Bhola Shankar Movie Review :
Chiranjeevi and Meher Ramesh have decided to remake Ajith’s Vedalam for the first time as a collaboration. Meher is a staunch fan of the megastar, and this presents a splendid opportunity for his comeback, as he uses the megaphone after a long hiatus. Let’s see if Meher Ramesh succeeds in his endeavor or not.
The film begins with a female trafficking angle. Shankar (Chiranjeevi) comes to Kolkata with his sister Maha (Keerthi Suresh) for her education. After getting her enrolled in college, Shankar becomes a taxi driver for a living.
Kolkata police seeks help from taxi drivers in crimes related to female trafficking. Shankar provides a crucial clue that lands him in trouble. Srikanth (Sushant), Lasya’s (Tamanna) brother, loves Maha (Keerthi), and Shankar accepts it.
However, when lawyer Lasya learns about Shankar’s hidden activities and his killings, she decides to stop her brother’s marriage with Maha. Shankar reveals his past and the purpose behind coming to Kolkata. How he uncovers a crime network related to female trafficking and settles all old scores forms the essence of the story.
If Bhola Shankar is a sinking ship, Chiranjeevi anchors it to some extent with his performance and charisma. His dance moves and expressions hold the audience’s attention for a while. Keerthi Suresh is decent in her role as the sister, though she lacks enough scenes to showcase her performance. Tamanna appears lively on the screen but fails to leave a lasting impact.
Their chemistry with Chiru is appealing. Vennela Kishore, Getup Srinu, and Srinivasa Reddy fail to make an impact with their scenes. Even the villains struggle on screen, as they are tangled in their character portrayal and scenes. The actors in the old-school writing lacked the necessary shine through their performance. No other artist gains significance in this film.
Remaking requires expertise. Meher Ramesh falls short in both writing and direction. He relies on an old and routine template that doesn’t work in favor of the film. Chiru’s dance sequences are enjoyable to watch. Cinematography is good. The mighty S. Thaman disappoints with the background score. Technically, Bhola Shankar doesn’t score well.
Doing remakes for Chiranjeevi is not new. In fact, after his second innings, Chiru has done Khaidi No. 150 (Kaththi remake), Lucifer (Godfather remake), and now Bhola Shankar (Vedalam remake). The graph is visibly declining. Among this remake trilogy, Bhola Shankar stands as the weakest. The blame goes to the director Meher Ramesh for failing to connect with his dated direction.
On the surface, there’s no decent effort to make this fresh and relevant. Director Meher Ramesh is known for his stylish presentation. This time, he even fails in the style department. He couldn’t provide at least one stylish scene for his favorite megastar. Bhola Shankar lacked both style and substance. The first half of the film is entirely disappointing.
However, Bhola Shankar possesses a valuable asset in the form of megastar Chiranjeevi. He is a blessing, as his aura saves the film to some extent. He’s the only strength the film carries, which keeps some interest alive. His dance moves are exceptional. Delivering such dance moments at this age isn’t easy, and Chiru nails it once again.
Even in the comedy sequences that follow the interval, Chiru joins forces with the comedian gang to create humor and leaves his mark. Here, Bhola’s moments work partially. Kushi Mid-Riff (Nadumu) scene is well portrayed by Chiru through his expressions. However, these moments are forced and won’t add any seriousness to the film. His mimicry of Pawan’s mannerisms also appears undesired.
The entire film has a 20-minute stretch after the interval that keeps the audience engaged. But as the story progresses, it goes back to the usual tired template. It’s premonition-filled, to the extent that even the climax turns confusing. The film feels rich to look at. The cinematography deserves a special mention. But the background music fails to elevate the scenes.
Vedalam is originally a 2015 film. When remade, one would expect an improved version. But Bhola is stuck in the old format. It’s actually a downgraded and poor remake. The combination of Chiru and Meher disappoints from a formulaic perspective. Even goosebump moments are missing. Clearly, the lack of high moments might also disappoint fans.
All in all, the film falls short in delivering either emotion or drama, leaving the audience detached. Villains and their sequences also fail to impress. The film feels extravagant to watch. Shadow play is commendable. However, the background music doesn’t raise the scenes.
In reality, Bhola Shankar being a subpar rendition of Vedalam, a film from 2015, is disappointing. The chemistry of Chiru and Meher struggles from a formulaic standpoint. It lacks spine-tingling moments. Moments that could give you goosebumps are also absent. Clearly, the film doesn’t have enough high moments to keep fans engaged. All in all, Bhola Shankar is a letdown both in terms of execution and comparison to its original.