Starring Teja Sajja ,Amritha Aiyer, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Directed by Prasanth Varma
Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it is Hanu Man! Mischievously plucking out a portion of our mythology, Hanu Man pitches an innocent sweet-faced Teja Sajja against a red-hot evil ‘mega-man’ (Vinay Rai).
The fight between Good and Evil is designed in the form of a digitalized epic. Does the gambit play off? It does. The crackerjack screenplay converts the dead-serious earnestness of the Marvel kingdom into fun-filled good fest.
Although the film’s budget is meagre (20 crores) it looks much larger, and far more playful than the Western super-hero films.
Hanu Man is a cheeky film , relying on the young hero’s goofy antics more than his powers to save the world. Save the world is so unrealistic. How about save the village from extraneous marauders? Or save the sister from getting married because she is to the hero what Ashwini Bhave was to Salman Khan in Bandhan. A sibling who won’t let go even when she gets married.
Not surprisingly, there is more, much more bonding between the hero and his screen sister, played by the formidable Vara Laxmi Sarathkumar than the nondescript love interest.
I have so far desisted from naming the hero. I wanted to give a proper late introduction in my review.
Meet Teja Sajja as Hanumanth, the Hanuman avatar in Kurtas, Pyjamas and Kolhapuri chappals. He defines the common man’s hero slot which most of our big heroes refuse to consider as their home.
One reason why super-hero films don’t work in Indian cinema (unless you think Krissh works) is the vanity of our A-list heroes who feel they are a super-hero even when they are not playing one.
Teja Sajja drops his vanity. He is Everyman, and therefore no man. He is a playful Krishna who wants to be a playful Hanuman. His super-powers take him by surprise. The reason we like him so much is his complete surrender to the mood of goofiness. He doesn’t take himself seriously. But he takes his job as the God-sanctioned cleaner very seriously.
The mood is zany. The kicks and grunts are constantly a teasing reminder of how much fun mythology can be without meaning any disrespect. Comparisons in this case are not odious and what they did to the Ramayan in Adipurush including Hanuman was incendiary enough to burn all of Lanka all over again.
This Hanuman has a tale. He tells it with a zest for adventure which is infectious and dopey. Hanu Man may not qualify for an Oscar. But who needs one anyway?