Mumbai, Jan 11 (SocialNews.XYZ) The superhero narrative is not an easy genre to pull off. Many storytellers have successfully narrated the good vs evil saga aided by high-end VFX and CGI in Indian cinema and in Hollywood.
When director Prasanth Varma set out to make this film, he had his job cut out for him when he decided to mount the film 'HanuMan' which draws its strength from Indian mythology.
And, the director comes out with flying colours as he skilfully combines the narrative of an underdog and Indian mythology to craft an entertaining and a visually captivating film.
The film follows the story of Hanumanthu, played by Teja Sajja.
He is a playful village lad in the fictional world of Anjanadri, who doesn't want to take on the responsibilities of adulthood.
An attempt to save a village girl, whom he loves, from the evil forces leads him on the path to becoming a superhero and the chosen one.
The narrative which is simple in nature borrows heavily from Indian mythology and adds a new dimension to it.
The film is a blend of sci-fi, fantasy and mythology. However, these worlds blend into each other organically. With its deeply ingrained message of what constitutes a superhero, the film delivers an important message subtly and simultaneously also piques the interest of viewers to revisit the story of Hanuman from Indian mythology.
The film brings forth the origin story in the cinematic universe that director Prasanth Varma has set out to create. Teja Sajja as Hanumanthu is unassuming and that's his biggest strength.
He seamlessly swings between action, comedy and drama.
His screen presence is commendable and he carries the film on his shoulders, effortlessly.
Actress Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, who plays his sister in the film, lends a solid support to him as she also holds her own. The film's leading lady Amritha Aiyer has an endearing presence.
Actors Getup Srinu, Vennela Kishore and Satya provide ample comic relief.
Director Prasanth Varma's universe is influenced by S.S. Rajamouli.
The film cleverly pays tribute to the 'Baahubali' director as well as heroes of Indian cinema.
In fact, Prasanth doesn't shy away from recognising the world of superheroes in his unique manner and the influence that superhero films have had on him.
'HanuMan' is originally made in Telugu but the film's Hindi dub deserves praise.
The casting of actors for the Hindi dub, is perfect as they bring out the emotions pretty well.
There are innumerable instances in the film which are big on scale and will elicit a thunderous response from the audience.
The cinematography, editing and VFX are top notch despite the film's budget being modest.
The film's songs and background score complement the narrative.
A song featuring pickle making deserves a special mention as it serves not just as a hummable track but also as a revelatory plot point.
The rendition of the Hanuman Chalisa plays out during a crucial scene and uplifts the film's theme.
However, the duration of the film could have been trimmed. At 159 mins, the running time can be a quibble.
Film: HanuMan (Playing in theatres)
Duration: 150 minutes
Director: Prasanth Varma
Cast: Teja Sajja, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Amritha Aiyer
IANS Rating: ****