Winner - Movie Review
Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Rakul Preet Singh, Jagapathi Babu, Mukesh Rish, Vennela Kishore, Anup Thakur Singh, Anasuya, Raghubali, Ali, Sonia Agarwal, Prudhvi, and others
Story: Veligonda Srinivas
Dialogues: Abburi Ravi
Music: S S Thaman
Cinematography: Chota K Naidu
Editing: Gowtham Raju
Action: Stun Siva, Ravi Varma
Producers: Nallamalupu Srinivas, Tagore Madhu
Screenplay, and directed by: Gopichand Malineni
Release date: February 24, 2017
Running time: 155 mins
CBFC Rating: UA
What's it about?
Siddharth (Sai Dharam Tej), who runs a newsmagazine or paper, loses his heartbeat for beauty Sitara (Rakul) while partying at a lounge. He follows her and finds that she is a sportswoman preparing for a competition. He teases her, proposes her, and a lot more like a typical hero. She doesn't reciprocate. One day, her father suddenly arranges her marriage with a Jockey (Anup Thakur Singh). At the wedding mandapam, Sitara stops the bridegroom from tying the knots and asks him to compete with Siddharth in horse-riding competition before marrying her. The winner gets her as a trophy. Siddharth from childhood hates horse riding as his father (Jagapathi Babu) stopped loving him when he became occupied with horse-riding business. Will he take up this challenge? Will he win?
Both actor Sai Dharam Tej and director Gopichand Malineni have acquired name by delivering mass-oriented entertaining hits. 'Winner' has brought them together for the first time. 'Winner', as the title says, is all about the hero winning the love of his lover as well as his estranged father. This formulaic story is written by Veligonda Srinivas whose recent writings include 'Akhil - The Power of Jua' and 'Dhamarukam'. The worn-out story is narrated by director Gopichand Malineni in an even more beaten-to-death manner. Gopichand Malineni presents 'Winner' with all the regular ;tricks, and techniques of a movie adding nothing new.
The film is full of illogical sequences. Too much of cinematic liberties have been taken. Sai Dharam Tej runs a newspaper called "New Look", but he dresses and behaves as if he is a tapori. After establishing his nature of work, it is never shown he is doing the job in entire movie. He is always after Rakul acting like a pokiri guy. Mukesh Rishi's motive and Jagapathi Babu's flashback episode are quite unreasonable. The director has taken entire first half just to set up the drama. Though crux of the movie happens post-interval, the scenes don't add much value. When the story is coming into the groove, Ali's character is introduced and his comedy track has spoiled the seriousness of the story. From there, the movie spirals down further.
The race sequences in the crucial climax scene are not shot with aplomb. And the end the emotional scenes shot on Jagapathi Babu and Sai Dharam Tej bring out ;laughter from the audiences instead of tears.
Loaded with ample dose of jaded mass sequences and outdated comedy tracks, 'Winner' is lousy work.
Sai Dharam Tej's transformation as far as looks are concerned is neat. So is his performance in the role. Rakul Preet Singh has just served the purpose of being eye-candy. There is no dhum in her character. Anup Thakur Singh in the villainous character and Jagapathy Babu in a key role are okay. Vennela Kishore's comedy is decent. As Prudhvi as Singham Sujatha and Ali as Peter Hiens don't evoke desired laughs. ;Mukesh Rishi, Suresh and others are okay.
On the technical front, cinematographer Chota K Naidu shines. Chota has shot the movie lavishly with rich and slick framing. The songs like "O Sitara" and "Suya Suya" are foot tapping. Also the picturisation of the songs is very rich. Dialogues by Abburi Ravi are good in parts. Veligonda Srinivas's story is the main villain of the movie. Gopichand Malineni as director has not proven anything new.
Bottom-line: 'Winner' is a formulaic masala movie told in routine manner. Hackneyed story has lethargic screenplay. Second half is slightly better than the first half and has rich production values.