GodFather movie review: Chiranjeevi's unmatched charisma gives this fun political thriller many whistle-worthy moments

Published on Oct 05, 2022 07:04 PM IST

GodFather movie review: Chiranjeevi-starrer remake of Lucifer is clichéd, mindless, and yet immensely enjoyable, largely due to the star’s screen presence and Salman Khan’s explosive cameo.

GodFather movie review: Chiranjeevi elevates this film from average to enjoyable.
GodFather movie review: Chiranjeevi elevates this film from average to enjoyable.

GodFather, the Telugu remake of Mohanlal’s mega hit Lucifer, is a heady concoction of clichés, crowd-pleasing moments, larger-than-life fights, and some complex plot twists. And yet, it never gets too much and remains enjoyable for most parts. You even learn to look past the silliness of it all. And it’s all because of the charisma and towering screen presence of Chiranjeevi. The boss is truly back and he has chosen the perfect vehicle, a massy masala entertainer that gets the audience cheering and whistling. Also read: GodFather Twitter reviews: Fans react to Chiranjeevi’s remake of Lucifer

GodFather is part political thriller, part mindless action film. It follows the death of a revered chief minister PKR and the infighting to choose his successor. The contenders are the amibitious home minister Narayan Varma (a delightful but slightly over Murali Sharma) and PKR’s son-in-law Jaidev (Satyadev Kancharana). But there is also the mysterious kingmaker Brahma (Chiranjeevi), who holds the reins of power in the state. What follows is a game of political cat and mouse with each politician trying to outfox the other.

GodFather follows in the footsteps of massy hits like Pushpa: The Rise and KGF: Chapter 2 from earlier this year. In some parts, it lacks the heart and finesse of a Pushpa and the grandeur of KGF. Yet, it balances the two quite well. The script falters, partly because there is a lack of one for large portions of the film. In trying to be clever, it wanders into the unintentionally funny territory at times. It is not a cerebral political thriller in the genre of a Rajneeti or Leader. It is an action film disguised as one, but disguised quite well.

The film is high on drama, lacks subtlety, and uses every cliché out there. When the hero enters, everything is in slo-mo, leaves fly, people faint. When he goes to prison, he is automatically qaidi number 786. The film screams 90s. But then that’s Chiranjeevi’s strength. He became India’s number one star in the early 90s doing many similar films. And he turns back the clock here splendidly.

GodFather works only when Chiranjeevi is on screen. Although the director’s choice to give him a grand entry ‘every’ time he walks into the frame gets old pretty fast, the veteran actor more than holds his own. He carries the film on his back, lending his stardom and screen presence to otherwise loose scenes and salvaging them. He works best when he is not kicking butt though. It is the scenes in which he very understatedly showcases his power and influence are what shine through. There are a lot of whistle-worthy moments in the film owing to Chiranjeevi’s inherent swag.

In the supporting cast, Murali Sharma and Satyadev Kancharana as the two ambitious politicians stand out. Satyadev, in particular, as the Machiavellian Jai, is a treat to watch. Murali Sharma shows just what he is capable of. It’s a pity Bollywood hasn’t truly utilized him yet. The biggest flaw of the film is to relegate Nayanthara to the background. Having an actor of her caliber and a star of her stature is a bonus to any film and yet GodFather chooses to let the men take centre stage. That she still manages to leave her mark despite a limited screen time only makes this decision even more puzzling.

And then there is Salman Khan. He has a cameo in the film that drew the loudest cheers and whistles in the theatre that I was at. In what can only be described as the most Salman role ever, he appears in an explosive role that not only adds to the film’s overall swag quotient but shows a more brutal, ruthless side of the actor that Bollywood hasn’t explored of late. The scenes with both Chiranjeevi and Salman together really light up the screen.

GodFather has its flaws, and they are countless, to be honest. But the packaging is so slick that you prefer to overlook most of them. Because I went to watch the film with lowered expectations and I did not bother comparing it to Lucifer, I was able to actually enjoy the film. If you are prepared to do the same, and watch Chiranjeevi in his element, you may too.


Director: Mohan Raja

Cast: Chiranjeevi, Nayanthara, Satyadev Kancharana, Murali Sharma, Puri Jaggannadh, and Salman Khan.


    Abhimanyu Mathur is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. He writes about cinema, TV, and OTT, churning out interviews, reviews, and good old news stories.

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