Salaar Part 1: Ceasefire jeevi review

Salaar Part1: Ceasefire


Jeevi rating: 3.25/5
: Massive Mass Extravaganza
Re-take (Ugram - Kannada)
Banner: Hombale Films
Runtime: 177 minutes
Release date
: 22 December, 2023
Theatre watched: Sriramulu, Hyderabad

: Prabhas, Prithviraj Sukumaran, Shruti Hassan, Jagapathi Babu, Bobby Simha, Tinnu Anand, Ramana, Easwari Rao, Sriya Reddy, Ramachandra, Madhu Guruswamy, Brahmaji, Shafi, John Vijay, Devaraj, Saptagiri, Prudhvi Raj, Jhansi, Mime Gopi

Ravi Basrur
Bhuvan Gowda
: Ujwal Kulkarni
Art Director: T L Venkatachalapathi
Costumes: Thota Vijay Bhaskar
Action choreography: Anbariv
Story - Screenplay - direction:
Prashanth Neel
Vijay Kiragandur


Deva (Prabhas) and Vardharaja (Pruthviraj) are childhood friends. Vardharaja is an heir to a dynasty in Khansaar whereas Deva is a common man. Both of them were forced to separate when they were kids. Aadhya (Shruti Haasan) arrives in India from the USA and there are two gangs who are after her. Adhya is put in the house of a strict headmaster (Eeswari Rao). Deva is her son. Deva is instructed from the above to protect Aadhya. As a lot of baddies search for Aadhya, her whereabouts get revealed. Rest of the story is about what happens when Deva enters the brutal world of Khansaar to protect his friend Vardha.

Artists Performance

Prabhas: Prabhas is known for his looks and masochism. And only Rajamouli did use Prabhas’s strengths to the maximum so far. Now, Neel is at par with Rajamouli in exploiting the strengths of Prabhas and showcases his masculine (almost hulk-like) persona on the screen for an ultimate gratification. Prabhas did perform phenomenally well where he speaks less and lets his action do the talking. There is some lazy elegance to his body language as he just follows the orders of his mom and Vardha. He has only two modes in the film - switch on (ultra violent) and switch off (very calm). He is extremely good in both modes.

Other actors: Pruthviraj Sukuman is excellent in a pivotal role and his chemistry with Prabhas worked well. Shruti Haasan's character is limited, but she did well. Jagapathi Babu plays an important role. Eswari Rao plays a central character and she is exceptional as the mother of the hero. Mime Gopi is highly impressive as the one who helps the heroine. Tinnu Anand is perfect in the role of guiding elder to Vardha. Sriya Reddy is superb and very gritty in a vital role. Jhansi surprises you with a revenge-seeking role. Bobby Simha, Brahmaji and Shafi are good. John Vijay did a role with his trademark eccentric gestures.

Story - screenplay - direction: Basic storyline has its foundation in the story of Kannada film Ugram (directed by Neel). However, Ugram's story is shot on a gigantic scale with technical finesse. The screenplay of the film is pretty good. While the story in the first half creates some intrigue about Khansaar, the second half dwells in that world. The character of Deva is pretty unique. He is a great warrior. But is bound by the loyalty/love towards his mother and his friend. He turns into a fighter only when they command him.

Neel is one of the very few directors who infuses a lot of emotion into action sequences by planting the seeds in a few scenes and increasing the crescendo as the main fight sequence arrives.

1. Goons tease the heroine while the promise-bound Deva just holds the poll in anger in the state of helplessness (showing imprints of palms on that poll later) and then using it during the coalmine fight when the heroine is being kidnapped. Also from a kids point of view, the hero is seen as a soft-going guy. Hence they don't take him seriously. After the fight, they salute the hero with enormous respect.

2. When Deva enters Khansaar in the 2nd half, you see a tribal girl praying. He starts showing the tribal women issues slowly and brings it to the peak for the Kateramma fight episode.

Director Neel has also written Deva’s character with a lot of consistency and depth. He is bound to follow instructions of his mother and friend. But, once in a while he is forced to make his own decisions. I loved the way he said sorry to Vardha after breaking the ceasefire in Khansaar. The way the director used a car engine revving sound when the hero closes his fist before the first fight is pretty exciting.

However, it’s very difficult to know/understand names of tribes and lineages of groups of Khansaar. We can only remember the actors but not their character names.

Writer Prasanth Neel has created a Dystopian state called Khansaar where the poor suffer in a brutal way. It has Roman architecture thrown in (especially the dome of the palace reminding us of the dome of St Peter Basilica). The drone shots of slum areas remind us of slums of South America. The rich part of it looks like Italy with swanky bridges and chief traveling by Chinook helicopter. It’s an imaginative place which is a part of India, but acts like an independent thug nation.

A couple of dialogues after Kateramma fight are iconic. An elderly woman touches the hero and asks if he is even real or just an imagination. And another dialogue that says we prayed for Kateramma for protection and she sent us her son.

The scene where a kid tries to lift the wrapping sheet of a vehicle and tries to open a cabinet which is full of ammunition. In the following scenes, we see the mother of the hero almost faints watching her son holding a birthday knife. It shows the dynamics of mother and son. Mother wants him to be away from anything that leads to a potential violence and the dutiful son follows his mother’s instructions by curbing all his natural instincts.

Each character makes an impression. For example, a mundane character like a tea boy has two scenes in the film and he makes a difference in the 2nd scene. (we can also recall the tea-boy character from the Big Momma episode of KGF2).

The climax of the film is well-written by establishing the upcoming conflict between the friends.

Other departments: The cinematography of the film by Bhuvan Gowda is awesome. I loved the composition of shots during action episodes. It’s like looking at the images of graphic novels. Music by Ravi Basrur is excellent. He gives the right music for all the scenes. However, the background sound dominated the dialogues in the film (sound mixing issue or theater issue?). Action choreography composed by Anbariv is surreal and stands out in the entire film. Editing by Ujwal Kulkarni is crisp and precise and helps the visuals flow with fluidity. Production design by T L Venkatachalapathi worth a special commendation for the way he has recreated rustic environments and for giving Khansaar the right look. Costumes by Thota Vijay Bhaskar render the right look. Producer Vijay Kiragandur should be appreciated for the way he backed the project. Production values are gigantic.

Analysis: Salaar is a mass film made with exquisite craftsmanship. It doesn’t have romance, no duets (or item songs) and no comedy. And it’s an A certified film. This is a kind of film that is made against such odds. Neel’s strength has always been storytelling with heroic elevations and superbly composed action sequences (each action sequence has a run up for a few scenes). And he heavily banks on emotions and sentiments (Mother and friend in this film). He creates a dystopian world in the form of Khansaar. He has done well in direction and screenplay of the film. He gives a right lead to the part 2 in the climax of the film. “Khansaar” part of the film is narrated in a flashback mode through a conversation between the heroine and Mime Gopi. First half is excellent. Second half has the main story of the film. The number of characters and names do confuse you in Khansaar world. The dystopian world looks strange/odd to a normal moviegoer. Despite certain issues in the movie, Salaar makes a good watch. Go and watch it!

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