Banks more on Pawan Kalyan’s fame than the story

Story: Markandeya (Sai Tej) seems to always lack time because he feels burdened with the responsibility of looking after his family. What happens when Titan (Pawan Kalyan) gives him a second lease of life?

Review: Samuthirakani dons the director hat for BRO, a remake of his Tamil film, Vinodhaya Sitham. His heart is in the right place when it comes to the film’s central theme. However, the execution feels stretched, peppered with too many references of Pawan Kalyan’s political ideologies, and hit songs, with not enough time spent on the emotional core of it all.

Markandeya aka Mark (Sai Tej) is the head of his family despite his young age. Whatever he says goes and whenever he berates them, his siblings see him as more of a father figure than a brother. Life seems to be going well for him in every way when his life changes completely. He meets with an accident, but Titan (Pawan Kalyan) gives him a second chance to utilise what he always seemed to lack – time. With 90 days in hand, Mark decides to ensure his family is well taken care of before he passes away. But did his family ever really need him to do that?

BRO has the kind of story that seems heart-warming and life-affirming on paper. It begs the question – how much control do you really have over your life? And whatever little you do; how do you ensure that it’s lived ensuring harm to no one else? However, in a bid to commercialise these very poignant questions, Samuthirakani chooses to pad the film with duets, special numbers, sudden references to Pawan Kalyan’s career and more that don’t always work or worse – water down the emotions.

While the film has a central theme with a lot of potential, BRO banks heavily on the audience rushing to the theatre just for Pawan Kalyan and Sai Tej. Their chemistry is comfortable, maybe a little too relaxed for what the story demands of them. The first half of the film keeps you hooked for the most part. When Pawan shows off his effortless swagger to Emi Sodara or Vayyari Bhama with a tea glass in hand, it makes you smile. By the time he’s walking in slow motion to La La Bheemla in the second half, you want more.

Sai Tej on the other hand falters when it comes to emotions. He seems much more comfortable in the comedic or action sequences. Rohini plays his mother, Priya Varrier plays one of his sisters and Ketika Sharma plays his lover. While the women of this film refreshingly hold their ground sometimes, they’re also relegated to being weepy on-screen. Brahmanandam has a cameo that one wishes was weaved in better. Thaman’s songs are subpar, but he excels when it comes to the background score in certain key portions of the film. Sujith Vaassudev’s cinematography is plain okay. The VFX and costume department let the film down.

BRO could’ve been the poignant tale of a man who had to grow up a little too fast and, in the process, forgets to make the most of his life. What you get instead is a film that loses steam as it progresses with the messaging lost in the chaos of it all. This one is a missed opportunity.

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