'Acharya', produced by Konidela Production Company and Matinee Entertainment, was released today in theatres.
Dharmasthali is a temple town where the inhabitants of the sacred Padaghattam are subjected to abuse and torture by Basava (Sonu Sood), an unscrupulous head who aims to join politics. It falls on Acharya (Chiranjeevi), a Naxalite, to restore order in the town in the face of threats posed by Rathod (Jisshu Sengupta). Dharmasthali has a hoary past, especially with its Gurukul student Siddha (Ram Charan) daring to go against Rathod's brother (Saurav Lokesh). Will Dharmasthali ever be liberated?
Chiranjeevi's acting chops have been used ineffectively. His grace comes to the fore in the songs despite the fact that his vintage steps have gone missing (unavoidable, given his old age). The scenes lack a punch and it's inevitable that Chiru's performance is affected negatively.
After delivering a career-defining performance in 'Roudram Ranam Rudhiram', Charan sinks his teeth into the character of a gentle Siddha, whose rage is informed by righteousness. The chemistry he and Pooja Hegde share is passable. The 'Radhe Shyam' actress doesn't add any value; she gest to mouth bland lines.
Given that the actor Sonu Sood hasn't been properly fleshed out by any Tollywood filmmaker in a long while, his acting in 'Acharya' should have been memorable. He is boring to the core. Ajay and Shatru are unbearable, especially the latter with his minor disability. Vennela Kishore, Nasser, Raghu Babu, Kishore and Tanikella Bharani don't make a mark.
Saurav Lokesh is better than Jisshu Sengupta and that's not great news.
Thirunavukkarasu's cinematography is a failure. Production designer Suresh Selvarajan and the cinematographer suck at making the Padaghattam/Dharmasthali backdrop come alive in a mellowed fashion. The film doesn't push the envelope in terms of visual patterns employed.
Mani Sharma gives a 'Laahe Laahe' fillip to the musical quality of the film, but the rest of the songs are not out of the ordinary. 'Saana Kastam', the special number shot on Chiru and Regina Cassandra, looks better because the scenes preceding it are so very dull. 'Bhale Bhale Banjara' doesn't hit the ball out of the park despite the double starry presence. The dance choreography (Sekhar VJ, Dinesh, Prem Rakshith) is okayish.
Navin Nooli's editing and Durga Prasad Ketha's VFX supervision are ordinary.
Director Koratala Siva is not exactly known for staging novel fights. But the action sequences in 'Acharya' are flat even by his standards. The Ram-Laxman duo and Vijay have composed the most unoriginal fights conceivable for Chiru and Charan. One fight scene works and that's because of the interspersing of action and a sloka, not because of the action choreography.
The first half is about Acharya learning about the crisis faced by Padaghattam. The main villains, played by Sonu and Jisshu, come and go. They keep uttering lame dialogues, constantly making their evil intentions clear. It gets repetitive after a point. You start missing a romantic track, however silly it might have been had Kajal Aggarwal's scenes not been axed.
At the interval point, Ram Charan's entry is teased but we don't buy the story beyond a point. The Naxalism scenes feature Satyadev Kancharana, Banerjee and others. They barely register.
At least the climax fight should have been out of the world. Even if it was a mere Megastar movie and not a two-hero movie, the climax would be unpardonably bland.
The dialogues are lifeless. The romantic track between Siddha and Neelambari is irritating, especially when comedian Praveen makes an entry as a cameo. The gun battles are too lazy in the forest scenes.
'Acharya' is stale, spiritless, and unenergetic. An epic dud from Koratala Siva it is.