Art & Entertainment

'HanuMan' On Zee5 Movie Review: Prasanth Varma Delivers A Visual Treat That Is Bound To Change Your Views On Indian Superheroes

Outlook Rating:
3.5 / 5

Starring Teja Sajja, 'HanuMan' is now available to stream on Zee5. Is this Prasanth Varma directorial worth watching, or you can choose to skip it? Read the full review to find out.

Teja Sajja in 'HanuMan' Photo: Zee5

When you think of superheroes, it won’t be surprising if names like Iron Man, Batman, Superman, and Spiderman come to your mind. Very rarely would you think of an Indian superhero when someone asked you this question. When you start thinking about Indian superheroes and mythological films, the things that come to your mind are the unnecessary theatrics, multiple reaction shots, terrible graphics, and VFX. But Prasanth Varma’s latest directorial is here to prove you wrong and set a new standard. Starring Teja Sajja, ‘HanuMan’ is now available to stream on Zee5 after it raked in over Rs 330 crores at the box office. In case you are wondering if this movie is worth watching or not, here’s all that you need to know about it.

‘HanuMan’: Story

In Anjanadri, Hanumanta (played by Teja Sajja) is known for his antics and for depending on his sister to survive. One fine day, he is attacked by the bandits when he is on his toes to save his love, Meenakshi (played by Amritha Aiyer). The bandits beat him to blues, and he is thrown into a river. Under the river, he comes across a glowing egg-shaped gem – the Rudhira Mani. The gem bestows him with superpowers, and he starts using it for the greater good. However, Michael (Vinay Rai) gets a whiff of his powers, and he is on a hunt for Hanumanta. Things take a dark turn when Michael leaves no stone unturned to make sure he gets his hands on the gem that makes Hanumanta powerful. Except he wants it for his ulterior motives. The story revolves around how Hanumanta saves the village from Michael and also saves the villagers from tyranny.

‘HanuMan’: Performances

As the lead hero, Teja Sajja has delivered a remarkable performance. When you think of a superhero, you automatically picture a man in a suit who is perfect to the T. What works for his character is how he is written – he is a human who has his flaws, but he has his heart in the right place. Sajja is not your bulky superhero who will lift weights and deliver thought-provoking monologues. He is just like everyone. And that is what appeals him to the eye. His dialogue delivery, his screen presence, his body language, and even his comic timing have no flaws. He has nailed his role to perfection.

Coming to Amritha Aiyer who plays the role of Meenakshi. I feel that she was one of the poorly written characters. The story would have worked even if she was not a part of the plot. At best, the makers reduced her character to a manic pixie dream girl through whom our hero reaches his goal. However, even though her character was poorly chalked out, she did an average job.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar plays the role of Hanumanta’s sister – Anjamma. Her character perfectly complements Hanumanta. As an elder sister, she has her brother’s side. The moment I rooted for her was when she performed an action sequence at her wedding mandap. She clearly deserved more screen time because she performed her best in whatever was given to her.

Vinay Rai plays the role of Mega Man aka Michael. When his character is introduced with the dark background story, I had high hopes from him. But it isn’t his fault that the makers wrote the villain in a weak fashion. As Michael, Vinay Rai brings a certain quality of madness to his role that makes his character even more dreadful. His body language and how shrewdly he convinces everyone around him will give you the chills. That, in my opinion, is the marker of a good villain.

‘HanuMan’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

With a budget of approximately Rs 40 crores, ‘HanuMan’ is a visual delight. The VFX is one of the most brilliant works I have seen in recent times. It isn’t choppy nor is it jarring. It appeals to the eyes and is one of the best in Indian mythology. Similarly, the cinematography elevates the viewing experience. Certain shots stay with you till the movie ends. Every shot is a marvelous picture in itself. These two elements brought Prasanth Varma’s ambitious vision to life.

Prasanth Varma has done a fine job when it comes to directing this magnum opus. The movie is over two hours long but there is not a single time when you want to take your eyes away from the screen. How he has weaved the story and how every subplot effortlessly merges into the other makes for a seamless viewing experience. The movie has multiple subplots, but every story serves a purpose. When you watch the film, you will see that Varma had a specific vision that he wanted to bring to the audience. Safe to say, he succeeded in doing so.

While the story of the series is captivating, what elevates and also weighs the series down is the script. The story will lure you in, but the subplots can also draw you away. At one point, there are lots of backstories behind the gem. All of the information is dumped on you at one go and after the monologue, you are still trying to figure out what that means. The story needed a little editing just to make it more engrossing. What helps in hiding this flaw is the music. The music in ‘HanuMan’ serves the purpose and it helps to take the plot ahead. While the songs aren’t exactly what will stay with you, they pump up the scenes and add to the drama.


‘HanuMan’: Cast & Crew

Director: Prasanth Varma

Cast: Teja Sajja, Amritha Aiyer, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Samuthirakani, Vinay Rai, Vennela Kishore

Available On: Zee5

Duration: 158 minutes

Languages: Telugu (available with English subtitles)

‘HanuMan’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes. The movie can be watched not just by kids but by audiences of every generation.

Outlook’s Verdict

When I sat to watch ‘HanuMan’, I had zero expectations because I had a certain notion of how superhero and mythological films in India are usually made. While the movie excels on almost every parameter, the fact that it has too many subplots and a weak villain just pulls it down. When you have someone as powerful as Hanumanta, you look for a villain who is equally strong and well-written. It felt like the makers stopped putting effort into writing Michael’s character after a point of time because they wanted Hanumanta to win. However, Prasanth Varma delivered a strong story and a visual delight in this film which was devoid of jingoism, mudslinging, and name-calling. These factors make the film worth watching. This film should be a masterclass for other filmmakers to understand how superhero movies in India should be made. I am going with 3.5 stars.