Director Chimbu Deven's Telugu film "Puli", starring Vijay, Shruti Haasan, Hansika Motwani, Sridevi and Sudeep in the leads, has received mixed reviews and poor ratings from Telugu film critics.
"Puli" is a fantasy-adventure film, which has been simultaneously made in Tamil and Telugu. However, the release of the Telugu version was delayed by one-and-a-half-day from the actual scheduled date.
Manoharudu (Vijay) is a brave fighter from a village and he falls in love with his childhood friend Mandara Malli (Shruthi Haasan). Twist in the tale is that Malli is kidnapped by goons from a fantasy kingdom called Bhetala Desam, which is ruled by an evil princess Yavvana Rani (Sridevi). How Manohardu enters the fantasy kingdom and saves his lady love forms the crux of the story.
Telugu critics say Chimbu Deven has chosen a good story, but has failed to execute it on the screen. The first half of the film lacks story, while some scenes in the second half do not have clarity. Vijay and other actors have delivered brilliant performances in "Puli", which has got fantastic production values that match the Hollywood standards.
The movie is a visual grandeur. The Telugu critics have rated it an average of 2.06 out of 5 stars. We bring you the verdict and ratings of Telugu critics:
Despite some drawbacks and disappointments, 'Puli' ends up as a decent fantasy entertainer that will be specially liked by Children and Vijay who retains his form and charm as always lives up to his mass appeal. Enjoy the magic of Vijay and Fantasy.
'Puli' has a wafer thin plot and a loose screenplay. Also lots of self-praising dialogues and Political motivated dialogues keeps on annoying everyone. Lots of sequences look amaterurish. And VFX director Kamala Kannan has compare the VFX with 'Baahubali' which is a shame to 'Baahubali'. The story takes lots of time to establish the plot and this will definitely test everyone's patience. And finally this is not a 'FANTASY MOVIE' or 'KIDS MOVIE'. Some one can argue that you can't look for logic in a fantasy movie. But in this movie, the 'FANTASY' element itself is missing. And you can't say this as a 'KIDS MOVIE' as lots of skin show from the two female leads spoil the party for kids.
Puli is a film with good concept and bad execution. The boring narration and lack luster screenplay spoils the mood of the film big time. Other than the impressive visuals and stellar performances by Vijay and Sridevi, this fantasy drama has nothing much to offer. All those who are interested in multi-starrers and lavish film making can give this film a shot, others can take it easy.
"Puli" has its moments but they're short-lived -- like the wonderful stretch where Vijay embarks on an Indiana Jones kind of adventure. It's a great idea that goes haywire in the execution. Chimbu Deven is a creative filmmaker, one with good ideas, but doesn't quite succeed in translating them on to the screen in a way it will appeal to everybody.