What is the story about?
Shankar is a no-nonsense cop who has a heart of gold but means business when it comes to his job and is bad news for the wrongdoers regardless of the location he’s posted at. He leads a relatively happy life, being a doting father to his son and an affectionate husband to his wife Kalyani. Krack revolves around his encounters with three criminals – Kondareddy, Katari Krishna and Saleem Bhatkal – who pose a challenge to his authority as an officer and how he upstages them smartly.
It needs no saying that action entertainers come quite naturally to Ravi Teja as if it were his second skin. His success in the genre has been integral to the stature he enjoys as a ‘Mass Maharaja’ today – money-spinners like Balupu, Vikramarkudu, Don Seenu, Mirapakay, Power and Kick have affirmed this belief while riding on Ravi Teja’s energy and screen presence to perfection. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise when filmmaker Gopichandh Malineni chose to collaborate with Ravi Teja for a cop film like Krack at a time the star desperately had to reinstate his box office stamina.
Krack, though far from being a perfect film, is a celebration of brand Ravi Teja at its best, bolstered by slick visuals, exquisitely choreographed action sequences and riveting dialogue. This is easily the director’s most stylish and serious film to date – Gopichandh cuts all the flab and sticks to the plot with rapt focus trusting Ravi Teja with the heavy lifting, both with the action and enjoyable dialoguebaazi. Most of the humour is either done by the actor himself, while on other occasions the child actor Satvik, Shruti Haasan, Saptagiri and even the antagonists chip in.
The first hour remains predictable for the most part, with the romance element coming in as momentary relief. Though Ravi Teja is indeed the face of the film, the director surprises with the emphasis placed on his three antagonists (played by Chirag Jani, Samuthirakani and Ravi Shankar). Krack commences with actor Venkatesh’s humourous voice-over about the three elements crucial to the action episodes involving the trio – a mango, a nut and Rs 50 note and the narration of the film from this unique viewpoint adds intrigue to the proceedings.
Krack picks up momentum with the Katari Krishna (Samuthirakani) episode (which appears slightly inspired by the Tamil film Sethupathi). The buildup towards his villainy is as good as it can get and only adds more juice to the encounters between him and Ravi Teja. The pre-intermission verbal duel between the two sets the platform perfectly for the second hour (which doesn’t have a single dull moment). Both the women in Katari Krishna’s life – his mistress Jayamma and his wife (played by Ashrita Vemuganti) – play a crucial role in taking the story forward. The little cameos are used very well, be it the roles played by Devi Prasad, Sudhakar Komakula or Vamsee Chaganti, each of them have an impact on the narrative.
The climax appears slightly stretched but Gopichandh delivers the goods nevertheless. The filmmaker would also agree that Krack’s unsung heroes are its stunt choreographers Ram and Laxman who strike great form with the fights designed with impressive innovation and mass appeal. Be it the wolfpack that attacks its targets with an animalistic rage, the fight at the Ongole bus station where the electricity supply is completely cut or the action sequence with Shruti Haasan (where the actress is at her crackling best) that rings in a delightful twist at an opportune juncture, the action episodes are timed well and are backed by a strong purpose.
Is Krack an entertaining film? Yes. Would it have been the same without Ravi Teja? Probably not.
Ravi Teja is the lifeline of Krack by all means and brings in his experience and enthusiasm into play to give a renewed twist to the cop avatar. Regardless of donning the khaki for the umpteenth time in his career, trust him to play the part with complete conviction and the effortlessness one usually associates with his performances. Shruti Haasan has little to offer in a male-dominated narrative and is mostly in place for the song-dance routine and some comic relief, a job she does quite well. Her athleticism in the action episode is the stuff that iconic sequences are made of and the body language is indeed terrific. In the limited role offered to her, she gives mental strength to her man when he needs it the most.
Samuthirakani is only growing from strength to strength as an actor and has a ball being at the forefront of the many paisa-vasool masala moments through the film. He displays great intensity and expressional range as a performer and is a perfect match to Ravi Teja’s wild energy. Another strong performance comes from Varalakshmi Sarathkumar who’s excellent as the antagonist’s loyal mistress – the casual aggression comes to her quite naturally and the power-packed dialogue delivery is an added asset to her act.
Ravi Shankar keeps the flame burning as Kondareddy and shares impressive on-screen camaraderie with Samuthirakani. Ashrita Vemuganti, Sudhakar Komakula, Vamsee Chaganti, Goparaju Ramana and Devi Prasad get well-defined roles and excel despite their limited screen-time. Chirag Jani is strictly okay in a brief role. The likes of Saptagiri, Ali don’t have many great moments to prove their worth.
Music & Other Departments
Thaman, the background scorer dominates Thaman, the composer in the film – the amount of intrigue and tension he brings to the action sequences is indeed immense and shows how he has matured as a musician over time. The songs though feel more like a formality and bunch of stock tunes in the ‘neither good nor bad’ territory – Korameesam Polisoda and Mass Biryani are among the more foot-tapping tunes in the album. It doesn’t help that they are designed like the ‘loo breaks’ that just fill up the screen time.
The cinematographer G K Vishnu makes the most of the aesthetic locations and backdrops to add more bite to the visuals and does the job without compromising on visual flair. The film would have been more impactful if it had a sharper first hour. Sai Madhav Burra, in what is his first proper commercial potboiler as a writer, packs a good punch of the massy moments.
- Performances of Ravi Teja, Samuthirakani and Varalakshmi Sarathkumar
- The superbly designed action sequences and crackling dialogue
- An engaging second half
- The dull first hour
- The long, overdrawn climax
- Nothing new in terms of story
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
More so for the action junkies