Banner: Bhavya Creations
Cast: Nithin, Rakul Preet Singh, Priya Prakash Varrier, Sampath Raj, and others
Music: Kalyani Malik
Cinematography: Rahul Shrivatsav
Editor: Sanal Anirudhan
Action: Ravi Varma
Producer: V Ananda Prasad
Written and Direction: Chandrasekhar Yeleti
Release Date: Feb 26, 2021
Director Chandrasekhar Yeleti and Nithin teaming for the first time has generated a lot of buzz. Celebrities like NTR and Rajamouli further promoting it has added more strength to this movie’s promotions.
Let’s find out whether the film lives up to the expectations.
Aditya (Nithin) is sentenced to life for being involved with terrorists who planted a bomb blast. Lawyer Manasa (Rakul) takes up his case to prove his innocence. She learns about his past life, his love story with Yatra (Priya Prakash Varrier).
In jail, he befriends an old inmate (Sai Chand) and plays chess games with him.
Will Aditya ever get a chance to prove his innocence? And what is the connection of the Chess game to the whole story?
Nithin has surrendered to the story. The story doesn’t provide him to be casual at any period, it makes him look serious. Nithin has portrayed the role effectively. Except for a brief romantic sequence and a duet, he is seen in closed spaces. Yet, he has tried to carry the film on his shoulders.
Senior actor Sai Chand has once again impressed us with his impeccable performance. He gets a lengthy and important role.
Rakul Preet Singh as a lawyer has done a good job. She is convincing. Priya Prakash in her Telugu debut gets a raw deal. She is hardly seen in 15 minutes.
Harshavardhan, Posani, Sampath Raj, and Murali Sharma have done justice to their roles.
The film has an excellent production design. Close to 80 percent of the movie is set in a jail. The sets of prisons are believable. The art direction and cinematography are striking.
The editing lacks the slickness required for such thrillers.
The first half
Ineffective chess games
Bland second half
There are scores of Hollywood movies that give clues of the major twist in the very beginning of the story. The trick is that the audiences don’t see it coming. “Check” begins with childhood episodes of the hero and how he became a con artist and magician. A con artist gets conned and is sentenced to life. This is a simple line.
The rest of the drama is the hero’s attempt to prove his innocence and come out of the prison? But how does he do? Director Chandrasekhar Yeleti has come up with an interesting setup. As all magicians do, he pulled off a distraction - chess game.
After setting up the basic plot well, the film falters big time. Yes, big time! The chess games hardly are exciting. There is no kick when the hero wins the game either at a local competition or at the national level. We don’t feel the need for rooting for him either. Because we hardly get any emotional connection with the protagonist.
Plus, chess is not cricket or football that the majority of the audiences are well-versed with. The moves that Nithin does and his cleverness don’t evoke awe. But the film is not about ‘chess’, but the final move that Nithin puts. The climax twist is his brilliant move. However, the twist leaves us with mixed feelings. The twist is a clever idea on paper, but it defies the logic.
Anyone who has seen Hollywood great movie 'The Shawshank Redemption' can easily spot Yeleti is heavily borrowed the plot from it.
Some scenes are brilliantly handled by the director in the first half. Some scenes show the mark of Yeleti. But the second half is filled with too many plot holes. The grip goes down in the final portion.
All in all, Nithin’s “Check” leaves us with mixed feelings. It is a prison drama with a twist and chess game, but the narration is not at all engaging enough.
Bottom-line: Lacks Grip