CM of the state Sanjeevayya (Suman) dies in a bomb blast. Dhnunjay (Subbaraju) – a relative of Sanjeevayya plans to take over the post of CM. Arjun Prasad (Rana Daggubati), the son of Sanjeevayya is a well educated and a successful entrepreneur in the USA. He realises that his CM father was a corrupt person and entire political system is infested with corruption. Arjun uses his brain to outsmart Dhanunjay to become the CM. The rest of the story is all about how Arjun fights the system of corruption and makes a difference.
RaNa: The title role of Leader needs an actor of tremendous ability to do justice and RaNa Daggabati comes up with a fabulous performance. It was a brave decision by Sekhar Kammula to cast a newcomer like RaNa and he justifies it by doing excellent work. His voice is his best asset. He can speak Telugu in a highly authoritative manner. However, he looked little stiff and self-conscious in casual scenes and scenes involving heroines.
Others: Richa Gangopadhyay did a performance oriented role and she is good. Priya Anand is adequate. After a long time, we see Kota getting a meaty role and doing remarkable work. Suhasini is terrific in the movie with her controlled performance. Subba Raju is excellent as the villain. Harsha Vardhan gets another noteworthy role in this movie after ‘Anukokunda Oka Roju’. His performance is superb in the first scene. Tanikella Bharani is nice. Rao Ramesh and Ahuti Prasad are adequate. Udaya Bhanu did an item song in the movie.
Story - screenplay - direction: Story of the movie is good. It’s about a good son of a corrupt leader taking the mantle of CMship to put an end to corruption. Like any other political films, this movie too has many real life incidents (YSR’s death and power squabble that followed it, Ayesha murder case in Vijayawada, atrocities on Dalits in Chunduru, Lumbini Park blasts etc). Director Sekhar Kammula introduced the characters and story of the movie in an impressive way. He set the right platform for the movie to take off in the first half. However, the tempo is not maintained in the second half as the main point gets diluted in love episode and family feuds in the second half. The following scenes of the movie are really good
1. The hospital scene where all the prominent politicians vie for the top post as CM battles death in the ICU
2. The scene in a song where hero gives cloth to a lady with torn jacket.
3. Kota’s subtle reactions in the scene of hero claiming CM seat.
4. Hero meeting Gollapudi Maruthi Rao and humiliating his greediness and hunger for power.
5. The scene of corrupting a section of MLAs (the background rendering of Idi Mana Bharatam is good)
6. The beautiful scene of explaining the ‘rice free’ scheme.
7. Maa Telugu Talliki song is excellent
8. The old man meeting CM about his dead daughter
The following things are unconvincing –
1. The entire MLAs are shown as crooks and this movie shows the entire political fraternity as corrupt.
2. The entire thread of Priya Anand didn’t work. The character of Ali (Harsha Vardhan) has a strong purpose to work earnestly for hero, but for Priya Anand there is no such objective.
3. Hero trying to betray another heroine in the name of love is not convincingly narrated.
4. There are some good scenes in the second half, but they weren’t properly established in order to make an impact on the audiences.
5. The entire second half runs on the single agenda of hero trying to save one lac crore fund.
6. The scenes of hero relinquishing CM post and going for elections and winning it are not narrated in an impact making way. All these scenes are inserted in a song as a montage.
7. The main villain is spared in the movie despite him plotting attacks against the hero.
8. The episode where Kota accepts that he is a caste fanatic in a TV interview defies logic (no successful political party admits caste bias openly).
Music of the movie is the biggest asset. Mickey J Meyer came up with impact making background score and rerecording. Equal mention should be given for DTX mixing in the vital scenes. Cinematography by Vijay C Kumar is neat. Dialogues penned by Sekhar Kammula are excellent and thought provoking (nijayatee gaa pani cheyyadamante tyagam cheyyatame, rice free scheme, oka china hope ivvara, ammaiki nyayam cheyyaleni CM vunte entha voodithe entha etc). Editing of the movie is very good in the first half, but should have been better in the second half. Production values by AVM are excellent.
First half of the movie is very good and sets the right platform for the story to take-off. The built-up scenes of hero becoming CM and very well written and directed. The love/betrayal episode and hero’s effort to save CM chair brings the tempo of the movie down in the second half. Though Maa Telugu Talliki song climax is good, it appears abrupt and is devoid of the politically charged excitement required for ending of a movie. The intent of Sekhar Kammula to make a movie for corruption free politics should be appreciated. He did very good job in the first half. However, the things aren’t the same in the second half. On a whole, Leader is a noble attempt to do an idealistic movie. We have to wait and see how it performs at box office.
Press meet 2
Press meet 1
reviews of previous 5 films
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