Simha Koduri, son of MM Keeravani is trying hard to impress with back-to-back films. His new movie has been titled Ustaad and has been released today. Read our review here.
Story: Surya(Simha Koduri) is a carefree youth who buys his first bike in life. He names it Ustaad and as time passed by, he falls in love with Meghana(Kavya Kalyanram). But a slight disturbance in the love story changes Surya’s life. The bike also helps him to aim big and become a pilot in life. How all this happens is the story of Ustaad.
Performances: Sri Simha Koduri has improved vastly as an actor. When compared to his previous films, Ustaad is a lot better. Simha gets to play a character in three age groups and he does so well in it. All his scenes with the bike and Kavya have come out quite well. Talking about Kavya Kalyanram, she is great in the film. Her performance and character bring an edge to the film. Her chemistry is also great with Simha. Gautam Menon plays a key role and he was great in the film. The rest of the supporting cast was ordinary.
Technicalities: The writing is decent and the backdrop chosen and the manner in which the youngster gets inspired from his bike is handled in a good way. But the screenplay does not arrest you with its narration. The editing is pathetic as the film is slow and takes a lot of time to get going. Also, the camerawork and locations chosen are very good and so were the production values as well. The production design and the simple setup of the bike are also great. The musical compositions by Akeeva B struggle to leave an impact, and the background score feels out of sync with the narrative.
Analysis: Phanideep’s narrative showcases a decent story. While it follows the familiar underdog theme of a carefree youngster aspiring to be a pilot aided by his motorcycle, the context and environment in which he weaves this tale provide a refreshing touch. The story is enriched with authentic drama interwoven with light-hearted humor, and it also features a charming romantic subplot between the lead characters.
However, the screenplay falls short of its potential. The unfolding drama maintains a leisurely pace, lacking significant climactic moments crucial for such a storyline. The handling of marriage discussions and break-up sequences in the latter half is skillful, but the climax fails to deliver the anticipated tension. Phanideep’s directorial debut displays both strengths and weaknesses. Some scenes are executed with maturity, while others leave loose ends.
The film’s pacing is a drawback, with the screenplay lacking depth in places. The music, particularly the forgettable songs, the absence of significant high points, and the middling visual effects and graphics contribute to a less-than-optimal viewing experience. The film will impress you at places but for the most part, it is slow and has a story that has been showcased in many films before.
Verdict: Overall, Ustaad has the premise and performances but is very slow to digest. The screenplay lacks the spark and the length is also an issue. If you love coming-of-age dramas, give it a shot, or else take it easy this weekend.