Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire Movie Review: Prabhas and Prashanth Neel’s Deliver an Epic Cinematic Spectacle (PC. Hombale Films X)
Director: Prashanth Neel
Mold: Prabhas, Shruti Haasan, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Jagapathi Babu
Since its announcement, Prashanth Neel’s latest film with Prabhas, Salaar has created hype like never before. The film boasts of an ensemble cast that includes Prithviraj Sukumaran, Shruti Haasan, Jagapathi Babu, Easwari Rao and many others in prominent roles, which have heightened the anticipation of fans. But does the film live up to all the hype it has received? Let’s find out!
Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire Plot
Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire talks about the relationship between Prabhas Devaratha’s character and Prithviraj Varadharaja Mannar’s character. Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire focuses on the establishment of the fictional world as well as the depth of the relationship that the two main characters have. The film revolves around a power struggle to rule the kingdom. The film is nothing short of an epic, with friendship, trust, betrayal, mind games, politics and more playing a huge role among the many factions that inhabit the fictional city.
Additionally, Shruti Haasan’s character Aadhya plays an important role, acting as a link between Khansaar and the audience. The film leaves several questions unanswered, with the promise that they will be answered in the second part.
What Works in Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire
Prashanth Neel had earlier mentioned that Salaar is a remake of his first film Ugramm. It’s clear from the very first sequence that the remake is far better than what the director had done almost a decade before. The film is definitely a cinephile’s paradise, with the visuals acting as an early Christmas present.
The world building in Salaar is absolutely fantastic, with the lifestyle, rules and regulations, politics, religion, rituals, beliefs and more being successfully conveyed to the audience. Prashanth Neel has done a fantastic job with the narrative structure as the film moves along seamlessly. The dialogues of the film were also near perfect with every dialogue being calculated, rhythmic and adding value to the narrative of the film.
Additionally, Bhuvan Gowda’s camera work deserves a special mention. The cinematography in the film adds a whole different layer to it, with lighting and color palettes being used as a means of communicating with the audience.
Anbariv’s action direction was a visual treat that would have any cinephile on the edge of their seats. Both cinematography and action direction were perfectly complemented by Ujwal Kulkarni’s editing. The quick cuts had the added benefit of making the action sequences look more realistic.
Finally, the film’s visual effects and set design were essentially what brought the world of Khansaar to life. The visual effects in particular were realistic and matched the world that Prashanth Neel had created.
Watch the movie trailer below:
What’s Not Working in Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire
The film’s biggest drawback is its running time. The film is a staggering 2 hours and 52 minutes long, with many slow motion sequences used to enhance the impact the scenes have on the audience. However, this fails to some extent as several scenes in the film feel tired. The sequences sometimes make it seem like the emotional connection of the scene is forced on the audience, when the director had already done a great job.
Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the film is a remake of Prashanth Neel’s first film Ugramm. The opening 15 minutes of the film follow the exact same narrative as the 2014 film, with little to no difference. While it doesn’t hurt the film overall, it does act as a distraction for someone who has already watched Ugramm. In fact, there are several scenes throughout the film where Salaar feels like an amalgamation of Ugramm and KGF. The uncanny resemblance might even make one wonder if Prashanth Neel sticks to a given formula for success.
Ravi Basrur’s music certainly does its job, complementing a scene perfectly, bringing an emotional value to it. However, unlike what we saw in the KGF Franchise, the music does not elevate the scenes, while the film seemed to offer the potential to do so. It does its job, nothing more, nothing less.
All that being said, it’s important to mention that none of this acts as a barrier to Salaar’s visual experience.
The performances at Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire
Prashanth Neel had mentioned in an interview that a star is a star and no matter how many of their films fail at the box office, one success is enough to bring them back. Salaar is that movie for Prabhas.
The Baahubali actor gave possibly his best performance since the SS Rajamouli film. Prabhas’ character Devarata aka Deva is one with plenty of emotional depth. The character has a heavy story, which Prabhas has conveyed perfectly. All actions, all movements are calculated and executed to perfection by the actor. In addition, the action sequences also deserve a special mention, with the actor successfully challenging the audience. It would not be an exaggeration to mention that Salaar is a Prabhas film and the actor definitely steals the show.
Prithviraj Sukumaran’s portrayal of Varadharaja Mannar also stood out throughout the film. From what is perceived, Varadharaja Mannar is a complex character who calculates his every move. There is an underlying consistency to all of his actions and the character carries that level of maturity within him. Prithviraj brought the character to life and honestly, once you watch the film, it is quite difficult to imagine anyone else in this role. The chemistry shared by Prabhas and Prithviraj also needs to be mentioned separately.
Jagapathi Babu’s performance of Raja Mannar as well as Sriya Reddy’s performance of Radha Rama Mannar also stood out. Both the actors tried the roles they were given perfectly and had an aura of royalty surrounding them which seems to be an inherent feature of their characters.
Shruti Haasan, Easwari Rao, John Vijay, Ramachandra Raju, Bobby Simha and all the other supporting actors have done a fantastic job in terms of acting.
Salaar: Part 1 – The Ceasefire can only be described in one word – EPIC. The film has everything that is necessary for a good drama, and from a much broader perspective it can be compared to the Mahabharata. Prashanth Neel brings a new world to life, leaving fans wanting more even at the end of three hours.
Prashanth Neel’s Telugu debut is nothing short of a masterpiece, a visual spectacle. The film engages the fans with brilliantly choreographed action sequences without losing track of the underlying story and drama. Prithviraj Sukumaran was right when he said that Salaar at its core is a drama. The drama certainly works, and the director hit it out of the park with the help of his busy cast.
“Falls down a lot. Unapologetic alcohol guru. Travel specialist. Amateur beer trailblazer. Award-winning tv advocate. Hipster-friendly twitter aficionado”