The Telugu film Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire is directed by Prashanth Neel and stars Prabhas, Prithviraj, Shruthi Haasan, Tinu Anand, Eshwari Rao, Jagapathi Babu, Sriya Reddy, Garuda Ram

Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire review

3.0 /5
Pros:
  • Action set pieces
  • Prabhas’ screen presence
  • Consistency in tone

Cons:

  • Surface level characterization
  • Longish
  • Contrived subplots

The producer Hombale Films and the director Prashanth Neel with their KGF Chapter 1 (2018) and KGF Chapter 2 (2022) attained pan-Indian popularity. The KGF franchise, with its moody and dark setting, has set the benchmark for action setpieces. Its nation-wide success has also created a template that many others are following zealously. 

Little wonder then the original creator of the same is sticking to the same.  You can’t blame Prashanth. It has got him back-to-back successes. So why should he try and change the formula? 

Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire, in spirit and sensibility, doesn’t make any bones about being KGF 3. If anything it amps them up with two bigger stars — Prabhas and Prithviraj — leading the pack. Here too, the setting is dystopian with menacing men who don’t break sweat with their own oozing blood or in making others spill the same. 

As it is almost a rule in such films, it begins with the hero leading a quiet, fun life. But in the fullness of time, it comes to light that he has a past. A violent and destructive one. He has to go back to it now as the situation demands it. 

Here Deva/Devaratha (Prabhas) lives with his mom (Easwari Rao) somewhere in the hinterlands of Assam. Arrives in their midst is Aadhya (Shruthi Haasan). She is being pursued by Radha Sharma’s (Shriya Reddy) men. She hails from Khansar whose ruler Rajamannar (Jagapathi Babu) wants his son Varadha Rajamannar (Prithviraj Sukumaran) to take over. But Radha Sharma, Varadha’s sister, has other plans. The situation is rife that only Deva can save Varadha. Why? What is the equation between the two men? Why did they drift apart? And will Deva return to the dark and dangerous Khansar?

This is largely the chunk of Salaar, which embraces Game of Thrones idioms in the latter half as the battles and plotting take center stage. Prabhas, with his sculpted body, fits into the brawny role well. There is no real need for him to emote m, but his Bahubali-meets-Game-of-Thrones act is more than adequate. Prithviraj as his enigmatic friend is effective. His screen presence is an adequate foil to that of Prabhas’. The rest of the cast have nothing much to do except being a prop to the action set pieces that are always round the corner. They are robust and rollicking, but beyond a point they get tiresome, especially because you know that no real force can take apart the main man.

Aside from the painfully and diligently choreographed stunts and fights, the rest of the film doesn’t attempt much. The characters have no real depth and there is no real soul to the exchanges. But this is the complaint that we have against most of the films of this type (and there are many).

Prashanth Neel is under no illusion. He is not after much insight into human condition or artistic exploration. He knows how to create the mood for a dystopian offering and sticks to that. In that sense, Salaar delivers what it sets out to. Whether this patent can be sustained for more is a question that only Salaar’s promised Part 2 can answer. 

Where can you watch Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire in the UAE?

Neru is currently playing in cinemas across the UAE. You can book your tickets at VOX Cinemas or Reel Cinemas.

Balakumar Kuppuswamy
Balakumar Kuppuswamy

An engineer-turned-journalist, K Balakumar’s career began in print publications as a sports writer. That also opened doors for other journalistic avenues like films, music, finance, technology and politics, which nobody can escape in India. After 30 yrs in mainstream journalism, now a freelancer for various digital publications.

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