by Meena Yeggina

Cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Nani, Rashmika Mandanna, Aakanksha Singh
Director: Sriram Adittya
Music: Mani Sharma
My Rating: 3.5/5

Nagarjuna's Devdas is a consolation to watch and ensures comic solace after a long week of hard work. Some reviews refer to the second half as tiresome but the film entertains nonetheless. Ashwini Dutt as producer and Sriram Adittya as director helm a very liberating, meaningful and family-friendly movie that conveys a great message.

The story is simple: Life and living is more significant than death, destruction and money. This kind of message has been the cornerstone of many other movies as well, but Devdas is different in it's the presentation, humor, and love. That's what elevates it to a superior level.

This movie is surprisingly and unusually clean. It bears no item songs (recall even in Baahubali we saw a semipornographic item song with not one, but three girls cluttering all over each other). A huge added bonus is the lack of misogynistic comments belittling or misusing women; statements denigrating castes and religions subtly; heroic Reddys, Narasimhas, kshatriya Putras dominating the scene by stroking their thick moustaches, while jumping away with nubile 18- something heroines; or cringe worthy jokes on transgenders, and physically handicapped individuals in the name of humor.

All actors dole out great performances. Both lead heroines enact the roles of working women with a mind of their own. Though brief, Akanksha Singh gives a memorable performance. Nani is perfect as a flag bearer of his "I am a Gold Medalist and am proud of it," anthem. His love for humanity comes across adorably and realistically. I saw him last in Eega and he looks much better since then and grew a lot as an actor.

And coming to Nagarjuna, let me confess to my readers that I am biased. My opinion about him should be taken with a pinch of salt. I like this actor and as a result find him great as always. Handsomely aged and extremely sauve, he looked splendid, better than many of his younger counterparts. Nagarjuna's facial expressions and performance are easy, controlled, and non-rehearsed. He avoids loud emoting. I especially liked the unbelievable expression he exhibits when Nani innocently and with conviction explains doctor-patient confidentiality. Adorable. I personally also feel Nagarjuna should be applauded for taking part in this two-hero movie and allowing equal importance (if not more) to Nani. It's a rare gesture in this overwhelmingly self-centered, egotistical film industry where each one is looking to topple others.

The music is okay, the standouts for me were the two songs penned by Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry.

A special mention about Kunal Kapoor: Looked smashing and performed well as well!

All in all, Devdas is a family friendly movie that men, women and kids can watch contently, while leaving the theater with a valuable message. I definitely recommend!