The much-awaited Telugu superhero movie, Hanu-Man, hit the big screens this Sankranti, riding high on tremendous pre-release hype. Helmed by young director Prasanth Varma of Awe and Zombie Reddy fame, the film marks his second collaboration with actor Teja Sajja after Zombie Reddy. Set in a fictional village called Anjanadri, Hanu-Man is a larger-than-life tale of good versus evil, inspired by Indian mythology. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this film stand out.
About the Film
|Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi
|Action, Adventure, Fantasy
|12 Jan, 2024
Hanu-Man is an action-packed fantasy ride that blends mythology and modern-day superhero themes. With stunning visual effects and adrenaline-pumping action sequences, the film promises an epic cinematic experience for the audience.
The Story and Characters
Hanu-Man tells the story of Hanumanthu (Teja Sajja), a mischievous thief living in the backward village of Anjanadri. His life takes an unexpected turn when he acquires supernatural abilities reminiscent of the mythological figure Hanuman. Meanwhile, the arch-villain Micheal (Vinay Rai), driven by the childhood desire to gain superpowers, will stop at nothing to obtain the same abilities as Hanumanthu.
Hanumanthu’s character arc from a petty thief to a superhero defending his village is skillfully portrayed by Teja Sajja. His emotional performance especially shines through in the second half as he shoulders the responsibility of protecting Anjanadri from the villainous forces.
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as Anjamma, Hanumanthu’s doting elder sister, delivers a powerful performance. Amritha Aiyer as Dr. Meenakshi, Hanumanthu’s love interest, brings a sense of gentleness and humanity to the narrative.
Vinay Rai as the main antagonist Micheal has all the trappings of a ruthless villain desperate to gain control and supremacy by any means necessary. His tense confrontations with Hanumanthu form the crux of the good versus evil clash that drives the plot forward.
Hanu-Man’s Release: Riding High on Hype
Ever since the intriguing first look poster featuring Teja Sajja was unveiled, Hanu-Man generated tremendous buzz among the audience. The film’s visually stunning trailer further fueled expectations, giving a glimpse of the epic scale and adrenaline-fueled action that awaited on screen.
Prasanth Varma’s unique vision in blending mythology and contemporary superhero themes piqued curiosity among the public. Moreover, his previous outings Awe and Zombie Reddy earned him a reputation for delivering creative and unconventional narratives. Riding on the successful combination of Varma and Teja Sajja, the film generated hype across Telugu states.
The aggressive promotional campaign on social media built anticipation to fever pitch. Special premieres were held ahead of release, indicating the team’s confidence in the product. With positive word-of-mouth following the premieres, Hanu-Man arrived in cinemas with strong tailwinds of hype and expectations.
Early Reviews: A Visual Feast with Goosebumps Moments
Initial reviews following preview screenings were overwhelmingly positive, praising Hanu-Man as a visual spectacle peppered with goosebumps moments.
Reviewers highlighted Prasanth Varma’s skill in integrating familiar tropes from Indian mythology and contemporary superhero themes into the narrative. The stunning visual effects depicting Hanumanthu’s supernatural abilities came in for particular praise.
Many reviews singled out the goosebumps-inducing scenes glorifying Lord Hanuman, enhanced by powerful dialogues and background music. The emotional high points, especially in the second half, left audiences enthralled.
While some reviews felt the storyline was familiar, they agreed that Varma’s execution makes it an engaging watch. The humor, entertaining references to star heroes, and crowd-pleasing moments more than make up for any drawbacks in the writing.
What Makes Hanu-Man Stand Out
Unique Blend of Mythology and Superhero Themes
Unlike many recent Telugu films, Hanu-Man does not draw inspiration from commercial masala templates. Instead, Prasanth Varma daringly fuses tropes from ancient Hindu mythology and contemporary superhero movies into an entertaining cocktail. Hanumanthu’s character arc follows a classic superhero origin story template, organically blended with references to Lord Hanuman. This unique genre mashup gives the film a fresh appeal.
Grand Visual Spectacle
From the get-go, Hanu-Man wows viewers with its grand visual scale and imaginative world-building. The larger-than-life confrontations between the supernatural protagonist and villain are a CGI-enhanced treat for the eyes. Varma smartly employs visual effects to elevate the emotion rather than distract from the narrative. Picturesque shots of the village Anjanadri further add to the aesthetic appeal.
Teja Sajja’s Coming-of-Age Performance
As Hanumanthu transforms from underdog to superhero, Teja Sajja depicts the gradual evolution with a nuanced, earnest performance. He convincingly portrays the protagonist’s vulnerabilities, Hills, and growth into a Messiah-like savior for the village. This is a career-defining role for Teja that marks his ascent as a bankable solo lead hero.
Memorable Supporting Characters
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar shines as the imposing yet affectionate elder sister Anjamma. Amritha Aiyer brings a soothing presence as Dr. Meenakshi, Hanumanthu’s love interest. Getup Srinu and Vennela Kishore provide comic relief as Hanumanthu’s sidekicks. But the clear scene-stealer is Vinay Rai as the intimidating antagonist Micheal with sinister ambitions.
Goosebumps Inducing Emotional High Points
At regular intervals, Hanu-Man delivers exhilarating high points designed to give viewers goosebumps. The rusing climax in particular, depicting Hanumanthu unlocking his full divine powers to defeat evil, had preview audiences erupting with cheers and whistles. Prasanth Varma’s skillful use of powerful dialogues, background music, and VFX enhances the emotional impact of these moments.
Hanu-Man Box Office Prospects
The unanimous praise from preview shows has created a strong positive word-of-mouth for Hanu-Man. Audiences are eager to experience the film’s grand visuals and adrenaline-pumping high points on the big screen. As the word spreads, more moviegoers are likely to troop to cinemas.
Hanu-Man is the biggest Telugu release this Sankranti. It faces no stiff competition from other star-studded films during the extended holiday weekend. The clear field will help the film rake in robust collections from the targeted youth and mass audiences.
Prasanth Varma’s Fan Following
The director has cultivated a loyal niche following after his unique storytelling in films like Awe and Zombie Reddy. His staunch fans are sure to patronize Hanu-Man, giving it a healthy opening.
Strong Pre-Release Buzz
Backed by aggressive promotions across traditional and social media, Hanu-Man had fantastic pre-release buzz. If the film lives up to expectations, this buzz will convert into bumper opening collections.
Riding on unanimously positive talk, lack of major competition, and tremendous pre-release hype, Hanu-Man appears on track for a powerful opening at the box office. A strong initial weekend in excess of $3 million worldwide seems achievable. With no major releases lined up over the following weeks, the film is likely to enjoy a healthy run if appreciation continues post-release.
Prasanth Varma has carved a niche for himself among Telugu audiences with his novel filmmaking style. By blending mythology and superhero genres inventively in Hanu-Man, he has expanded his range and delivered his most ambitious project yet. If the film emerges a success, it could launch a new cinematic universe of superhero stories envisioned by the young director.
After impressing in a variety of roles, Teja Sajja gets his first major solo lead film in the form of Han-man