'Peddanna' is currently out in the theatres as a Diwali release. Since it is a Rajinikanth film, mass audiences are expected to receive it well in Tamil. But does it work for the Telugu audience? What to expect from the movie? Here we tell you.
Veeranna aka Peddanna (Rajinikanth) is a virtuous strongman in a small village. He has a doting sister in Kanakam (Keerthy Suresh), who needs her brother to come to her rescue whenever she is in small trouble. When the brother decides to get her married to a doctor, Kanakam delivers a blow by eloping ahead of her wedding. The good brother is shell-shocked, but he immediately regains balance because he has to save Kanakam from danger to her life. Why is Kanakam in danger? Who are the antagonists played by Jagapathi Babu and Abhimanyu Singh? Answers to these questions are found as the story progresses.
Rajinikanth is dashing in the action scenes. As the trailer showed, he is irresistible with his unassuming style. His sentimentality is charming as well. Keerthy Suresh is the routine damsel in distress. She is not in a glamorous role and she doesn't have a proper lead actor going for her. That makes a lot of difference.
Nayanthara is seen as a lawyer who gets wooed by Veeranna. She is glamorous. Kushbu and Meena have funny roles as the hero's naughty cousins. Prakash Raj has a tested arc, while Jagapathi Babu is average. Abimanyu Singh is unbearable. Soori and others have boring roles.
Vetri Palanisamy's cinematography is one technical element that is respectable, if not delectable. D Imman's music is suffused with Kollywood nativity. Even so, the song 'Hali Hali' is wow. Ruben's editing and Milan's art direction are adequate.
Given that a lot hinges on the action scenes, Dhilip Subbarayan's stunts should have been superb. But they are routine.
Director Siva is a star filmmaker in Kollywood. You can say that he is Kollywood's VV Vinayak and Gopichand Malineni rolled into one. As critics often say, his films come with a mix of old-fashioned sentimentality and unrealistic action set pieces. These very elements are difficult to withstand in 'Peddanna', whose Tamil version is titled 'Annaatthe'.
The audience usually expect a lot from Rajini's movies. That's why you can't get away with showing the kind of elements that are there in this movie. Abhimanyu Singh's villainy doesn't give goosebumps. The scene shifts to Kolkata from a Telugu village and the elements that are seen in the Kolkata segment feel too routine.
The entire film is a celebration of age-old templates. The scenes involving Rajini and his two middle-aged, female cousins are nothing new. If they work, it's because of the casting. Prakash Raj's character undergoes a transformation and the male protagonist gets impressed immediately. You get a feeling that he trusts a changed baddie more than a greedy eater.
In our movies, when there is a song before the wedding of the hero's sister, you have to conclude that some danger is around. After a boisterous song, 'Peddanna' wades into a hyper-routine template. The action blocks are not exciting at all. There is no power in the punchlines, barring Rajini's style.
'Peddanna' is a template-driven movie with nothing exciting going for it.