Hanu-Man review: Mostly engaging with the 90s-template filmmaking

Throughout 'Hanu-Man', the director seems to have consciously pushed the story as a superhero tale rather than telling a compelling story.

ByPrakash Pecheti

Published:Jan 12, 2024

Teja Sajja's Hanu-Man is a superhero film
Caters more to children!

Hanu-Man (Telugu)

  • Cast: Teja Sajja, Amritha Aiyer, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Vinay Rai, Raj Deepak Shetty, Vennela Kishore, Getup Srinu, and Satya
  • Director: Prasanth Varma
  • Producer: K Niranjan Reddy
  • Music: GowraHari, Anudeep Dev, and Krishna Saurabh
  • Runtime: 2 hours 38 minutes

The narrative of director Prasanth Varma’s Hanu-Man unfolds in the fictional town of Anjanadri, where a grand Lord Hanuman statue oversees a river.

The central characters are Hanumanthu (Teja Sajja) and his affectionate sister (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar). Their lives take a tumultuous turn with the arrival of antagonist Michael (Vinay Rai), an ambitious individual who masquerades as a corporate executive.

What ulterior motive does Michael have for coming to Anjanadri? Can he deceive and outmaneuver Hanumanthu?

The story of Hanu-Man revolves around how Hanumanthu defends himself and the village from Michael’s sinister plans.

Related: ‘Hanu-Man’ is surely going to break stereotypes: Varalaxmi Sarathkumar


Teja Sajja in Hanu-Man

Teja Sajja in ‘Hanu-Man’. (X)

Ever since it kickstarted the promotions, Hanu-Man has been packaged as the first edition of the Prasanth Varma Cinematic Universe. This homegrown superhero movie evokes feelings of deep respect and awe intermittently.

Though the visuals could have been more compelling, the emotional impact lacks the required push.

The screenplay from Scriptsville seems to be half-baked at times, occasionally relying on the template of the 90s’ rural backdrop.

The director couldn’t sidestep the treacherous path of predictability. Nevertheless, amidst the moments of awe, there are scenes skillfully crafted with innovation, such as the festive celebration of local pickle traditions in the “Avakaya Anjaneya” song.

In the initial hour, the deliberate moments of the protagonist’s mundane lifestyle attempt to set the ball rolling.

The superhero consciously tries to cater to a child-friendly audience and meticulously lays the groundwork for the larger-than-life transformation.

Related: Chiranjeevi overjoyed to know the reason behind ‘Hanu-Man’ title


A poster of the Telugu film Hanu-Man

A poster of ‘Hanu-Man’. (X)

The devotional dimension of the principal character is sparingly used contributing to render emotional depth to the narrative.

Throughout Hanu-Man, the director seems to have consciously pushed the story as a superhero tale rather than telling a compelling story.

As the second part Jai Hanuman is being planned for release next year, several elements have been intentionally reserved in the first part.

The hero’s character, Hanumanthu, does not undergo a significant change even after acquiring superhuman abilities due to an unexpected turn of events. Even in the latter half, the characterisation looks frivolous as the hero engages in comedy.

In a few sequences, characters lack believability factor. Take the case of Hanumanthu miraculously lifting a hill, the villagers react with excitement as if they’re enjoying a sporting event.

Neither they are puzzled nor awed by a superpower human lifting a hill. You may register the presence of divinity as an audience, but not the characters in Hanu-Man.

Some comic segments are forcibly incorporated in between in a desperate attempt to entertain children.


Prasanth Varma's directorial Hanu-Man

Prasanth Varma’s directorial ‘Hanu-Man’. (X)

Teja Sajja entered the Sankranthi fray as the underdog taking on the big-star flicks like Guntur Kaaram and Saindhav.

Although his performance doesn’t touch majestic heights, he lends weight to his character oozing divinity. Yet, he sends out a feeling that he is too tender for the role.

Vinay Rai’s performance could have drawn whistles if the dubbing had been right. It looks as if his character was drawn from some Hollywood pulp fiction action thrillers.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar adds a dash of intensity to her role. However, her presence is submerged in a weighty narrative.

Supporting artistes Vennela Kishore and Getup Srinu have chipped in well.

Satya tries to evoke laughter amidst a non-essential subplot along with Amritha Aiyer.

Apart from her beautiful looks, Amritha is confined to the routine part.

Samuthirakani, as Sadhu, gets wasted in the film.

Music and technicalities

Audiences get to experience a good mystical touch of divine elements that are served well with good visuals.

While adhering to traditional norms, Shivendra’s cinematography proves to be sufficiently apt.

Gowra Hari’s background score is commendable. The overall story is elevated by the good melodies composed by Gowra Hari, Anudeep Dev, and Krishna Saurabh.

Saibabu Talari’s editing should have been more crisp.


This Hanu-Man does not make a serious superhero film but rather a comedy entertainer catering mostly to children.

Bearing the final pre-climax block, the story appears to be a tried-and-tested template of a film released during the 90s.

(Views expressed here are personal.)