Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire (2023 Film Review)


            ‘Salar: Part 1 Ceasefire (Commander)’ is a 2023 Indian Telugu epic action film written and directed by Prashanth Neel and produced by Vijay Kiragandur.

It stars Prabhas and Prithviraj Sukumaran in the lead roles, with a supporting cast including Shruti Haasan, Jagapathi Babu, Bobby Sinha, Tinnu Anand, Easwari Rao, Suriya Reddy and Ramachandra Raju.

The film’s first story is based on Neil’s debut novel Ugramm and is the first of a two-part film.It was officially announced in December 2020 with the title “Salaar,” but in July 2023, the official title was revealed to be “Salaar: Part 1 – Truce.


        In the city-state of Khansaar in 1985, Devaratha “Deva” Raisaar and Vardharaja “Vardha” Mannar, son of Khansaar’s king, Raja Mannar, are inseparable friends. When Raja Mannar orders the extermination of the Shouryanga tribe of Khansaar, Deva and his mother are caught in the crossfire. Vardha gives away his right over Khansaar’s territory as bribe in return for sparing their lives. Before leaving, Deva promises Vardha to return whenever he calls upon him.

In 2017, Aadhya, daughter of businessman Krishnakanth, arrives in Varanasi from the United States. Seeking revenge for something that happened in Khansaar, her father’s rivals unsuccessfully attempt to kidnap her. Rescued by Deva’s friend, Bilal, she hides in Tinsukia where Deva and his mother now live in secrecy. Aadhya enlists to work as a teacher in the government school where Deva’s mother works. Eventually, Krishnakanth’s enemies trace Aadhya and attempt to kidnap her, but are successfully stopped by Deva. Fearing for Deva’s life, his mother decides to leave the town with him. Meanwhile, Aadhya is kidnapped by a convoy from Khansaar lead by Rinda. However, Deva stops the convoy with his artillery. This incident is witnessed by Radha Rama Mannar, Vardha’s step-sister, himself, and his advisor, Gaikwad aliasBaba“.

After the rescue, Bilal narrates the story of Deva and his connection with Khansaar to Aadhya. Khaansar was an independent city-state ruled by three tribes: the Mannars, the Shouryaangas and the Ghaniyaars. As the only part of the subcontinent to not submit to British rule, Siva Mannar, the head of Khansaar and the leader of the Mannar tribe refused to be governed by India’s constitution and signed a pact with the government to retain Khansaar’s autonomy whilst hiding its existence from all maps.

He divided the land into 101 parts and appointed a head for each area Kapu (with 1 vote each). Above these heads, there were Doras (with 3 votes each) – leaders of 10-12 Kapus. These Doras were feudatories to the head of Khansaar (with 15 votes). In 1985, Dhaara, the head of the Shouryaanga tribe, won the vote to be the next head of Khansaar.

However, he was eventually killed by Siva Mannar’s son, Raja Mannar, who usurped the throne and massacred the entire Shouryaanga tribe. Afterwards, Raja Mannar appointed his close confidantes and family members as Doras to oversee the state.

In 2010,  Raja Mannar’s son-in-law, Balava, asked him to consider Varda, who was ousted in 1985, as his successor. This was approved by Raja Manar, but opposed by his aides and other children, Radha Rama and Rudra Manar.

 One day, Raja Manar left Kansar and delegated his duties until Radha Rama returned. He soon brought in mercenary armies from Siberia, Austria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Russia, and South Sudan, all of Kapus and Dora to usurp the throne. However, Radha Rama declared a truce until the return of Raja Manar.

            Varada sought help from the Devas who were living in Gujarat at the time and with his mother’s permission took him back to Khansar. Devas killed Vishnu, the son of Nalan, one of the Dras, when he tried to sell a young girl into prostitution. During the trial, Nalan was beheaded by the Devas for mistreating Varda. Deva and Varada were imprisoned along with their supporters Birch Manar, Varda’s younger brother Linga, Bilal, and Gaikwad alias ‘Baba’.

            Ranga of the Ganiyars made a pact with Rudra Raja to kill Varda. On the day of the vote on whether to continue or suspend the ceasefire, Varda voted in the final vote in favor of suspending it. All three tribes soon laid claim to the throne. Meanwhile, Varda escapes from the prison with the help of Deva and eliminates Ranga and his men.

            Upon the return of Raja Mannar in , it was revealed that Balava was actually a Suryaanga tribesman who had survived the massacre along with his confidante Deher. Dheru further reveals that Dhaara Raisaar’s son is alive and is none other than Deva alias Devaratha Raisaar. On the same night, Varda appointed Deva as his ‘Salar’.

This movie had mixed reviews of crirics.

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