Prasanth Varma has established himself as a director unafraid to take risks. With only three films under his belt before HanuMan, each venturing into uncharted territory, he’s earned a reputation for innovation and daring. His latest, the Teja Sajja-starrer HanuMan, marks not just another bold experiment but the ambitious launchpad for the Prasanth Varma Cinematic Universe (PVCU).
- HanuMan Review: Prasanth Varma launches the PVCU with a soaring origin story
- Teja Sajja shines as Hanumanthu, an endearing underdog superhero
- The film blends superhero tropes with Indian mythology and culture
- Director Prasanth Varma delivers impressive visuals on a restricted budget
- HanuMan leaves you wanting more, both from the film and the PVCU
An Underdog Superhero Rises from the Ashes
Hanumanthu, played with endearing charm by Teja Sajja, is far from your typical superhero. He’s a small-time thief living a peaceful life in the idyllic but neglected village of Anjanadri. Nestled amidst nature and dominated by a towering statue of Lord Hanuman, Anjanadri feels almost cut off from the world. Then, destiny intervenes. Hanumanthu stumbles upon a totem that grants him extraordinary abilities, sparking a chain of events that propel him from petty thief to village protector.
On the surface, HanuMan might seem like a familiar superhero origin story.
We have the overlooked underdog, the hilarious sidekick (Getup Srinu’s skepticism is delightfully relatable), and the inevitable “all is lost” moment followed by a triumphant show of strength. Yet, where HanuMan shines is in its execution. Prasanth Varma imbues this familiar framework with originality and heart, crafting a captivating narrative that transcends predictable tropes.
A Tale Rooted in Culture, Not Religion
HanuMan isn’t a religious movie disguised as a superhero flick.
It’s a story about faith, resilience, and the power of mythology. Hanumanthu’s journey echoes the spirit of Lord Hanuman, the monkey god known for his unwavering devotion and strength. But it’s not a literal retelling. Instead, Varma uses the mythology as a foundation, building upon it to create a relatable and contemporary hero.
The film’s villain, Michael (played with chilling intensity by Vijay), adds another layer of complexity. His backstory offers a poignant exploration of childhood dreams gone awry. Blinded by his desire to be a superhero, Michael descends into villainy, highlighting the potential dangers of misplaced hero worship.
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Technical Triumph on a Restricted Budget
One of HanuMan’s most impressive feats is its visual presentation. With a relatively modest budget, Varma conjures stunning visuals that bring Anjanadri and its fantastical elements to life. The VFX, while not on par with Hollywood extravaganzas, are commendable for their seamless integration into the narrative. They serve the story, never overpowering it.
The Verdict: A Launchpad for Great Things
HanuMan is a triumph for Prasanth Varma. It’s a film that proves you don’t need exorbitant budgets or established stars to create a compelling superhero story. It’s a testament to Varma’s vision, storytelling prowess, and ability to breathe life into familiar tropes.
HanuMan may not be perfect, but its flaws are easily forgiven in the face of its ambition and heart. It’s a film that leaves you wanting more, not just from this specific story but from the entire PVCU that Varma has meticulously crafted. If HanuMan is any indication, the future of Indian superhero cinema looks bright.
Grab your tickets to watch Hanuman this weekend, without any second thoughts. Comment your thoughts and excited reviews if you have already watched the flick!