Salaar Movie Review

Action Soars, Drama Snores


A, 2h 52m

What Is the Film About?

The story of Salaar revolves around Khansaar King’s son, Prithviraj Sukumaran, who gets into trouble. Deva, his childhood friend played by Prabhas, promised to help him and comes to his rescue. The drama and action unfold as Deva steps into Khansaar to protect his friend.


Prabhas, portraying Deva, plays the role of Vardha’s (Prithviraj) friend, willing to sacrifice anything for him, even his own life. Prabhas has minimal dialogue in the film. Prabhas’s screen presence and body language are rather dull, matching the overall mood of the first half.

In the second half, Prabhas gets involved in heavy-duty action sequences, where well-designed action blocks truly stand out. He appears comparatively better in the latter half, also in terms of looks. Despite Salaar being promoted as an emotional tale about friendship, there isn’t a standout performance. However, it’s refreshing to see Prabhas involved in regular action and some mass dialogue delivery, albeit limited.

Prithviraj Sukumaran plays the key role of Vardha and delivers a decent performance. While there’s nothing to complain about, his role has limitations as he’s not the main lead, hence the impact is somewhat lacking. Additionally, his attempt at Telugu dubbing is a mixed bag, with his Malayalam-like Telugu delivery being noticeable and could have been improved.

Shruti Hassan, portraying Aadhya, is presented and acted in a rather annoying manner. Even her character in the film appears unfinished by the end.


Salaar is directed by KGF director Prashanth Neel, attempting to present a friendship tale set in the backdrop of Khansaar, which almost feels as if it’s shot on the same sets as KGF.

Salaar begins on a simple note, establishing the friendship between two boys and a promise made by Deva (Prabhas) to his friend. The setup doesn’t feel new, and the hero’s introduction and characterization follow a dull approach, taking time to build excitement.

What follows next is either dull or feels overdramatic. Be it Easwari Rao as Deva’s mother or Shruti Hassan, it seems like the director never wanted to say ‘cut’ whenever they were on screen. There’s a complete disconnect and zero emotion from these key characters that should blend nicely to give it a take-off.

Storywise, not much is happening, and the way Prabhas was presented with extremely dull and minimal dialogues further adds to the effect. However, what works are the sequences leading towards the interval and a big scale action episode, making the whole first half barely passable.

The second half kicks off with the real story of Khansaar and the introduction of Raja Mannar (Jagapathi Babu), which instantly piques interest but lasts only briefly. Despite the follow-up to several groups and leaders, there’s a sense of lag; however, it feels like we’re diving into the story.

Even in the second half, there are clichéd scenes like the hero waiting for his mother’s permission to fight, which feels like even director Neel is stuck in the ’90s.

However, what works is the cease-fire voting that sustains the flow until the end, despite intermittent dragging. Although the portrayal of groups from Russia, Ukraine, etc., in Khansaar doesn’t blend well, it doesn’t spoil the narrative’s flow.

Most importantly, the back-to-back action sequences in the second half, triggered by situations that blend nicely into the narrative, contribute to the improved feel of the latter half.

The countdown to the cease-fire voting sustains interest until the neatly wrapped-up climax.

Overall, in Salaar, even if you entirely miss the first half, you won’t miss much. However, a more high-scale, action-packed, and improved second half makes it a worth one-time watch for action lovers.

Performances by Others Actors

Salaar features a host of character actors, some relatively known and some unknown. Jagapathi Babu plays a key role, but his character feels underdeveloped. He appears at the start and end, but there’s nothing noteworthy about his performance or impact. Talented actors like Bobby Simha and Tinu Anand hardly make any difference.

Regarding the female characters—Easwari Rao, Shruti Hassan, or Jhansi—when they speak, their overacting becomes evident and annoying. Their overdramatic performances become bothersome whenever they appear. Sriya Reddy gets more screen presence in the second half, and she delivers what’s needed.

Other than the two lead heroes, hardly any other character leaves an impact or is well-written in the film. But they do their job without spoiling anything though.

Music and Other Departments?

Salaar has the KGF music director Ravi Basrur on board, but his work is disappointing on all counts. It progressively improves in the second half and does a decent job in crucial action blocks. However, sound mixing and the overall score remain issues throughout the film.

Editing by Ujwal Kulkarni could have been a lot better; the film drags, and a few scenes feel abrupt, leaving a sense of confusion. Cinematography by Bhuvan Gowda feels uninspired; it seems as if he walked straight from the KGF sets to Salaar, as almost every scene screams KGF flavor.

Hombale Films’ production values are as grand as KGF.


Scale and setup

Interval action sequence:

Second-half action episodes and elevations



Dull first half

Zero emotional connect

Overacting female characters (Shruti, Jhansi, Easwari Rao)


KGF-heavy, less original

Did I Enjoy It?

Yes, second half

Will You Recommend It?

Yes, but expect only action, nothing more

Salaar Movie Review by M9

Final Report:

Salaar has a mostly dull first half, a high-intensity interval, and better action drama in the second half. A couple of action sequences hit it out of the park, making it worth a one-time watch for its scale.

— The fight scene where Deva saves a girl is well-designed, and the heroic dialogues are written effectively. It’s brutal but effective.

First Half Report:

The first half of Salaar features a dull hero characterization except for the two blocks. Shruthi Haasan and Easwari Rao’s overly dramatic roles intensify the impact, while BGM sounds dull. The real face-off is set to begin, so the second half should compensate for it.

— The story is progressing with suspense surrounding Shruthi Hassan’s character, the reason for which is yet to be revealed.

— Salaar began with two friends and a promise Deva made to his friend. Stay tuned for the first half report.

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Salaar marks the craziest combination of Baahubali hero Prabhas and KGF director Prashanth Neel, setting massive expectations due to the setup, casting, and scale of the film. The hype is real, presenting Prabhas with another significant opportunity to impress the trade after working with Rajamouli. Salaar is crucial for director Prashanth Neel, further establishing his market as the most wanted pan-India director. Follow M9 for the unbiased first-on-net Salaar movie review and report from the U.S. premiere.

Cast: Prabhas, Prithviraj, Shruthi Haasan, Tinu Anand, Eshwari Rao, Jagapathi Babu, Sriya Reddy, Garuda Ram

Story – Screenplay – Direction : Prashanth Neel

Studio : Hombale Films
Producer : Vijay Kiragandur

DOP : Bhuvan Gowda
Music : Ravi Basrur
Stunts : Anbarivu
Editor : Ujwal Kulkarni

U.S. Distributor: Prathyangira Cinemas

Salaar Movie Review by M9