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SENAPATHI (Telugu) - A slow-burner crime thriller that keeps you thoroughly engaged. (Review by Bobby Sing)

24 Jan, 2022 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / S / ALL ABOUT INSPIRED MOVIES / Movie Reviews / 2021 Releases

A young cop loses his loaded pistol while chasing a criminal and then the game begins tracking the gun changing hands, resulting in a bank robbery and a series of murders. An official adaptation of 2017 Tamil hit 8 Thottakkal (Eight Bullets), Senapathi also takes its basic idea from Akira Kurosawa’s classic Stray Dog (1949).
The film begins with the tragic childhood story of the cop (Naresh Agasthya), narrated in black and white, which sets the mood for an intense thriller coming ahead. The young boy becomes a victim of the corrupt system but still believes in it following a strong idealism, taught by a noble warden. Travelling through a universe of all grey characters, Senapathi is a layered film with its focus oscillating between thrilling investigative elements and human emotions.

Taking us through the police procedures and criminal gangs dealing with the lost gun, the film thoroughly keeps one engaged in the first half. However, the second half is more about the emotional motive behind the murders committed by the middle-aged person, whose identity gets revealed quite early in the film, killing the intriguing suspense. Besides, the sub-plots moving along the key theme are not able to enhance the on-screen proceedings. For instance, the romantic linkup with journalist Satya (Gnaneswari Kandregula) remains unconvincing, and the casual approach of the investigation officer (Harsha Vardhan) singing Hindi film songs looks forced.

Dealing with these shortcomings, as the film turns into an emotional tale of the crimes committed with a motive, Rajendra Prasad as Murthy steals the show with Agastya silently struggling with his problems answering the seniors. The two actors together lead the film giving worth praising performances chasing each other. On the other hand, the overstretched emotions (also involving the kids as victims) hamper the pace and spirit of watching an investigative crime thriller. Thankfully, the storytelling covers it all right till the expressive climax. 

It also works as the execution successfully transports you into its realistic, believable world through relatable art direction, actual locations, superfine camerawork, and an interesting background score. Directed by Pavan Sadineni, Senapathi might not be an outstanding film, but it has its merits and can surely be watched as a slow-burner crime thriller made on a novel premise. Besides, it once again makes us aware of the fact that a big majority of the crimes in our society are not intentional, but just a reaction to the social injustice suffered by the victims.
Rating : 3.5 / 5
(Streaming on: Aha - with English Subtitles) 

Bobby Sing

NOTE : The article was first published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 22nd January 2022.

Tags : SENAPATHI (Telugu) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Telugu Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Indian Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Regional Language Gems of Indian Cinema, Must Watch Regional Films
24 Jan 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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