Starring: Sai Dharam Tej, Rakul Preeth Singh, Jagapathi Babu, Mukesh Rishi, Thakur Anoop Singh, Prudhvi, Vennela Kishore
Director: Gopichand Mallineni
Produced by: Nallamalapu Bujji and Tagore Madhu
Music: SS Thaman
Cinematography: Chota K Naidu
Sai Dharam Tej recently tasted bitter failure with the disaster “Thikka”. He is now definitely looking for a “Winner” to bring him back into the limelight among top heroes. Rakul Preeth Singh fresh from her success in “Dhruva” and then signing on some big banner films is also looking for the film to be a hit. The film did come with a lot of hype and high expectations from both the trade and the audiences alike. Let’s see if their expectations were met or belied.
The hero Sidhu (Sai Dharam Tej) loves his very much and the two share a good bond with each other. However, the hero’s grandfather is averse to this relationship and contrives to ensure that the boy runs away from home at a very young age. He then grows up elsewhere into a handsome energetic young man who falls in love with Sitara (Rakul Preeth Singh). In the meanwhile Aadi (Thakur Anoop Singh) grows up as Jagapathi Babu’s son. When Sidhu is about to propose to Sitara, her father finalises her marriage to Aadi. The fact that Aadi is just a criminal comes to Sidhu as a shock and the rest of the story is all about how he proves to Jagapathi Babu that he is the real son.
The first half of the film is full of lively comedy and emotional scenes between father and son. The bang just before the interval is quite good and raises our expectations of the second half. However, the second half is a tad disappointing with too many contrived scenes which ought not to be there, Jagapathi Babu’s character was not properly developed and the climax came a cropper. No complaints on the production values. There was a lot of hype about the horse racing scenes but the scenes are not in keeping with that hype. Teja’s dancing talents could have been better utilized if the choreography had been any better.
Sai Dharam Tej is his normal energetic and dashing self. He carries the entire film on his shoulders with his acting skills. He displayed his dancing skills as best as he could, given the mediocre choreography and average music. Jagapathi Babu has done this kind of roles before and once again proves his mettle as an actor. Thakur Anoop Singh does well as the Stylish Bad guy. Rakul Preeth Singh capitalizes on the opportunities given to her and looks very glamorous. Vennela Kishore and Prudhvi provide excellent comedy. Anasuya sizzles in the hot item song.
The director manages to put in as many commercial elements as possible – dance, comedy, romance, item song, sentiment, action et al – to produce a regular 100% commercial film. He forgot the simple principle that good content is the only sure formula for success. Cinematography by Chota K Naidu is great except in some songs. SS Thaman’s music does not impress though the background score is good.
The Last Word:
“Winner” is an out and out commercial potboiler.
Winner rating: 2.75 / 5