All things to all people seems to be the credo of the filmmakers today. Sadly,
even Chiranjeevi, who has a cult image of an action hero, seems to have fallen
prey to this new concept that is being touted as the mantra of success. And Mrugaraju,
a film with an interesting plot, albeit lifted from Hollywood's The Ghost And
The Darkness, falls by the wayside trying to appeal to all sections of the
audience. Such a pity, considering that this was a hugely awaited release of the
megastar after a hiatus of nearly a year.
The government is building a bridge at a tribal village Adavipalli, but two man-eating lions wouldn't allow them. With supersonic speed they pounce on the people and have a hearty meal. The site engineer Simran, sensing the panic in the minds of the tribal laborers bordering on the verge of thoughts of desertion, recruits Chiranjeevi, who is the king of the jungle, to take care of the lion, and, if need be, kill it. Once Chiranjeevi takes to the task, he realizes that it is not easy to capture the lion, with all his attempts foiled either by a lack of judgement of the lions' behavior or by the sabotage attempts of the evil duo Rami Reddy and Surya, ganja cultivator and forest officer respectively.
In the face of increasing odds he kills the lion, but another one surfaces. Before he can tackle the second, he has to set right his personal problem, a love affair that has gone sour with the heroine Simran. And sadly, the jungle drama ends up as a sob story with the mother not allowing the father to even see the child.
Save for the phenomenal photography, there is nothing new about the film. Except for the part of Chiranjeevi trying to tame the lions, which has been photographed wonderfully, the story is quite contrived. What keeps the film afloat is the adventure drama, but unfortunately the director decides to sink his ship with a flashback that doesn't seem to end, contributing to tears and heartache. But the first part of the film is very interesting, and children would like it.