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Times of India
Winner Story :
Siddhu (Sai Dharam Tej), the “creative head” of a newspaper, hates races and horses because they are the reason he is distanced from his father, Mahender (Jagapathi Babu). He falls in love with Sitara (Rakul) who aims to become a successful athlete against the will of her father. When Siddhu meddles with her life her father settles her marriage with “the best jockey”. In a series of coincidences, all loosely tied together by horse races, how Siddhu wins his love and his family is the rest of the film.
Winner Movie Review :
Rana Daggubati’s voice explains how horse races and gambling work to introduce the movie. And then begins the story of how a child is estranged from his father because of his grandfather’s conniving ways. Oh and grandfather loves horse racing more than his own son FYI. Cut to a bunch of stereotypical bad boys with big cars and obnoxious amounts of cash lying around who slap farmers for fun and bet on horses to impress Anasuya, the accented hottie. When the farmer laments, “veellani aape magade leda,” his son says, “Okkadunnadu. Adi mamulu power kadu. Mega power!” and you instantly know that the build-up shots are about to begin. He single handedly beats the crap out of the bad guys as Anasuya drools on. And that sets the stage for all the machismo that is going to ensue throughout the movie.
The makers of the movie meant business when they said that the film has all the elements you’d see in a commercial film. It had the heroics and loudly delivered punch dialogues of a star, a pretty looking heroine being stalked to fall in love, a separate spoofish comedy track, family sentiment, catchy tunes and a generous sprinkling of the Mega family references. Although the story can keep you engaged for a while, the film is predictable in terms of the formula it follows. You just know that Ali is going to enter in a clownish role, when there is a heavy dialogue introducing a character in the second half. You can tell that a certain dialogue is cue to a song. However, kudos to the writers for making Sitara stand up to her goal and call out Siddhu’s “love” as “torture”. Well, she does ultimately fall for him when he kidnaps her to take her to the race she’s been training for. But that cliché can be forgiven for acknowledging harassment.
Sai Dharam Tej performs well as a hero, as an actor however, not as much. Jagapathi Babu on the other hand, makes his presence felt both with his composed and class act as well as his stylish attitude. Thakur Anoop Singh could become the next big baddie in T’town. He’s done a great job in portraying the unabashed evil. Songs do impress while the BGM too doesn’t disappoint.
Having said all that, Winner can be your guilty pleasure when you want to indulge in the good ol Tollywood fix with all the high-octane drama. Winner is your typical Tollywood commercial potboiler. Nothing more and nothing less.