious.
Sada has a compact, albeit limited, role. She is almost a tomboy and has her share of fun with the hero. Tanushree looks fabulous. She looks stunning in dance sequences and she also looks an uncomplicated actress.
Sayaji Shine is as ever impressive as the villain. He gets vital nuances right. Prakash Raj has nothing much to do. The comedy track of Brahmanandam and Co is passable.
Mani Sharma's music is just right for such movies. High rhythms and tempo, it gives the right elevation. The re-recording is also okay. The fights of Peter Haines and the camera work of Ram Prasad also deserve a mention.
A S Ravikumar Chowdary, like a master mathematician, knows the formula well. He sticks to that and has got the sums right.