When we see movies with a message, we are used to seeing the protagonist turning vigilante. Srimanthudu is the same too. It has its protagonist delivering justice in his own way. What works for some movies, doesn’t quite do with others. We will know in a week or two if it works for this movie or not.
It is simple to write off Srimanthudu like this. It comes with a message that was splashed all over the pre-release material that we saw – from the teaser to the trailer, from the audio functions to the media interactions.
The movie has ‘giving back to the society’ as its central theme. Simply put, it’s the Rudraveena of the present age. Where caste was the undercurrent on which the father-son conflict runs in the latter, it’s the money and business which make up the father-son conflict in this movie. Rudraveena was risky back then and Srimanthudu is risky today. Perhaps that’s the reason why Chiranjeevi made Rudraveena on his home banner and Mahesh Babu opted to co-produce the movie.
Srimanthudu has a lot more commercial gloss added to it. It doesn’t seem forced. That’s the thing that seems to differentiate it from the slew of message oriented films we have seen in the recent past. It’s good.
The values – production and directorial- are good. The director has been supported by some good performances by the cast.
After two flops, it’s easy to get into a mode where you lean back on things that got you stardom. Fortunately or unfortunately, for Mahesh Babu, that thing is the strength of his character in a movie. Any role that slightly has the scope to perform sees Mahesh Babu giving it his best. Perhaps that’s the reason why he doesn’t have a unique mannerism to throw his fans into a trance.
He does well in this role. He adds a lot to the role. Be it the slow bob of the head while warning Mukesh Rishi, the open chested approach to Sampath when he is being asked a lot of questions or the tug of the suit that he wears while fighting at a marriage function, he adds to the role.
He sought apologies from the crowd present at the audio function for the disaster that was Aagadu. That movie was an aberration. It seemed one started watching the movie with Dookudu and it ended as Aagadu. The law of averages, the present scenario of the industry all point towards a hit that’s needed by Mahesh Babu. Though he hasn’t fallen down in the pecking order, his movies collections have. He should be able to set it right with this movie.
He has recognized his drawbacks and is working hard on correcting them. Dance was one of them. Where his steps in some movies were ridiculed, it’s difficult to do the same with the dance in this movie. He danced well in the ‘Rama Rama’ and ‘Charusheela’ songs.
Mahesh Babu is a superstar. No doubt on that fact. You should visit a theatre in the next few days to realise the scale of superstardom. In the theater that I watched the movie in, shouts of ‘Superstar Zindabad’ rent the air every few seconds. Whether you like him or not, being in the same place with his fans while his movie is being played gives you goosebumps.
He looks very good in the movie, as if that needs to be stated. His track with Shruthi Hassan was handled with maturity and came out well. The romance track continues in the second half as well, but it’s not handled with the same adeptness as it was in the first half. Perhaps it is because the movie moves in the second half and there are other threads that required better handling than the romantic track.
He has a track with most of the important characters in the movie. Jagapathi Babu acts as his father in the movie and the respect with which Mahesh Babu talks to him should be the template for sons behaving with their fathers. Jagapathi Babu does well in the role as a father intrigued by his son’s choices. A lot of care has been taken to make them look similar. Their hairstyles are similar in the movie- the side parting that is.
The entire track with Rajendra Prasad is dignified. He looks the part in a simpleton’s role. The facial expressions with which he can convey emotions are a huge asset to any director.
Shruthi Hassan can look back fondly at this role. She has performed well in the role and did a very good job when she was the motor of the first half. It’s her role that drives the movie forward.
Koratala Siva does a very good job as a director. He doesn’t let the fact that he is directing a star overawe him. The dialogues in the movie are thought provoking. He found an able ally in Mahesh Babu to get his thoughts across. He seems to have a thing or two for shooting fight sequences. They come out brilliantly.
On the choice of him doing a subject with a message, he was walking a tightrope and he treads it well. With the huge star cast at his disposal, it was natural that some of them wouldn’t get the prominence that others got. In the scheme of things, it was a touch disappointing to see Subba Raju and Sithara not get a role that they could do justice to.
The way he handles the protagonist, his movies will be awaited with bated breath from here on
Verdict: A good movie and fully paisa vasool. There are a lot of things to be enjoyed in the movie
Image courtesy: idlebrain.com