A1 Express Review: The Telugu Film Gives Sundeep Kishan A Chance To Champion Hockey

Read the review of Telugu film A1 Express directed by Dennis Jeevan Kanukolanu. The film stars Sundeep Kishan, Lavanya Tripathi, Murali Sharma and Rao Ramesh.

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A1 Express Review: The Telugu Film Gives Sundeep Kishan A Chance To Champion Hockey

In real life and movies, hockey has always got the wrong end of the stick. Just the fact that a Telugu film celebrating the neglected national sport, and also delving into the politics that colours  and  compromises  all sports and games in our country is pitched into the commercial arena is gratifying enough.

A1 Express gives to the definition of  ‘Commonwealth Games’ an ironic colour. While sportspersons die in penury the movers and shakers playing their own games from behind the field, dig into their ill-earned wealth.This is no country for professional sportsmanship.

This week’s big Telugu release delves into all of the above. There is a disgraced national hockey champ Sundeep Reddy (Sundeep Kishan). He is very angry. But we don’t get to see his wrath until much later. A major part of the first-half goes into Sundeep’s courtship of a fiery provincial hockey player Lavanya(Tripathi). Sundeep seems to have little to do except faff around with his hanger-on, tail the hockey-playing chick until it all begins to get annoying.

Only then does the narrative finally gathers its wits together , switches gears  from being a flippant  take  on a neglected sport, to actually getting down  in the field to get the knees and hands dirty in the  mud.

There is a dirty sports minister (Rao Ramesh) who wants to sell off the national stadium named after hockey legend Chitti Babu, to ruthless entrepreneurs. There is an honest sports coach Murli (Murali Sharma, curiously all the main characters are named  after the actors who play the characters). There is furious flashback in which a hockey-playing team mate Darshi (played by  an actor named Priyadarshi) who commits suicide after being snubbed  and sidelined by an  evil  sports coach.

 Everything that a sports film is supposed package under one roof, including of course the big climactic tournament, is  there  in this film . The plot is not quite assembled with the acumen of  an expert craftsman.But  it ambles along interestingly. Sundeep Kishan is rightfully the star of the  show. He  presides  over the plot with confidence. From among the rest of the cast, Posani Krishna Murli and  Rao Ramesh are  interesting. The ladies have nothing  to do. Lavanya Tripathi who bustles and bristles in the first-half vanishes as the  boys take over the  field.Chake De and the girl players  long  forgotten.

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