White Guy Watches Bollywood

A random white guy engages with contemporary Indian cinema... one movie at a time

Hanu Man

Telugu Movie Review: Hanu Man offers a winning superhero saga for kids, but it’s a less compelling choice for adults

Teja Sajja stars as the titular superhero in the new Telugu movie "Hanu Man," reviewed here by White Guy Watches Bollywood.

Every so often, I encounter a new movie that I wish I could show my 8-year-old self. Hanu Man is the latest example. The boy who ate up juvenile fare like 1995’s Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie and 1998’s Godzilla would have absolutely adored this light-as-a-feather superhero origin story, even as his reading level likely would have made the subtitles a challenge. At 34, I wasn’t immune to Hanu Man’s playful charms, but I could only invest so much in an odyssey this simple and silly. If you have kids ages 7-12 who are up for a Telugu language adventure, it’s a must-see for the family; others may develop that sinking “this just isn’t made for me” feeling as the movie progresses.

The best family films, of course, are able to drive equal levels of investment among parents and kids, simultaneously speaking to both on their own unique levels. This requires an unassumingly high amount of filmmaking skill. Hanu Man is not one of these movies; it builds a logic-defying world that only those without fully-developed frontal lobes will be able to fully immerse themselves in. You’re bound to approach the movie from a certain distance if you’ve already made it into adolescence; its childishness is readily apparent early on, though not until after a pretty audacious prologue sequence. Granted, Hanu Man should still strike adults as a likable and amiable piece of family-friendly filmmaking, but perhaps better as a babysitter than as a personal source of entertainment.

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