Surya is an Indian Army officer who has serious anger management issues. Although he is a brilliant officer when anger takes control of him he is impossible to subdue. So, what happens to Surya? Does he get the better of his anger?
Initial release: 3 May 2018
Director: Vakkantham Vamsi
Music director: Vishal–Shekhar
Production company: Ramalakshmi Cine Creations
Producers: Nagendra Babu, Sridhar Lagadapati
‘Naa Peru Surya, Naa Illu India’ is a hard film to describe, what with so much happening in a span of less than 3 hours. The film has all the requirements of a commercial potboiler – there’s unbridled patriotism, a love track, a family drama, an ambitious man striving to make it big in his career, several points of conflict replete with goondas and other moral dilemmas that all play out, interspersed at regular intervals with colourful and highly choreographed songs.
However, NPS is a film that is confused as to which direction it wants to take. There’s only one key point it maintains clarity about – justifying the ill behaviour of the protagonist by rewarding him for it. Anu Emmanuel plays the role of Surya’s ex-girlfriend Varsha, the woman who usually bears the brunt of his behaviour on more than one occasion. However, she or anyone in the cast have nothing much to do in the film as this is Allu Arjun’s show all the way.
Allu Arjun plays the role of Surya, a man suffering from anger issues since he was a child. Leaving home at a tender age because his father refused to enable his behaviour, Surya is an army soldier now for 7 years despite lacking the discipline to be one. His life’s ambition is to serve at the border and be unapologetic for who he is. Smoking cigars, taking lives as and when he pleases and appointing himself as the vigilante this country needs, Surya is a majorly flawed and hard character to like – especially when he mouths lines like, “Pakistani naa kodaka,” in this day and age and yet, it is he who is the hero of this tale.
NPS is the coming-of-age tale of this angry young man, who the audience expects will have learnt a thing or two about discipline, manners and patience by the end of this film. However, despite taking up the challenge to do so by the psychologist, it is no spoiler to reveal that Surya comes back to square one by the end of this tale, with everyone in his life suddenly no longer finding his behaviour reprehensible like they previously did.
The film’s premise is so interesting and the story begins with such promise that one wonders where it all went wrong by the end. A soldier’s fight while waging a war on himself to control his anger so he can achieve his goal is one that seems so evocative on paper. NPS has moments where the beauty lies in the details, it lies in the way a siren plays in the BGM whenever Surya loses his temper, in the way he turns away the rear-view mirrors of his bike because he cannot bear to see the man he has become or in the manner he describes himself as a gun without bullets.
However, as a whole, NPS is a film that is hard to like, filled with random patriotic, romantic and sentimental moments that somehow fail to come together as a whole. The characters of the film are a hard sell too, a surprisingly bold move that would’ve resulted in something amazing, if only the film had direction. It is this lack of direction and treatment that is the film’s undoing, leaving you no one left to root for.
Remarkable actors like Boman Irani, Rao Ramesh, Vennela Kishore, Pradeep Rawat and even Sarathkumar are wasted in the film, handed much less than what they deserve. Cinematographer Rajeev Ravi, who worked on films like ‘Dev D’ and ‘Mukkabaaz’ seems to have equally no scope to do much either, with only the song Sainika giving a teeny glimpse into what he’s capable of. Allu Arjun and Arjun however, are stupendous in their roles. Vishal and Shekhar’s music is a delight on-screen, both in the songs and BGM.
Walking away from the theatre, apart from Surya’s bull-headed yet strong characterisation, the only other thing that will probably stick in the audience’s mind is the vision of Allu Arjun dancing with gay abandon in Lover Also Fighter Also. Ergo, this one is strictly for Allu Arjun fans, the rest, approach with caution!