Hanu Man brings the superhero genre to Telugu cinema with mixed results. Lead actor Teja Sajja shows promise playing the titular role of Hanumanthu, an ordinary young man who gains extraordinary powers after an encounter with a mystical statue. Sajja has an energetic charm and throws himself into the action sequences with gusto.
The visual effects are a highlight, creating some slick and exciting superhero set pieces. The color palette pops with bright primaries and director Prasanth Varma has an eye for dynamic compositions during the fight scenes. However, the CGI is inconsistent at times, looking overly artificial in the climactic battle.
While Hanu Man nails some of the surface-level aesthetics of superhero films, it falters in storytelling and character depth. The script follows very familiar origins story beats without adding much novelty. Hanumanthu’s motivations are thinly written, as are the motivations of the forgettable, one-note villain played by Vinay Rai. The romantic subplot feels perfunctory and undercooked.
Prasanth Varma shows talent for crafting eye-catching action spectacle, but struggles to make the slower dramatic or comedic scenes compelling. The pacing drags in the second half as plot points and action sequences become repetitive. More clever humor and character development could have helped engage viewers throughout.
Overall, Hanu Man is a visually impressive but narratively flawed first attempt at bringing superheroics to Telugu cinema. It hints at an exciting new directorial voice in Prasanth Varma, as well as a charismatic potential superstar in Teja Sajja. But the thin script prevents the film from fully realizing the promise of its premise. Diehard superhero fans may find aspects to enjoy, but general audiences may lose interest despite some impressively staged sequences.