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Palasa 1978 Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, March 6, 2020 • Telugu ]
Palasa 1978 Review
Sudhas Media
Rakshith , Nakshthra, Raghu kunche, Vijay varma , jana, Mirchi Madhavi, Praveen, Thiru,Lakshman Meesala, Raja rao, Shruthi reyan,Tanmayi bolt
Karuna Kumar
Dhyan Atluri
Raghu Kunche

'Palasa 1978' hit the screens today.  Here we present its review.  


Mohan Rao (Rakshit) and Ranga Rao (Thiruveer of 'George Reddy' fame) are all-weather siblings hailing from Palasa, Srikakulam. Back in the late 1970s, they crossed paths with their upper-caste oppressors, prominently Linga Murthy (Janardhan).

Driven by threatening circumstances, they were drawn into politics.  In comes Guru Murthy (Raghu Kunche), Linga Murthy's rival sibling to fish in troubled waters.  

As the story progresses, shifting loyalties and violence thicken the plot.  Can the good brothers destroy the evil brothers?


Writer-director Karuna Kumar may well have modelled 'Palasa' on the lines of Pa.Ranjith's movies as far as lacing social commentary with the actual story is concerned.  Caste-based oppression and the unspeakable horrors of hierarchy in Indian society are undeniable.  This film speaks up for the oppressed Dalits, and provides both an Amebdkarite solution (welcome in every respect) as well as a radical path (incompatible with values of modern society).  

The initial scenes build a tempo around an unseen character named Bairaagi, a lower-caste muscleman who has a cult status in the village.  The humour in the open defecation scenes is organic.  From constantly reminding the audience of the arrogance and inhumanity of upper-caste oppressors to passingly referring to the political arangetram of the legendary NT Rama Rao, the film does it all with honesty.

The lawless hamlet that is Palasa witnesses raw violence between members of the upper and lower castes.  Characters joke around but they are not self-aware of their sense of humour.  

The two lead men hail from a family of street singers and their folk songs are integral to the film.  The scene where Mohan Rao successfully lifts the mythic Bairaagi stone is a throwback to the 'Baahubali' moment where Mahendra (Prabhas) lifts the Shiv Linga.  If anything, the scene in this film is momentous.  The identity crisis of the brothers (they were artists and now call themselves rowdies) is subtle.  

The film doesn't treat the revolt of the lower caste men against brute force in an escapist manner.  The character of a cop named Sebastian speaks in practical terms. The film preaches that rebelling against macabre men can lead you on a path strewn with thorns, grey ideologies and worse.  The one Naxalite shown in the film is actually a clueless individual who is hardly ideal.  

While the last 20 minutes are remarkable, the run-up to this segment could have been much more gripping.  The flavour of some scenes looks repetitive after a point.  Conspiracies and counter-attacks could have been narrated in a better way.

In a film full of praiseworthy performances, Thiruveer nails it.  As we iterated in our 'George Reddy' review (and we would like to repeat ourselves), he is here to stay for a long time.  Rakshit proves his talent, and music director Raghu Kunche is excellent in the role of a calm elitist who is evil nevertheless. Janardhan and Nakshatra, Laxman Meesala and Vijay Rama Raju - they all are earnest, much like the film itself.  

Raghu Kunche's BGM is splendid and apt.  It sucks you into the drama and makes the film all the more intense than what it is already.  Vincent Arul's cinematography is superb.


'Palasa 1978' is a heart-rending social-crime drama that comes with emotional gravitas and sometimes edge-of-the-seat moments.  Apt dialogues are an asset, so also its story, climax and technical values.

Rating: 3 / 5.0

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