'Kota Bommali PS', produced by GA2 Pictures, is an official remake of 'Nayattu'. The 2021 Malayalam film was made as a humble one and received praises galore. How does the remake fare? Find out...
The story is set in Kota Bommali in the Srikakulam district. Ramakrishna (Srikanth), Ravi (Rahul Vijay) and Kumari (Shivani Rajasekhar) are at different levels of hierarchy in the police department, with the first of them being the head constable. Razia Ali (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) is a higher official who has been deputed to nab them within 24 hours after they run away from the town.
The reason for the three constables absconding is that they have been accused of killing the member of a numerically strong caste community, whose votes are crucial for the victory of the ruling party in a by-election. As the Home Minister (played by Murali Sharma) gets restless and impatient, things turn sour for the constables.
Director Teja Marni has had a mixed record. If his web film 'Johar' came with a degree of originality, his feature film 'Arjuna Phalguna' was a storm in a teacup. 'Kota Bommali PS' is not his brainchild. As a remake, the film is aided by a chunk of predictable advantages and blighted by a spate of expected disadvantages.
The film is a political survival thriller sans the subtext of its original. Here, the debate around political vote-mongering is blunt. If the proceedings keep the interest levels strong, it is mainly because of the performances.
The cat-and-mouse chase comes undone by ideas that any policeman worth his salt would try as the first option in real life. Here, they are shown with much ado in an attempt to project Varalaxmi's character as a super-intelligent one. The viewer is dismayed by the lack of force in a mission powered by the Home Minister and in whose success the Chief Minister himself has direct stakes.
When it comes to clinching the deal with its technical elements, the film falls flat. Ranjin Raj's background music barely comes with a sense of dramatic urgency. Karthika Srinivas R's editing lacks novelty, while Jagadeesh Cheekati's cinematography is above average.
Srikanth's sincere performance adds a degree of emotional heft to the father-daughter track. It is also commendable that an unknown female artist has been cast as his wife in keeping with the realism of the Malayalam original. Director Teja Marni fails to extract anything memorable from the Shivani-Rahul Vijay duo. The casting of Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is debatable, while Murali Sharma proves to be the perfect choice for a self-serving politician's role. His exposition about the System in the climax routine but the actor delivering it makes all the difference.
'Kota Bommali PS' is not sharp although a few episodes are gripping. The well-meaning theme sticks around.