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Stalin Review

Stalin
EDITOR RATING
6.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Suggestions
Can watch again
NA
Good for kids
NA
Good for dates
NA
Wait to rent it
NA
Grab this: Sunil stops his dance in the middle of the opening song of Andala Ramudu to salute a Chiranjeevi poster along the way, and breaks into adulatory prose about "annayya". Lawrence dedicates Style to unabashedly singing paens of Chiranjeevi. Venkatesh, a huge star himself, spends half his time on stage at Richard Gere’s AIDS initiative at the Lalitha Kala Thoranam, praising Chiranjeevi who is to come later.

And for newer actors in smaller films, it seems de riguer to refer to the "Mega Star" in some way. From Uday Kiran to Navdeep and Sai Kiran and, of course, Allu Arjun, they have all done it. And finally, there are whole movies with titles like Seenugaadu Chiranjeevi Fan. And a film just out called Dongodi Pelli introduces its hero as "real Chiranjeevi fan, Rajendra Prasad".

Yes, Tollywood continuously makes Chiranjeevi almost mythical. It's a virtuous cycle - they are playing to the masses who love him, and all the references make him bigger. And a whole film casting him then becomes almost too good to be true. So when a new one is out after several months, it is not just a movie – it is meeting a need. It is the real thing.

So it’s hard to say if you will like Stalin. To understand that, try answering this: would the feeling of being in the Sanctum Sanctorum at Tirupati be the same if you could just stroll in and out whenever you wanted, as opposed to the effort of being in an 8-hour queue now? The hype and the long wait themselves enhance the experience.

Take Chiranjeevi out of it, and Stalin is a below-average drama. But you cannot take Chiranjeevi out of Stalin, for Stalin is not a movie that casts an actor. It is 3 hours of Chiranjeevi. Just as you do not compare apples with oranges, you do not compare Stalin with movies.

Stalin comes at a time when Chiranjeevi has had 2 average films in the last 2 years and just 2 hits in 5 years after Indra in 2002 (Tagore and Shankardada MBBS). The Chiranjeevi fever appears to be at an all-time high. It obviously has something to do with 9 months of all-hype and no-Chiranjeevi. That factor itself may help the film be a hit, even if very few will return to theaters to watch this a second time.

Stalin (Chiranjeevi) is an ex-Army Major, who quits the Army for certain reasons and settles down to social service in Hyderabad. He helps handicapped people write exams, he saves young girls from the flesh trade, and he helps couples in love get married. He has just one request of people he’s helped – that they pass the favor forward. They should in return help 3 others, and ask those 3 to help 3 others.

One day he roughs up some goons who hurt a beggar girl, and that snowballs into a huge issue which puts him in direct confrontation with the home minister himself. However, Stalin is all-powerful, and needs no brains to handle the crisis – he can just beat up any number of goons. The last fight sees him single-handedly beat up about 200 (no exaggeration) armed and well-built goons. The last people we knew capable of that lived circa 3000BC, and all fought in the Mahabharata war.

He then lands in hospital due to an injury he sustained while in the Army that’s aggravated now, and lakhs of people turn up to pray for him when they realize (through TV channels) that he is the one who started the 3 favors movement, which has spread across the state. Needless to say, he lives.

Stalin is a well-intentioned film, but suffers on structure and logic. Chiranjeevi has huge mass-following, and it is quite commendable that he is trying to use that to spread good. But wanting to spread good is not an end in itself – the execution needs thought for the effort to work to the greatest extent possible.

As a film, Stalin is much lesser than a professional effort. The film tries to be both a Rudraveena and a mass-potboiler at the same time, and can deliver on neither. The screenplay is poor, there is too much craving to have all the formula elements, there is too much preaching in the first half, the choice of heroine is disastrous and there are gaps of logic beyond even movie standards.

The movie has a mother-daughter fracas, a completely half-baked romantic angle, a hero vs. super-villian theme, an Army Indo-Pak war flashback, a social thread, a comic track, and 6 songs (including an item song, but no Nenu Saitam), thus trying to be something for everyone.

Then, the first half-hour is poorly written and too preachy – it assumes the audiences stopped growing up in 1960. A hero doesn’t tell people to be good or bitch that they are not – he just sets personal example.

Mistakes abound - like when a handicapped (handless) girl who goes outside the gate of a college in Uppal to ask passersby for help to write a test, but is doing that at Nagarjuna Circle on Banjara Hills (yes, we all know it is 5 minutes’ walking distance), and is back in 10 minutes in the classroom at Uppal.

Or when this girl commits suicide just because she cannot get someone to write a test for her – when she can always take that test again in a few months. She's strong enough to live with a crippling handicap like that, but resorts to the supreme step for a much lesser reason like this.

Or where Stalin has a very old heart problem that will aggravate when he gets over-stressed, but which hurts only in the end, even if he has been in many similarly difficult situations all through the film.

This is a Chiranjeevi film, and they have access to all the money in the world – couldn’t they care for the small things?

The fights are much outside even movie standards – be they the one in a 6-floor mall where Stalin beats up some 20 armed goons by the time a lift reaches the top floor (normally 20 seconds), or the one at the end where he cripples (repeat) 200 people. Stalin is just Superman, and doesn’t show any intelligent handling when confronted with difficult situations – he will just beat up as many people as you can send.

Trisha has a cumulative of 10 minutes in the film outside of the songs. She’s talented, and a coffee shop scene is quite well-enacted, but whosever brilliant idea it was to pair Trisha with Chiranjeevi should be given a special Nandi this year for creative casting.

