When an actor like Balakrishna is arriving with a landmark film in his career, expectations are bound to scale new heights. He has teamed up with director Krish for Gautamiputra Satakarni – a historical drama set in 1st century AD and is mounted on a magnificent scale with great production values.
Satakarni’s ideology of having a unified nation, sovereignty and women empowerment are the kernel of the film.
Krish’s depiction of the tale starts off with Gautamiputra Satakarni seething with anger and swearing to his mother to make the nation a unified kingdom, to protect our culture and heritage. He plunges into his mission, wages wars and conquers kingdoms.
The story of Gautamiputra Satakarni perfectly blends with the persona of Balakrishna. It’s an achievement to bring the lesser-known details of an unsung hero to spotlight and Krish has succeeded in crafting a gripping narrative right from the word go.
The film unfolds seamlessly, in a linear manner revealing Satakarni’s past, present along with his dreams. The screenplay captures the historical scenario where the Northwest frontier of the country is being ruled by the Greeks.
Though the battle episodes are clichéd, Balakrishna’s histrionics steal the show.
Sai Madhav Burra’s dialogues are an asset and elevate the protagonist’s role. His Samayam ledu mitramaa…Saranama… leka ranama becomes a signature dialogue that is recurrent throughout the narration. At times this feels strange and staged.
Chirantan Bhatt’s background score and music are outstanding. Gnanasekhar’s cinematography makes this film a visual extravaganza.
Whatever he had conceived, was presented on screen. Director Krish deserves a big applause for chronicling the life of our very own ruler, who thrived for the country, believed in culture and prosperity.
Balakrishna’s performance comes as a breath of fresh air. He, as a warrior king is all force and flair. You are in for more delight when Shriya Saran steps in with aplomb and leaves a mark as an actor. This is one the best performances in her career. Hema Malini was seen in a limited role but she holds her ground well.
You may develop an admiration for him, but unfortunately you don’t get emotionally involved. There’s a wafer thin line that stops Gautamiputra Satakarni from being an epic.