Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Bimbisara Movie Review : Kalyan Ram exudes brilliance in this epic fantasy tale of transformation and time travel
Review: From vittalacharya stunts and mesmerising narration in olden-day folklore movies like Pathala Bhairavi to more modern-day epics, like Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari, Bhairava Dweepam and Bahubali, Telugu cinema has come a long way in telling grand fantasy stories. Bimbisara falls in the same zone and tries to narrate an epic tale in a grand manner. The film probably has all the elements of a commercial blockbuster with all the departments coming together. The director tried to integrate emotion, action and comedy and, for the most part, succeeded in coming up with a wholesome package.
The story begins in 500 BC. Bimbisara, a powerful king of the Trikarthala kingdom, is powerful, relentless and has no mercy. He is a personification of the evilest king who would stop at nothing and spare no one until his goal was reached. After enjoying unchecked power and seeing success in everything he does, arrogant Bimbisara decides to conquer everything in his path. However, while dealing with a small group of traditional ayurvedic practitioners at Dhanvantri village, his army’s setback angers him, and in his bid to silence and instil fear in the minds of people, he destroys the whole town and kills its head, including a young girl. How this cruel act comes back to haunt him has to be watched on the screen.
The first half of the film establishes the king and his kingdom. The filmmakers wonderfully moulded it into a visual treat — visual effects and background score that will appeal to the senses. Elements like the elevation and projection of the evil king Bimbisara, his lofty interacting scenes with his ministers in the court from his throne, luxurious and grand sets and the alluring song featuring Warina Hussain score commercial brownie points. Chota K Naidu’s cinematography and MM Keeravani’s music composition are top-notch. Nandamuri Kalyan Ram proves his metal with this film and portrays all the emotions that this craft demands.
However, the second half, while still being decent, could have been better in comparison to what the first half achieved. For example, the screenplay could have been more engaging, traversing between timelines could’ve been handled better, and some might observe continuation gaps in the timelines. In addition, while Kalyan Ram is a treat to watch and owns his characters, the other actors get limited screen time.
Catherine Tresa, Samyuktha Menon, Prakash Raj, Warina Hussain, Vennela Kishore, Srinivas Reddy, Brahmaji, Sai Kiran, Ayyappa P. Sharma and others have done a great job within their limitations. A word of appreciation to the entire technical team — director of photography Chota K Naidu, director of music MM Keeravani, editor Tammi Raju, VFX producer Anil Paduri, song composer Chirrantan Bhatt, art director Kiran Kumar Manne, stunt directors Venkat and Ram Krishan, dialogue writer Vasudev Muneppagari, script associates Sreedhar Ganta and Nimmagadda Srikanth, lyricist MM Keeravani, Ramajogayya Sastri, Sreemani, Varikuppala Yadagiri, choreographers Shobi, Ravhu, Vijay, Yashwath and colourist Shiva Kumar BVR.
The Telugu fantasy action film written and directed by debutant Mallidi Vashist will surprise the audience with its grandeur, power-packed performances, epic background score and fantastic visuals. The movie’s first half is a runaway hit, and the second half could have been better. Kalyan Ram as Bimbisara was brilliant — probably his best performance to date.
– Paul Nicodemus