There is no other performance that gets much scope – this is a Chiranjeevi film. So Sunil, Khushboo, Sarada are all dwarved. The songs are just average. There are some dialogues that really kick you, but they are few and far between.

What works for Stalin is the ending - where a crowd of a couple of lakhs turns up at the hospital to pray for him. It moves you, and might make you forget all the flaws and speak positively.

Chiranjeevi is an exceptionally talented actor who increasingly puts himself in the hands of exceptionally inept scriptwriters and directors who can spell the word "formula", and nothing much else. Their brief seems to be, he has an image, write scripts to suit that. What formula films do Rajnikanth, Mamooty, Kamal Hasan, Aamir Khan or SRK do? They’re all 40+.

Chiranjeevi hasn’t had a single standard mass movie that’s been a hit since Indra – Tagore and Shankardada, the only hits, were unconventional scripts. The lesson is clear – mass films aren’t working, and younger directors and avant garde scripts deserve a chance with him.

On the whole, Stalin might have been a landmark film with more focus, thought, and care for small things. It still has the potential to impact several people, simply because of Chiranjeevi’s reach and appeal.

And what's with the names, by the way? Stalin had some 14 million people killed. And Hitler, 6 million people. Let's hope Chiru's next film is called Mandela.
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STALIN SNAPSHOT
Stalin (telugu) reviews
USER RATING
6.0
664 USERS
RATE
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Chiranjeevi, Trisha, Sarada, Khushboo, Prakash Raj, Sunil, Pradeep Rawat, Riaz Khan, L B Sriram, Brahmanandam
  • Music
    Mani Sharma
  • Director
    A Muruga Doss
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
STALIN USER REVIEWS
1 - 15 OF 84 COMMENTS  |  NEXT  |  LAST
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
6.0
664 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
NA
NA
NA
NA
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait to rent it - NA
Teja on 6th Jan 2007, 6:56pm | Permalink
Ill-logical of the millinieum.
People never except this will be such a wrost filck.

No collections boosting for the film is very high.
Idotic film.
Highly dissaponted. A waste 25$.
RATING
2
Srinivas K on 24th Nov 2006, 1:45pm | Permalink
It's an Indianized version of the hollywoods's "Pay It Forward" which was very good.
RATING
4
Saradhi on 17th Nov 2006, 2:26pm | Permalink
Idoka donga cinema. Worst movie in chiru's life. Where is the connection between the story and picturization? If the hero really wants to help people and bring the change in the society, is it correct way to chose the violence? He can beat even 200 hundred armed people and says all other people should help some other three. It means if any body goes against the system, he should beat, and the one who was benifitted should beat other three persons? Where is the chance to take the positive meaning of this? Can any many with a bullet in the chest can fight like that? This is an utter non-sense movie, and the fellows who say this is an excellent movie shall stop watching movies or only watch chiranjeevi movies. Sorry, I forgot to say one thing that I am a big fan of chiru. But still I criticize as a spectator.
RATING
2
Priyanka Rao on 10th Nov 2006, 12:00pm | Permalink
After watching this movie, the govt should revoke the Padma Bhushan given to Chiranjeevi
RATING
2
Movie Buff on 16th Oct 2006, 7:10am | Permalink
LISTEN UP...you all dumbo's, this 3rd grade movie's DVD is out on the net already within weeks of its release. And its not a camera print either..



So you can make out the fate of the bullsh*t load of cr*p. You are better off watching the original version - "Pay it forward" in which a 10yr kid acts much better than the 50+ old man...get over it losers!!
RATING
2
Srinivas on 13th Oct 2006, 8:52am | Permalink
Movie is O.K but if MURUGUDOS has got more freedom and cut two worst songs this will be block buster. In future , chiru has to take more care in picturisation of songs and need to be trim by himself.
RATING
6
Bernard on 13th Oct 2006, 1:41am | Permalink
Super movie! It's a record breaking blockbuster. And plus they got rid of the last fight scene which was the down point of the movie. So it is even better now.
RATING
10
Shiva G on 11th Oct 2006, 9:15pm | Permalink
Great movie! Only those who are against are those who are anti-Chiranjeevi. It doesn't matter how much you people try to put him down, he will keep coming back up. So, it's better you give up.
RATING
10
Sudhakar Varma on 10th Oct 2006, 5:43pm | Permalink
concept was good but direction was not done properly, especially the kargil episode, and also were not upto chiru standard.
RATING
4
Santosh S on 1st Oct 2006, 7:38pm | Permalink
worst movie ever
RATING
2
Siva Nag on 1st Oct 2006, 1:21pm | Permalink
Better than Andarivadu. The movie is made only for the sake of his fans, but what about others?. Just an average movie.
RATING
6
Priyanka Rao on 1st Oct 2006, 12:18pm | Permalink
Good to see that an average of 500 users have given 3* for this movie, with all those fans giving 5. Now everyone knows what this bloody movie is worth...
RATING
2
Sandy Sunny on 30th Sep 2006, 10:32am | Permalink
this is a floooooooooooooooop movie
RATING
2
Hi on 29th Sep 2006, 4:01pm | Permalink
it is a super movie ,all above are stupids to say it is not good movie ,chiru is king
RATING
10
Viswanath Babu on 29th Sep 2006, 1:24pm | Permalink
gud movie.taking part have some problems.any wher nice to watch for chiru.gud msg.
RATING
8
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