“Skanda – The Attacker,” directed by Boyapati Sreenu and starring Ram Pothineni, Sreeleela, and Saiee Manjrekar, is a quintessential Boyapati Sreenu film that adheres to the director’s trademark style of massy action, verbose dialogues, and over-the-top characters. However, while it delivers on these fronts, the film becomes an endurance test for audiences due to its lack of innovation and relentless celebration of mass entertainment.
A Familiar Political Drama:
The film kicks off with a political drama as the son of the Telangana Chief Minister elopes with the daughter of the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, turning their once-friendly relationship into a bitter rivalry. This sets the stage for power struggles and high-stakes confrontations between the two chief ministers. While the film attempts to infuse humor through exaggerated characters and rhyming dialogues, it often feels caricaturish and lacking in subtlety.
Boyapati Sreenu’s Signature Elements:
“Skanda – The Attacker” encapsulates all the elements one associates with a Boyapati Sreenu film. Mass action sequences executed in slow motion, complete with severed heads, chopped limbs, and characters hoisted up on spears, dominate the screen. The dialogues are verbose, often bordering on the absurd, and are ripe for meme material. The film’s soundtrack, composed by S. Thaman, maintains a consistently high volume, contributing to the sensory assault.
Ram Pothineni’s Hypermasculine Hero:
Ram Pothineni plays the quintessential hypermasculine hero who takes on the powerful chief ministers with exaggerated characterizations. His character is portrayed as a Stanford University topper with skills in ethical hacking, but he resorts to hacking for personal reasons. This stark contrast in his character’s portrayal may leave viewers perplexed. The film also features moments of crude humor that may not sit well with all audiences.
A Packed Narrative with Slow-Motion Overload:
“Skanda – The Attacker” attempts to pack a revenge and retribution story into a 167-minute runtime, featuring an abundance of slow-motion shots and rhyming dialogues. The film includes references to international films and literature, such as “Tarzan” and “The Matrix,” but these references often feel forced. Female characters, despite their glamorous appearances, are reduced to mere props in the narrative.