Vishal, though hails from a Telugu family, was brought up in Chennai and made his entry into Tamil films along with his brother Vikram Krishna. While Vishal turned a hero, his brother Vikram Krishna used to produce films. Having an attachment with Telugus, They started dubbing the Tamil films into Telugu and Vishal came very near to the Telugu audiences, with his films like, Pogaru, Pandemkodi and others. To strengthen his bonds with Telugu film industry too, Vishal decided to do a straight Telugu film and paved the way for Salute. However, the film failed to attract the audiences much, though it has a police story in its backdrop and powerful action scenes ruled the roost. Even Nayantara's glamour could not save the film.
Satyam (Vishal) is an ACP by profession. He is very sincere in his duty and also has some social responsibility. In fact, his father is also a sincere government officer (tahsildar), who dies in the hands of a sand contractor. Satyam tries to avenge his father's killing and takes sword to kill the contractor along with some villagers. However, Pratapa Rudra (Upendra), who is a brother-in-law of the contractor, takes him into custody. It is Pratapa Rudra, who inspires Satyam to become a police officer with his words – 'Police and God are equal. It is law that has to punish guilty and the God only can punish the sinners.' Coming to the story, Home Minister Kondala Rao (Kota Srinivasa Rao) has an ambition to become Chief Minister and he is second in command in party. However, two others Mahadevayya (Santana Krishnan), Chandramati (Apoorva) and Punyakoti (Jeeva) also turn popular in the party and aspire for the CM's post, as the CM is hospitalized. Now, Kondala Rao decides to make his route clear and instructs his left hand Dilli (Ravi Kaale) to eliminate his opponents. Even as Dilli tells his men and hatches a plan to kill the first two, they get killed. This surprises Dilli and Kondala Rao. There is another person who is a close confidant of Kondala Rao, who is his right hand, Acharya. Almost all the assets of Kondala Rao are in his name and he is the benami for Kondala Rao. Now the suspicion turns as to who is killing the politicians and the Kondala Rao doubts Punyakoti. Being a home minister he instructs to catch the criminals and on a request from Satyam, Kondala Rao agrees to question even the ministers. Satyam uses his shrewd mind and tries to save Punyakoti from death but can not. However, he is able to catch the killer and surprisingly it is Pratapa Rudra. The latter challenges that their department can not do anything when criminals are ruling the country in the guise of politicians and he has decided to eliminate the criminals in the politics. Satyam challenges that he would bring them to book. In the process he arrests Acharya and converts him as an approver. However, while trying to take him to court, Dilli kills Satyam's mother and also Acharya. In order to prevent Dilli's arrest, Kondala Rao plans to introduce him into politics. But, Satyam escapes from the custody and reaches the venue. He aims two revolvers to Kondala Rao and Dilli and make them to confess their crimes and leave the choice to punish them to the people. Annoyed with his guts, Pratapa Rudra and the entire police department including his superiors salute Satyam for his bold attempt to prove that a police is supreme in safeguarding the nation.
PLUS: The major plus point in the film is the performance of Vishal. He is nice in a cop's attire and his six-pack body gives the audiences a feeling that he is really a tough guy. Another highlight of the film is the performance of Upendra. Most of his dialogues evoked instant applause from the audiences. All the action scenes are quite stylish and 'Stun' Siva has ensured a lot of thread work and the blast scenes of cars are shot excellently. Both the action choreographers and the cameraman RD Rajasekhar need to be complimented for excellent taking of these scenes. One more plus point in the film is the picturisation of a romantic song involving Vishal and Nayantara. It has a lot of sex appeal and could pull the mass audiences to the theatre.
MINUS: This kind of message and stories on police came on the Telugu screen for many a time. But for a twist in the climax, the entire film has nothing much to talk about. The director, while scripting the screenplay, could not join certain scenes properly and tried to patch them up suitably and this leads to keep some unnecessary scenes. Scenes like the parody of 'Bharatiyudu' to prove that the heroine has some social responsibility are unnecessary and the director has failed to establish the love between the hero and heroine properly, though there are many duets. Keeping old stylish songs in the film also embarrasses the audiences and proved that Vishal can not leave the Tamil scent. Besides, the editor of the film has forgotten to trim some scenes where there are Tamil signboards. Vishal should have chosen some other subject for his entry into Telugu films, as the audiences have already tasted his action films.
REMARKS: Though the movie is based on police department, the lengthy fights cause boredom to the audiences. Though some dialogues are thought provoking, the Telugu audiences are used to such dialogues from many a film. The climax of the film is also not so convincing. When the hero on dais could be shot at the end, why not before the villains confess the crime. With a whole lot of police officials present there, why not anyone dare to take a clever step to control the hero. With Vishal choosing an action film for his debut entry into Telugu, the audiences are left with a feel that it is also a dubbed version of a Tamil film but for the presence of some familiar faces of Telugu film industry.
Cast: Vishal, Nayantara, Upendra, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Brahmanandam, Ali, Apoorva, Jeeva, Ravi Kaale and others
Credits: Dialogues – Shashank Vennelakanti, Lyrics – Sirivennela Sitarama Sastry, Sahiti, Chandrabose, Music – Harris Jairaj, Choreography – Brinda, Suresh, Costumes – Ramana, Camera – RD Rajasekhar, Editing – Anthony, Action – 'Stun' Siva, Effects – Craig Muhma, Art – Thotta Tarani, Presents – GK Reddy, Producer – Vikram Krishna, Story, screenplay and direction - Rajasekhar
Banner: GK Film Corporation