Sye Raa - Movie Review

Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 13:00
Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy (2019)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy
Cast: Megastar Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Jagapathi Babu,  Nayanthara, Kiccha Sudeep, Vijay Sethupathi, Tamannaah, Niharika Brahmaji, and others
Written by: Paruchuri Brothers
Dialogues: Sai Madhav Burra
Music Director: Amit Trivedi
Cinematographer: Rathnavelu
Editor: A Sreekar Prasad
Production Designer: Rajeevan Nambiar
VFX Supervisor: Kamal Kannan
Costumes: Sushmita Konidela Anju Modi Utthara Menon 
Stunts: Greg Powell Lee Whittaker Ram-Laxman
Produced by: Ram Charan
Banner: Konidela Production
Screenplay and directed by: Surender Reddy
Release Date: October 2, 2019
CBFC Rating: UA

What’s it about?

In the 1840s, Majjari Narasimha Reddy, a Palegor of Renadu region, gets angry upon knowing that British authorities are forcing people to pay the tax on the crops despite the region facing drought for years. He inspires people to revolt against the British and tells them not to pay the taxes for two years. But other Palegors refuse to take confrontation with the British. How Narasimha Reddy brings change in them and unites them and also creates an army of common people to lead a rebellion against the British is the main of the story. 


‘Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy’ is based on the life of Narasimha Reddy, a Palegor from Uyyalawada village (in today’s Kurnool district) who led a rebellion against the British East India company in 1846. This is a history, not fiction. Palegors are administrative governors of some villages. Narasimha Reddy was at the center of uprising using his band of an army of people. He was killed by the British. This story was not known much outside the Rayalaseema region. Fascinated by Narasimha Reddy’s story and his heroic battle against the British, Chiranjeevi has been dreaming to make a film on him from the early 2000s. ‘Sye Raa’ is the result of his dream. 

The film based on the basic script by the famous writer's duo Parachuri Brothers is partly factual, partly fictional. They have taken incidents from his film and have added drama for the commercial purpose. The basic script of Parachuri Brothers is simple but Surender Reddy’s screenplay is effective in the end. 

Till the pre-interval scenes appear, the first half lacks any high. It goes on with usual sequences that appear in a patriotic film. When Narasimha Reddy declares that he would not allow his people to pay the taxes and throws a challenge to a British officer, the film turns to a high pitch. The interval bang declaring that war begins sets the mood perfectly. The second half picks up as the story moves fast with a series of battles. How Narasimha Reddy builds an army with people (Praja Yuddham) is shown in a very interesting manner. It reminds us of the sequence of Aamir Khan building a cricket team with local villagers in ‘Lagaan’ to take on the British. 

Some other scenes also stand out like Jagapathi Babu’s betrayal, Tamannah’s ‘O Sye Raa’ sequence, etc. But the best part of the entire movie is its climax episode. Chiranjeevi’s dialogues have made a huge impact. The final scene is clap worthy. Even in the first half, the attack on the treasury of the British is a hoot.

Lavish production values, superb making and a story of unsung freedom warrior are the main assets of this film. However, the makers have taken many cinematic liberties that include making war scenes like a battle. In real life, Narasimha Reddy didn’t have a huge battalion to take on the British. There is also no proper arc for many characters except for the Jagapahi Babu. Plus, Anushka appearing as Rani Laxmibai and telling the story of Narasimha Reddy to her army lacks a believable factor.

On the downside, the director has used the first hour mainly for establishing the characters and other routine developments. This portion is important to the story but is not handled well.Also, too many liberties have been taken.

Megastar Chiranjeevi delivers excellent performance and owns this challenging character. Due to limitations of his age, he is not effective in action stunts but emotional scenes and the final portion are a testimony to his terrific acting. This is his best performance in a long time in his career. The film has a huge ensemble cast of Amitabh Bachchan (excellent), Sudeep (adds nothing much), Vijay Sethupathi (forgettable character), Jagapathi Babu (effective), Sai Chand (superb), Nayanthara (template role), and Tamannah (good).

The film is made with rich production values and a high budget. Cinematography by Rathnavelu is a major achievement. He captured war sequences with great finesse. Rajeevan’s production design is top class. Background score and ‘Oh Sye Raa’ song is an asset. Graphics are not that exceptional. Action sequences are topnotch. 

Direction by Surender Reddy is good and some scenes are exceptionally helmed. Production values are superior

Bottom-line: ‘Sye Raa’, is an untold story of unsung hero Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy. This is a well-made period drama with a high scale, emotional climax. War sequences are its highpoint. Also, Chiranjeevi’s performance is another highlight. The second half and emotional climax have made this film quite a good watch despite uneven first half.