If Mahesh Babu seems to be the most important star, be it in terms of the screen time or the number of lines he gets to speak, it is Venkatesh who takes a lion's share in SVSC's story. It is around Peddodu that Srikanth Addala weaves a drama full of modest emotional highs and lilting moments. Do not even expect a story, or even regular cinematic characters, for you will be badly disappointed. It is neither a Karan Johar family entertainer where a marriage or love affair creates a rift between two emotionally mature members of the family nor a Krishna Vamsi film where the family members wear their hearts on their sleeves and they habitually huddle around the elder, letting the cameraman to leisurely capture their over-indulgent moments. The film follows a format of its own, without its share of episodes of anti-climactic and climactic nature that are believed to be so mandatory for any movie.
While watching SVSC, one may need to pay special notice to Prakash Raj's honest character and Venkatesh's unsocialising behavior to better take the threads of the eventless narration (even the defining moment, involving the father and his two sons minutes before the climax, is a logical culmination of this element). Prakash Raj, the father of Peddodu and Chinnodu, believes in being a good human being first. His elder son's immaturity and obstinacy do not affect him even a bit, because this ordinary old man is sanguine about the future of his sons. To his harmless mind, savouring the good Pandit's sermons on Bhakti TV and thoroughly but internally believing that leaving everything to Lord Ramachandra's divine care is the only best thing we can do.
Peddodu comes with a typical attitudinal problem. His uncle (Kota Srinivasa Rao in a brief role) has just retrenched him from his little white-collar job due to recession. Now jobless, he is whiling away his time, letting whoever advices him to think about his future know that he is not willing to change his attitude. He seems to be deceiving himself, but thinks that people around him are actors. Yet, he is loved and respected by his family members and he shares a special emotional rapport with his brother, the ever-so-friendly Chinnodu. Seethamma (Anjali), who has been brought up by his parents, has been in love with him for long.
Chinnodu is jobless like his bro, but he is emotionally alright and unlike his moody brother, has fun with his friends and the new girl in his life (Samantha as Geetha). He is the kind of person who sits on a moving elevator and says to his friends that even he is 'coming up' (a metaphor for rising in life). Even though he is seemingly disappointed with his bro's stubbornness and self-delusion, his love for him has always kept him from chiding Peddodu.
The good father, very self-contented and always wearing a smile on his face, never advices his sons. Good things just happen to him, as he is a rare human being who doesn't think twice to sacrifice his life to save a life in danger. Jayasudha, his wife, is a good wife and mother, who shares with her husband with glee her auspicious dream in which God Himself gifted her two pious objects which symbolize the good future that her sons are going to enjoy. But she can't muster the courage to remind Peddodu of his responsibilities.
Seethamma is a child at heart. She loves Peddodu and says to his aunt, Jayasudha that she will marry her son the day he calls her by her name. She enjoys the Ram-Lakshman type relationship between the two brothers.
The story has place for one (only one) arrogant, self-priding, jealous character - played by Rao Ramesh. He is the estranged and angry brother-in-law of Prakash Raj. He has a disdainful attitude towards Raj and his family, as he thinks that they do not know 'loukhyam'. He insults Peddodu once, he admonishes Chinnodu to ask his bro to mend his ways, but they pay him back in same kind. His daughter, Samantha, is in love with Chinnodu.
There is a conflict in the story and Peddodu is at its centre. Every time he wallows in anger or dejection, Chinnodu is there to share his emotions with. At times he shouts at Chinnodu, but there comes a point when Chinnodu talks at him, thereby triggering a change in Peddodu.
The first one hour is a treat to watch. Srikanth's treatment of the story is definitely refined and classy. Be it the characterizations or the situations, they are new. The dialogues, minimal, heart-felt and witty at once, are its biggest strength. However, after a point of time, the film seems to drag, and picks up only towards the last 15 minutes. The scenes involving Venky and Mahesh in the second half are a let down. Venky's uni-dimensional character starts to bore now. The director has relied on two or three emotional highs in the second half to redeem his film. For a massive multi-starrer like this, the indispensability of the two stars must be greater than that of any other character (the father in this case). For example, while Amitabh Bacchan's decision to banish his elder son from the household is the turning point of K3G, it is Hrithik Roshan's attempt to woo SRK back into the fold of the parivar that is the most exciting point. We know comparisons are not always right, but this is what even an audience who gives two hoots to who the actors are, would expect from a promising multi-starrer. Towards the end we find Chinnodu's contribution is not very substantial (though absolutely meaningful and important).
The conversations between the two brothers are refreshingly natural. Venky and Mahesh being very mature actors, they convey emotions through their eyes and expressions. They exude an understated affection that is real cool to watch. The director doesn't over-indulge them and it betrays his intelligence. The first scene of the two actors comes 40 minutes into the film.
The fun element for the mass audience is, undoubtedly, Mahesh's accent and dialogues. Every young girl swoons in his presence, and he enjoys it. His ripostes to Samantha are rib-tickling.
The performances are neat and enjoyable. Mahesh and Venky's slice-of-life acts apart (there is no element of larger-than-life-ness to them), the ensemble cast are entertaining. Anjali as a lovable Seethamma is cute. Samantha chips in with some dose of glamour. Prakash Raj and Jayasudha are at their usual best. Rao Ramesh slips into his character with ease and plays the role of a rich man with aplomb. Tanikella, Ravi Babu, Kota make an impression.
All the songs are interesting, except for the Mahesh-Samanatha duet and the Venky-Anjali song (which is old-fashioned). A song for Samantha was not needed.
Technically, Mickey J Meyer's music is on expected lines. Mani Sharma's BG score is snazzy at some places. KV Guhan's cinematography contributes to make the ambience look more beautiful.
The dialogues, co-written by Ganesh Patro and Srikanth himself, are quite impressive. They tug the heart at a few places.
Released on: 11th Jan, 2013