Simha promises more entertainment than actually meets the eye. It is going to spawn a whole new set of Balakrishna jokes on the internet again. Though it may appear ridiculous for regular cinegoers, it is a treat for his fans. The movie has been tailor-made for those who want a Balakrishna movie to be made exactly the way his past 45 movies were made. Sreenu's direction is simple and straightforward without any twists and turns. That perhaps could be the undoing of the movie. However, he ensures the entertainment element is retained throughout.
The movie follows the regular Balakrishna template. Double roles of father and son, father getting killed in a grotesque manner while helping the underdogs, son seeking vendetta while romancing with pretty women... Simha is another assembly line product of brand Balakrishna.
There are plenty of punchy dialogues with Balayya style keywords, rhymes and alliterations that drip with his attitude. Then of course, he is the one-man army who walks around with an axe of Lord Narasimha. He is the modern day Parshurama, who chops limbs, hacks chests, slices thighs, stabs the stomach and pierces spines, besides hurling full bodied muscleman on to automobiles and seeing them fall to their death. He also drives automobiles with gusto and ensures that he annihilates his rivals by flying his four-wheeler into the air, suspending it long enough for it to collide with other automobiles in the sky and then all come down blown up into smithereens. The rest die, only Simha survives with blood on some strategic places on his doctor's coat! In other words, exaggeration thy name is Simha. In the entire movie, he would have easily killed no less than about 400 people with his axe.
The movie follows a linear fashion. Scene 1 is about fighting injustice by killing 200 people in one go, scene 2 is about displaying family values, scene 3 romancing a pretty dame with trademark flirtations, scene 4 a masala mass number with the girl. Scene 5 back to the baddies. Rinse and repeat thereafter. In most of his previous movies, there is always a hint of some powerful flashback episode that keeps the audience guessing for it. But Simha has no such teasers as it goes on and on before suddenly jumping into the flashback which shows a similar story, set about 30 years ago. Then again, we leap back to the current day where Srimannarayana seeks revenge, finishes off the baddies and gets the girl. There are no twists, treats and thrills unlike his previous Simha experiments such as Samarasimha Reddy, Narasimha Naidu, Seema Simham and Lakshminarasimha.
Balakrishna has lost tremendous weight and looks better than in his previous movies. Thankfully, he plays a college professor and not a college student. He excels in his role both as a teacher and as a doctor-cum-hacker. In the second half, he sports a twirly moustache and keeps twisting whenever he hacks people. He excels in the dialogue delivery, especially where he has to brief the enemy about what he can do, what he has done previously and how they should go hiding from him. He should talk more and act less in movies for better results. But it has to be admitted, nobody can match Balayya's tenor, body language and his accent when he mouths his favourite lines.
Nayanthara plays the wife of Simha and surprise, surprise, she is fully clad in sarees. She is decked up in so much jewellery that even the protagonists of Ekta Kapoor's saas-bahu serials are put to shame. The kundan jewellery surely must weigh more than her. She plays a righteous wife who supports the husband in his service to the society. In terms of performance, she has only one impressive scene when the police come visiting their home in search of Simha. Sneha Ullal looks sweet in her minimal role of a student who falls in love with the professor. Namitha sheds inhibitions (and not weight) to compensate for the fully clad Sneha and Nayanthara. Namitha can certainly consider modelling as an alternate profession, especially for weight loss products where she can pose for the 'before' model. Despite her girth, she does a good job in the opening number Ramarama.
The editing completely goes awry in the second half where a devotional song is inserted and takes the movie off-track for a brief while. The song itself is good about the miracles of Lord Narasimha and his divine wedding, but its timing is not. When was the last time we watched a number on a God in a commercial movie? The blood, gore, violence etc could have easily been cut down by half in almost every scene making it less repulsive. Perhaps, even a different kind of cinematography could have lessened the revolting scenes. Wilson's camera work is good in scenes involving the flashback scene, especially the death of Simha. Chakri's mass numbers such as Ramarama and Janaki Janaki are good. So is the melody with Nayanthara and Balakrishna.
Finally, Simha is for Balakrishna's fans who want the movie to be exactly the same way his movies have been in the past thirty years. If you've seen one Balakrishna movie, you've seen Simha as well.