Akhanda is a thoughtful, deeply thought-out film about how some unscrupulous men exploit people’s religious beliefs for small gain. When the crimes of these men reach their peak, the universe conspires to bring an aghori of Kashi and the wicked city dweller face to face, so that the man-god can overcome adharama (wickedness) and establish dharma (la justice). No wait. This is the plot of Naan Kadavul de Bala while Akhanda was performed by Boyapati Srinu. So how can you make the mistake of using adjectives like “sensitive” and “thoughtful” to describe a Boyapati Srinu movie?
I beg your pardon. I had to mix up the films because I am still confused by the assault on my senses. My eardrums are still throbbing after being subjected to the incessant background music of S. Thaman, which might outshine the screams and whistles in a crowded movie theater. Thaman also apparently took inspiration from AR Rahman’s iconic opening song from Chandralekha’s Song (Thiruda Thiruda), to provide a background score for the main villain. And no wonder this melody stood out amid the din of what sounded like a score in the film.
During a rainy night, a woman gives birth to twins in what is nothing less than a cosmic event. A man-god feels that one of the twins has a higher purpose and gives it to a saint. The child is then taken to Kashi and placed inside the shrine of a temple of Shiva. And then we narrowed it down to a few years later – the number is never really specified. This is because we are in the world of Boyapati Srinu, where concepts such as time, causation, logic, and common sense have no place. Nowadays we meet Murali Krishna (Nandamuri Balakrishna). He is a farmer and his mission is to reform his village, where violence has become a way of life. It uses violence to end violence, applying the same logic the United States has on gun control – who can stop a bad guy with a gun? A good man with a bigger gun.
Our good man, however, does not need any gun or weapon to stop evil men. He can do just enough damage with his bare hands. He can even outsmart Neo from The Matrix when it comes to dodging bullets. If you think he is beyond comprehension, wait until you meet his twin, Akhanda. No weapon has yet been invented by humans that could harm him. Bullets can’t hurt him, axes can’t kill him, and even dark magic can’t hit him. He is so powerful that no human will ever be able to defeat him. But, mere mortals do not have the extent of his powers. They end up going against him, only to get crushed by his non-bulky hands.
While Boyapati talks about real issues in the film, like runaway mining, irresponsible chemical waste disposal, false divine men, and the absurdity of violence, it’s all awe-inspiring. It may seem like the movie is pro-progress and pro-rationality, but the actions of its characters are quite the opposite. He has also irresponsibly used spirituality to provide moral justification for his character, who continues to slaughter people with impunity. It’s OK. You see, Akhanda is a good man with a deadly weapon.