Gauthami Puthra Satakarni Review, What’s Behind: An unsung story of warrior emperor GPSK is made into a film and that too as Nandamuri Balakrishna’s prestigious 100th project makes everything special here. Man known for extreme sensibilities is director Krish and thus comes the film GPSK into theaters today. Let us move forward to know more about the film and history?
Gauthami Puthra Satakarni Story: There was a time in early Common Era when India is divided into bits, pieces and Western invasions converting many small kingdoms into their provinces. During those times, Gauthami Puthra Satakarni (Balakrishna) evolves as a sole Warrior waging battles across the India uniting into one kingdom. He captures Maratha Kingdom defeating the forces and also Kshaharatas headed by Nahapana (Kabir Bedi). Towards end, its last war with Greek Yavanas under the leadership of Demetrius closes the film.
In between, Satakarni prefixing mother’s name Gauthami before his name as an ode of respect to mother, women or Satakarni’s bonding with wife Vashishti Devi (Shriya) and the child sentiment war episode with Nahapana keep emotions intact.
Gauthami Puthra Satakarni Artists and Technicians: Krish remarked for his wonderful story telling abilities did a decent research on Telugu history and Satavahana dynasty. Rather the film is not about war, there are few episodes wherein Satavahana’s policies, political decisions, foreign policy, religious beliefs, administration, currency and people’s living style are also sprinkled. Instead of concentrating excessively on war, further more education on Satavahanas and few more emotionally gripping threads could have given more solidarity. Direction wise, Krish’s undying effort of wrapping such massive project in mere 79 days is really an achievement. His whole script design, packaging from Satakarni’s childhood to delivering duties as a warrior king are clean and descriptive. Despite a fact that Krish plays more on human drama and sentiments, somewhere down he neglected his own strengths this time yet he succeeded in exploiting the best out of Balayya Babu. Key pillar for GPSK is Sai Madhav Burra dialogues. Rightly said, Sai’s pen became Satakarni’s sword. Chirantan Bhatt music is a mix of melody and valor. ‘Ekimeda, Mruga Nayana’ or ‘Saaho Satakarni’ stood out with big salute to Seetharama Shastri lyrics. BGM is so impactful. Gnana Sekhar’s camera work gave a best technical output. Art department and costume designing by Neetu Lulla are worth, need a mention. Production quality from First Frame Entertainment is definitely top notch.
On to artists, except Balakrishna none would fit into this genre and character. Leaving his trademark histrionics aside, he just got into the Satakarni skin. His royal look as king and courage as warrior are unmatched. At this age, he took lot of strain involving in plenty of war action. Episode of Rajasuya Yagam explaining the greatness of Mother showed his dialogue rendering power. Shriya Saran stole the show in a brief role performing wife Vashishti Devi. Coming to Hema Malini, she has fit the bill but could have got more screen time. Kabeer Bedi, Milind Gunaji, Tanikella Bharani, Subhalekha Sudhakar and others played their part.
Gauthami Puthra Satakarni Advantages:
Sai Madhav Dialogues
Gauthami Puthra Satakarni Drawbacks:
No Serious Problem or Central Conflict
Gauthami Puthra Satakarni Rating Analysis: For Telugu beginners who have briefly no idea on Satavahana dynasty, this film tells about our own history and our own first Telugu emperor credited for uniting India into one Kingdom fighting against foreign invasions. This is the strong sentimental factor worked in favor of film from very point of its inception. Krish used many historical names, terms and linguistic references to offer an authentic flavor. Beating all these efforts, spending about half of runtime filled with three huge blood shedding wars seems to have done a bit of damage.
Krish could have been constructive in briefing Satakarni lineage or at least about his father, grandfather giving a strong emotional lead for wars. Instead, from the word go GPSK’s philosophy is rounded only on ‘Uniting India’ and battles to be fought in achieving this. Well, the production costs, business terms and time permits might have hampered him but this is where Krish is known to bank on. Like Wife-Husband and Mother-Son scenes; there was a space for few more threads to make narrative dramatically tight. If not, fiction can also rescue.
First half begins smoothly building massive elevation of above five minutes for heroic Satakarni entry followed by first war conquering Kalyan in present Maharashtra region. Shriya as Vashishti Devi and Ekimeeda song goes off pleasantly forwarding the focus onto Nahapana. Very immediately, second lengthy battle begins for the big bang interval. Grand visuals and deft war action lives an impact.
Second half is crucial. Directly into Rajasuya Yagam, Mother’s greatness brings back Krish’s trademark sensible flavor. Betrayals from Samantha Rajulu and Vashishti Devi realization episodes are good. Quick and hurried, Satakarni runs into war field to defeat Greek Demetrius closing the film.
In total, GPSK is a film with mass, action (war) treatment lacking on Krish styled sensibilities. For Balayya Fans, this is nothing less than a blockbuster but how common audiences react at this will be a big question. At same time, how good or bad will be the comparisons with ‘Bahubali?’ Given mere 79 production days Krish took in folding GPSK (including two foreign schedules) should make such comparisons unjustified. So, final Box Office result has to be wait and seen. CJ goes for 3 stars appreciating Krish for making a brave attempt with story of an unsung hero in Satakarni.
CineDhol GPSK Verdict: Balakrishna Shines All The Way
CineDhol GPSK Rating: 3/5
Reviewed by Srivaas