Godfather: The Return Of Chiranjeevi

Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Lucifer was a competent political thriller within the realms of what is considered mainstream in Malayalam. Mohanlal’s charisma was one of the primary reasons that the film worked. Vivek Oberoi was also terrific as the bad guy. Prithviraj Sukumaran’s direction wasn’t flawless but still the actor director did a good job in capturing the socio-political scenario.

Mohan Raja’s Godfather on the other hand is a massier version of Lucifer. There are ample slow mo shots of Chiranjeevi accompanied by a thundering background score of S. Thaman. There are punch dialogues which are aimed to make the fans happy. But at the same time Mohan Raja makes sure that the film hasn’t got any unnecessary subplots like a forced romantic track or a crude comic subplot.

Much like Lucifer here too the political drama keeps you invested. It also immensely helps that young actor Satyadev makes for more than a worthy antagonist to Chiranjeevi, this is something which I will elaborate on later.

Godfather begins at an Interpol facility in France where a high- ranking agent hands over a confidential case of an elusive mastermind Abraham Quershi to another agent. From here we move to India where PKR, the supreme leader of a political party is no more. The death of PKR has sent the state into a crisis and a new leader must be elected. The key players in this musical game of chairs are introduced by director Puri Jagannadh making his acting debut as investigative journalist Govardhan.

Brahma (played by Chiranjeevi) is an intelligent and popular leader among the masses and is also the backbone of the deceased CM. This ideally should make him the perfect candidate. However senior leader Narayana Varma (Murali Sharma) and PKR’s son-in-law Jaidev (Satyadev Kancharana) have other plans. Additionally PKR’s daughter Satyapriya (Nayanathara) is also thrown into the mix. There is also Salman Khan in a swashbuckling extended cameo as Masoom Bai, although there is nothing masoom that the actor is doing here.

The best thing about Godfather is how director Mohan Raja sets up the plot. It keeps you hooked. There are many unexpected twists and turns regarding the supporting characters that keep you glued to the screen. The best examples of these are the characters essayed by Sunil and Shafi. Initially we see that Sunil and Shafi are working for Chiranjeevi and Satyadev respectively. However there is a twist in a tale that you don’t see coming.

The director also deserves credit for how he showcases Chiranjeevi as a mature politician. Chiranjeevi hasn’t got many dialogues but the actor still packs a punch with his eyes. His screen presence and settled performance is a treat to watch.

NAYANTHARA BRINGS A CERTAIN DEPTH TO HER ROLE.

The emotional bits featuring Chiranjeevi and Nayanathara will also move you. Nayanthara brings a certain depth to her role. It is not a part with a wide arch but it is to the credit of Nayanthara’s acting talent that you root for Satyapriya.

However the biggest strength of Godfather is easily Satyadev as the antagonist. The way he holds his own opposite Chiranjeevi is remarkable to say the least. He is the major reason why this political tussle never feels one sided.

The interactions between Chiranjeevi and Satyadev are terrific to watch. The best example of this is the jail episode where Satyadev taunts Brahma. This film should ideally open new doors for this talented actor.

AS MASOOM BHAI THE ACTOR CLEARLY HAS A BALL, EVEN THOUGH HIS FACE HAS BEEN CLEARLY DE-AGED.

The entry of Salman Khan is also perfectly timed. As Masoom Bhai the actor clearly has a ball, even though his face has been clearly de-aged. The climax fight where Chiranjeevi and Salman take on baddies is a treat for the fans.

The film has also got some well written political moments particularly in the first half. Puri Jagannadh as the investigative journalist is successful in representing those who are frustrated with corrupt politicians.

Godfather isn’t without its flaws. The second half is comparatively less interesting and the likes of Murali Sharma etc could have been used better. Also the music of Thaman is a big downer. The background score is definitely a banger but there are times where it swells too much.

Final word: Godfather is a welcome return to form for Chiranjeevi after the debacle of Acharya. It is an enjoyable political ride even if you have seen Lucifer.

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