'Saindhav' Movie Review
Victory Venkatesh has arrived with his 75th film ‘Saindhav’ in theatres today. Sailesh Kolanu wrote and directed this film after two successful films like ‘HIT’ and ‘HIT 2’. The promotional content raised good expectations on this movie which has a very good ensemble of actors. Let us dive into the review straightaway to find more about this film.
Saindhav Koneru (Venkatesh) lives peacefully with his daughter as a crane operator at port in a city named Chandraprastha. Manognya (Shraddha Srinath) is a divorcee who lives beside his house and takes care of Saindhav’s daughter. All three of them live happily till Saindhav’s daughter falls sick with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). She needs an injection which costs 17 crores in order to survive. Saindhav who gives his word to his deceased wife about leaving his dark past is forced to enter the crime world he left behind. What happens when Saindhav aka Saiko goes back? Who is Vikas Malik (Nawazuddin Siddiqui)? Will Saindhav save his daughter? Answers to these questions form the rest of the story.
Sailesh Kolanu made waves in Tollywood with his ‘HIT’ franchise. The cop procedural drama thriller everyone. Those movies are more about investigation and Sailesh did not have to focus a lot on emotions. But ‘Saindhav’ is a film that needs to have touching emotions in order to root for the hero’s battle. Sailesh takes up this challenge and comes up with an interesting idea which is inspired by ‘John Wick’. Starting from the hero elevation to the interval point, we can see the references throughout. The crime world’s boss sending his son away because he messed with Saiko, all the gangsters getting shocked knowing about Saiko’s return and Vikas Malik’s character putting a bounty on Saindhav’s head which makes goons all over the city trying to kill Saindhav seems to be taken straight out of ‘John Wick’. Much like that film, the hero leaves the crime world for his loved one.
A lot of scenes that have scope to bring whistles from the audience are executed in a dull manner. While Sailesh stressed on emotions quite well, it is the fight scenes and hero elevations that fail to thrill the audience. The screenplay gets quite bumpy in the second half and we can predict the twists such as the pharma company that produces the vile being owned by the villain and hero destroying containers by blasting are predictable and highly convenient. The logic goes for a toss in many situations and the underdeveloped characters don’t help matters. Though some action sequences are well-executed and stylishly presented, they fail to make an impact. Nawazuddin’s character brings in a few laughs whenever he is onscreen but his character too peters out towards the end.
It is the good performances of Venkatesh, and Nawazuddin and the father-daughter bond that works out in the movie along with some well-choreographed action set-pieces. ‘Saindhav’ is not a bad film but it fails to deliver what it promised through the trailers. It is a decent watch if you lower your expectations. On the whole, Venkatesh and Sailesh offer an inconsistent film that partly impresses you this festive season.
Venkatesh delivers an honest performance as expected. His screen presence is terrific and he is amazing as an adorable father Saindhav while being equally convincing as a ruthless killer Saiko. He played his age and the way he showcases emotions is quite effortless. He is look is well designed too. But this role doesn’t challenge him as he pulls it off without breaking a sweat.
Shraddha Srinath is convincing in her role but her character is not etched properly. Ruhani Sharma is fine as the caring doctor who wants to save kids while Andrea Jeremiah fits perfectly in a negative role. She gets good screen time compared to other actresses. Arya did a brief role and did good. Mukesh Rishi, Jayaprakash and the rest of the actors are okay in their roles.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui stands out with his eccentric role. He is a phenomenal performer as he proved it once again with this film. He brings excitement whenever he is on the screen and his constant switching of Hindi and Telugu is entertaining.
Knowing Santhosh Narayanan’s work, one expects a lot from him but he fails to reach the expectations in ‘Saindhav’. An emotional action movie like ‘Saindhav’ needs the background scores to work big time but he did not deliver this time. The audio quality is poor and songs too doesn’t generate the required emotions. His BGM often looks like it is taken straight out of Hollywood films. Visually, ‘Saindhav’ is very appealing. Manikandan’s camerawork is brilliant and it is very much evident in the fight sequences. The excessive usage of tracking and drone shots are noticeable. While the runtime is crisp, it feels like Garry BH should have taken care of the lag at places. Also, the constant switching between past and present without notice looked confusing in some parts. The production values are very good as the richness is quite evident.
Sailesh Kolanu delivers an average product this time. He sounded very confident during promotions but the movie does not pack a punch. The heavy inspiration from ‘John Wick’ and the lack of high moments in the film work against it. He extracted good performances from the actors but his screenplay is very inconsistent. It is the writer in Sailesh that disappoints us with ‘Saindhav’ which makes it a passable watch.
Verdict: Saindhav – Half-Baked John Wick With Daughter Sentiment!