'Mister', directed by Sreenu Vaitla, releases today. Here we tell you what is in store in the movie.
Chay (Varun Tej) is a happy-go-lucky guy living in Spain with his relatives. A mistaken identity at the airport results in him reaching out to Meera (Hebah Patel), with whom he falls in love at first site.
So far, so good. All hell breaks loose for Chay when he comes to know that Meera is in love with one Siddharth (Prince), who ditches her in the last minute. A heart-broken Meera falls back on Chay for emotional support. Chay, who has this typical hero's quality of going to any extent to solve others' problems, takes it upon himself to bring smile back on Meera's face. In the process, the hero bumps into Chandramukhi (Lavanya Tripathi), a village belle who has no idea what a mobile phone is, and a bunch of quirky characters.
If you can count the number of characters the film restlessly introduces from time to time, you are the real Mister. And if you don't feel weird once a royal family is introduced a few minutes into the second half, you are the real Mister Surreal.
Here is what probably happened. Gopi Mohan told Vaitla a story which had no element of the descendants of the Vijayanagara Empire. Vaitla thought that we have had enough of those artificial North Indian-looking desperadoes and zamindari villains. He always wanted to introduce characters from another world. He saw an opportunity in this story line. Murali Sharma, Shafi and Nagineedu agreed to play Kannada-speaking legatees of Krishna Devaraya, royally living in a tribal universe of their own.
'Mister', in the process, proves at least one thing: It's better to have artificial characters than bizarre characters in a puzzling set-up.
Even if you are feeling too sick, please read on. There are palace intrigues, too. You read it right. Then there is capital punishment, a sword which comes with a history of its own, a fearsome wig that the King (Murali Sharma) wears, a hero who mistakes death sentence for royal applause even though the Kannada-language verdict is almost half-Telugu. And then there is an item song the night before the scheduled execution as if it's some fantasy film we had bargained for.
Apart from malevolent characters in the palace, there is a royal joker (Master Bharath is now Mister Bharath) who punctures the tempo like a faithless traitor. A goggles-wearing angry young man (played by Shafi) in the palace completes the circus.
In the first half, you have a parody of the 'Oopiri' track, with Raghu Babu, Tejasvi and Srinivas Reddy playing Nagarjuna, Tamannah and Karthi, respectively. A pointless track, much like the track involving Priyadarshi, Sathya and others in the second half. Prudhvi as a bland filmmaker fails to make the cut. Sathyam Rajesh as the hero's sidekick passes muster. Shakalaka Shankar as a Gandhian in a village full of Gandhians was perhaps meant to announce the descent of 'Mister' into an unreal world altogether.
These tracks wouldn't have seemed that too much to take had the director distilled the love story better. If the ambivalent Hebah is left unattended for a long time, the hero's character is not explored adequately, lost as it is in the comedy tracks that border on the hypnotic.
While Vaitla consciously avoided action sequences to the extent he could, he couldn't avoid one too many sub-plots. The characters of Nasser (as Pichayya Naidu) here, some Ravi Vadayar there, Harish Uttaman don't make a mark. Lavanya Tripathi's characterization leaves much to be desired.
With so many baddies out to get the hero, the film should have been the most hero-oriented. Ironically, in a film where so many henchmen are hunting for him, that's not to be. Varun's character seems to lose gravitas in the second half.
Varun Tej carries himself commendably well in sentimental scenes. His comic timing needs improvement for sure. He looks good in the songs, which otherwise have no much takeaway. Hebah Patel is indeed convincing in the role of a damsel in distress. Lavanya's costumes make sense after her background is revealed. Probably, her pained childhood could have been better leveraged to better elevate her performance.
Mickey J Meyer's songs and BGM are sub-par. The cinematography by KV Guhan is good.
'Mister' throws up a formulaic story line. A stretched narration, its much relied-upon comedy falls flat. The royal element was a recipe for misery.