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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

One of the most awaited multi-starrers of the year – Devadas, starring Nagarjuna and Nani has finally been released. Deva (Nagarjuna) is a mafia don who comes to the city after ten years to avenge his godfather’s death. Dasu (Nani) is an innocent doctor who is reprimanded for his honesty and ends up opening a small clinic. After Deva is shot, he suddenly meets Dasu,, and Deva soon enlists him to be his “mafia doctor.” What happens next in their relationship and how they overcome their obstacles makes up the rest of the story.

Performances drive this movie. Nagarjuna is stellar as a don, bringing swagger and charm into every scene. He especially excels in the top-notch chemistry he enjoys with Nani throughout the movie. Nani overshadows everyone else in the movie with his brilliant performance. His comic timing and the requisite seriousness in other parts of the movie reveal his true talent as an actor. Rashmika Mandanna as the actress has nothing much to offer in her role. Kunal Kapoor, normally a powerhouse of acting talent, is reduced to being a mere prop as the villain. Vennela Kishore and Naveen Chandra are adequate in their supporting roles, including a cameo by the veteran singer SPB.

Director Sriram Aditya should be lauded for writing a script that suits both stars – Nagarjuna and Nami, balancing the amount of screen time they each get. However, in the process, he prepares a wafer-thin script, which would have fallen flat had he not laced the movie with comic entertainment throughout. It is the laughs that power this movie through. As the director, Sriram Aditya is adequate. The first thirty minutes seem to be choppy and unnecessary with Nani’s scenes remaining as the only highlight. After Nagarjuna’s intro into the movie, the film flips to another level, with entertainment aplenty through the bromance of Nani-Nagarjuna. The songs help with the entertainment, and by the intermission, you are rolling with laughter. The second half continues in this hysterical tone, with some of the best comedy scenes in the movie. The problem, however, lies in the screenplay. When you’re not laughing, you’re often bored, as the scenes with the mafia seem like huge speed breakers which break the enjoyment. Sriram Aditya couldn’t effectively balance the seriousness of the mafia storyline and the comedic side of the movie, which results in boredom whenever the movie tries to get serious. The leading duo lift a few scenes in the second half of the movie, but after that, the pre-climax portions of the movie are mundane and predictable, with no emotional connect.  

Mani Sharma’s music acts as an asset in the first half;  cinematography by Sainudeen is very rich. Editing is lackluster, as many scenes could have been edited even further.

Devadas is a  movie to watch for laughs. The bromance of Nani-Nagarjuna shoulders this movie completely.. Plus points are the constant comedic scenes and the leading actors’ acting skills. On the flip side, a weak script and an uneven balance of comedy and seriousness hinder the movie. On the whole though, Devadas is a hilarious multi-starrer that clicks!!