Bhairava is, essentially, an advertisement for Srihari the brand. It follows many of the rules in the rulebook of B-grade cop movies, but sometimes surprises you with its audacity to try and keep off the beaten path. There is violence - and mindless when it comes - and there is a lot of idealistic preaching, accompanied by mostly unskilled performances and simplistic story-telling, but in the end, it isn't an entirely thick-headed effort.
Srihari plays the role of Bhairava, a cop who wants to reform all the crooks in the city. His ideas are demonstrated to us, but only after lengthy satirical sequences and speeches on how petty television news channels are.
Bhairava asks Hyderabad's goondas to take care of crime in their respective territories, and warns them that they'll be shot dead in police encounters if ever a complaint is filed against anyone in their areas. This works for a while, until a shady politician Chaturvedi (Supreet) enters the scene and messes with Bhairava's well-intentioned plans. Bhairava is suspended as a result of Chaturvedi's gory intervention.
Meanwhile, there is this bunch of orphans that Bhairava is bringing up, among whom is a whiz kid called Siva (Meghansh). Siva, we are told, can crack puzzling police cases using his common sense. When he plays the main role in averting a supposedly major bomb blast, he is selected for a bravery award. However, on the day of the award function, it is discovered that he has a congenital heart disease because of which he won't live beyond 48 hours.
The Guv grants him a wish, and Siva asks to be made DGP. Once he's DGP, he reinstates Bhairava into the police force. Bhairava continues his reform mission, using more creativity now - declaring Sunday a holiday for policemen, asking them to fly kites that day and letting chaos rule the city, and later revealing that the kites actually carried mini-cameras to record all the crime that happened on the streets on Sunday.
Well, the movie can't be totally laughed away, thanks to some nice dialogues that Srihari gets to mouth. The usual rants about TRP-obsessed TV news channels are strewn all over, and so are haughty ambitions of how society ought to be cleaned up. The script is naïve, though, and the story is accompanied by plenty of violence.
Srihari knows his, well, niche. He is good, and is the only one to deserve credit if this film does entertain you. Thankfully, there's no romantic sub-plot anywhere; the heroine is merely a crusading news reporter grinning a lot into the camera, and Sindu Tolani is pretty good.
And apart from Tanikella and Supreet - and Venu Madhav, who appears in exactly one scene - the rest of the cast is mostly nondescript and quite incompetent.
There are, thankfully, hardly any songs. It's a good thing in more ways than one - the film is way too long for the average mind to tolerate cheerfully anyway.
Ultimately, Bhairava is for those who believe a Srihari movie will do them more good than harm. Watch it if you're a staunch believer.