This is the story of time travel fused with fantasy of the Bahubali kind, and the successful formula of what we call double-action with hero playing two characters that has worked ever so many times in Telugu cinema. And, this time too it has worked with Kalyan Ram as Bimbisara shining through his role as the evil king of Thrigartala, and entertaining the masses as the confused king minus his kingdom thrown into the present times.
Emperor – Bimbisara of Thrigartala is out to expand his empire in an Alexandrian way. He wages wars, threatens, kills, he is merciless, evil and egoistic. He even ends up killing his look alike brother to take competition for throne out of the way. He destroys a village – Dhanvatari Puri, where he finds a valuable book of medicine and puts it away in a protected cave without realising its importance, he kills the aged Guru and healer, his disciples and a cute little Aashram girl without any remorse. The cave where the book is kept also holds enormous treasure and so is guarded by fearsome tribes (the director loses track of them during the course of the film) – the door to which, only opens when he places his palms, looks through his eyes and lets his blood flow over it (some science there).
The bad guys are needed and here too there is a doctor Subramanya Sastry, who knows about the book and is waiting for Bimbisara to follow fate and come down to open the treasure. How does this evil king Bimbisara end up travelling through time, and is the book saved is the rest of the film.
One of these days we need to name this column – There are only that many stories – and that’s the fact. The storyline isn’t new.
However, director of Bimbisara managed to keep the story together, add the awe-inspiring elements in good portions, establish his characters well (that he left a few of them behind for convenience not withstanding), create a cinematic canvas, and bring the story to a logical end with the help of a tightly knit screenplay.
Nandamuri Kalyan Ram shines through his role as Bimbisara the evil one, and entertains the masses as the confused king minus his kingdom. The character of the villain does not standup to him well enough.
We forget to mention the names of the female lead actors – Catherina Tresa and Samyuktha Menon, who serve their purpose and leave the narrative little too quickly. Prakash Raj is just one of the quite a few others, who are wasted in the bigger scheme of things.
In a large canvas as this one, few glitches do tend to creep in – wish they wouldn’t though. The mass song and dance for example looked completely out of the way – and it added absolutely nothing to the film – not even the front benchers one would assume. The art department should have been given more budget to ensure classier sets that the film demands, especially the climax scene at the treasure cave. Such a crucial and lengthy scene deserves better.
How we have always cheered and clapped when our hero is seen not in one but two powerful, equally dashing characters pitted against each other in one frame and thrashing the bad guys together in the end. It was fun to watch the two Kalyan Rams on screen – could have been exploited better.
The film has Srinivas Reddy and Vennela Kishore for the comic relief and their scenes have worked pretty well. Bimbisara is directed by Mallidi Vasishta and made under NTR Arts banner.
Still, it is the one hero, who redeems all the misses. The Bimbisara, who brought back a hit to the theatres post-covid – Kalyan Ram.