Gautamiputra Satakarni has been talk of the industry ever since the project was announced. After contemplating various projects, Balakrishna finally chose this one as his hundredth film. The film is about unsung warrior from Satavahana dynasty of the 2nd century CE. Krish took up the challenge of bringing Satakarni to life in this epic drama and has come out in flying colors.
Satakarni (Balakrishna) dreams of seeing entire country as one kingdom under one king. He goes on waging wars against many kings to become that ultimate power. In the process, differences crop up between him and his wife Vasishti (Shriya). Taking his mother’s advice, Satakarni decides to put an end to his endless warfare by waging one last war for peace.
Balakrishna:The veteran actor is destined to do this character. We cannot imagine any other actor in the role of Satakarni as there is not a single wrong note in Balakrishna’s performance. His superb dialogue delivery and his command over language is a great asset to the film. He has put in a lot of efforts to finish this grueling film in seventy working days.
Other actors:Shriya is beautiful as the Queen. Shriya’s performance is noteworthy as a caring mother who stands against her stubborn husband. Hema Malini is fine as the Rajamatha. We expect her to play a significant role in the film, but her character is very limited. Kabeer Bedi gets a meaty role as Nahapana. Shivaraj Kumar did a cameo as the storyteller.
Krish’s passion for cinema is unparalleled. He thrives to offer different entertainment to film lovers with each and every film. Handling a film like Gautamiputra Satakarni is a challenge to any director. Krish delivered a quality product with limited budget and in a short span of time. This shows his command over various crafts.
Dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra stand as the highlight of the film. Rajamouli rightly said Burra’s pen is Satakarni’s sword in Gautamiputra Satakarni. He has written brilliant lines like “Odincha.. maraledu, kshamincha.. maraledu, vadhincha.. ika maralsina avasaram ledu”, “tala dinchaku, adi nenu gelichina tala” all through the film. Music by Chirrantan Bhatt complements the genre and era of the film. Ekimeeda, Saho Sarvabhouma and Mriganayana songs will be liked by the music lovers. Background score could have been better. Editing is crisp. Visual effects are decent. Art department did a fine job with the production design. Cinematography is topnotch. Production values are fine.
- Sai Madhav Dialogues
- Krish’s direction
- Background score
- Uneven pace
What’s special about Gautamiputra Satakarni is not many know the exact story of the greatest emperor. Krish and his team of writers did their bit of research and have come up with a screenplay that suits the image of Balakrishna. Main focus of the film is on highlighting the heroics of the unsung emperor. The film hooks the audience straightaway with interesting takeoff.
Entire first half runs in two major episodes. Satakarni taking his son to the war and his war against Nahapana army is the highpoint in the first half. More than eighty percent of the first half is covered in this episode. Interval scene is good and will surely give a high for audience.
Second half slows down with family drama taking the front seat for a while. Movie ends with another lengthy war scene, which turns slightly boring due to too much of warfare that it offers already. A scene where Satakarni shows utmost respect to his mother gives insight about the emperor’s ideologies, though few more could have been added to elevate.
As Krish’s prime focus is on establishing the valor of the emperor, people that go to the movie to know details about Gautamiputra Satakarni will be left a little disappointed. Although the war scenes have some superb moments, that run time could have been shared to bring on more details of the actual story of Satakarni. Also the songs between the lead pair slowed the pace down.
Despite a few shortcomings and the cinematic liberties, Satakarni scores because of Balakrishna’s towering performance, Burra’s praiseworthy writing and Krish’s directorial brilliance. It is certainly a welcome change for film buffs amid routine masala fare. It is a one of its kind of cinematic experience that cannot be missed. Go watch it.
Verdict: Balakrishna’s Memorable Century.