Martin Luther King Movie Review, Rating

October 27, 2023

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King

  • Cast : Sampoornesh Babu, Naresh, Venkatesh Maha, Sharanya Pradeep, Chakradhar, Raghavan and others
  • Director : Puja Kolluru
  • Producer : S. Sashikanth, Chakravarthy Ramachandra
  • Banner : YNOT Studios
  • Music : Smaran Sai

2.5 / 5

Burning Star Sampoornesh Babu starrer Martin Luther King, the official remake of highly-praised Tamil film, Mandela hits the silver screen today, Let’s see how the movie is…


In Padamarapadu, two brothers, Jagjivan Ram (Naresh) and Lokmanya Tilak (Venkatesh Maha), strive to be village president. Their election takes an interesting turn when they divide voters by caste, resulting in a tie. The decisive vote rests with Smile (Sampoornesh Babu), a modest cobbler. The story progresses as we see the brothers’ efforts to win Smile’s vote, his transformation into Martin Luther King, and the suspenseful reveal of his choice.


In her directorial debut, Puja Aparna Kolluru successfully drives the project, maintaining a commendable overall execution. However, an enhanced screenplay in the initial half could have brought about a more considerable impact.

The music and score, skillfully composed by Smaran Sai, meet the criteria for a satisfying audio experience. Deepak Yaragera’s cinematography fulfills expectations, and director Puja Kolluru’s editing, though serviceable, offers room for improvement, particularly in the first half. A tighter edit, with the removal of unnecessary scenes, would have contributed to a more streamlined and engaging runtime. The production values are on par with industry standards, ensuring a well-crafted visual experience for the audience.

 Thumbs Up:

  • Martin Luther King’s story features a compelling premise.
  • Sampoornesh Babu’s performance in the role of an innocent cobbler is commendable and possibly his best work to date.
  • Sharanya Pradeep’s portrayal of Vasantha, while minimal, leaves a significant impact on the film.
  • Naresh and Venkatesh Maha contribute their best performances, enhancing the film’s watchability.
  • The remaining cast members deliver decent performances, adding depth to the movie.
  • The film’s climax is intriguing and benefits from an excellent score.
  • The director deserves praise for shedding light on the persisting issue of casteism and mistreatment of lower-caste individuals in rural India, a problem still prevalent in many remote villages.

 Thumbs Down:

  • Venkatesh Maha’s direction lacks the gripping screenplay needed, especially in the first half
  • Character development could have been stronger, particularly for Naresh and Venkatesh Maha’s roles
  • The sporadic comedy in the film is decent, but more humor could have enhanced the overall experience
  • Missed opportunities to emphasize the value of voting and equality through more compelling scenes
  • Lack of impactful and thought-provoking dialogues in the political comedy
  • Many characters may be unfamiliar to the audience, hindering their connection to the story
  • Some scenes in the first half are overly prolonged, and there is a feeling of repetitiveness in the second half.


Martin Luther King brings forth an interesting concept, yet it grapples with a monotonous screenplay, leading to a subpar cinematic journey. Sampoornesh Babu delivers a commendable performance that aligns with the film’s requirements, and supporting cast members like Sharanya, Naresh, and Venkatesh Maha offer satisfactory portrayals. Unfortunately, the movie is bogged down by unnecessary pacing issues and occasional repetitiveness in its latter half. If you’re in search of a weekend movie pick, it might be worthwhile to explore other film options for your entertainment

Bottom Line: one time watch

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