'Shamantakamani', the crime comedy, hits the screens today. Here is our review of the mini multi-starrer.
A vintage car named Shamantakamani, worth Rs. 5 Cr, has been stolen from a five-star hotel. Entrusted with the responsibility to nab the culprit is Inspector Ranjith Kumar, played by Nara Rohith.
What transpired before the mega robbery involved the lives of four individuals: A humiliated son-cum-lover boy (played by Aadhi), a petty country thief (played by Sundeep Kishan), a funny mechanic (played by Rajendra Prasad) who has been wooing a neighbourhood woman, and, lastly, a dejected motherless son, played by Sudheer Babu (whose rich father's car has been stolen).
Upon finding that all these were very much present at a party in the same hotel, Ranjith starts off a marathon investigation of one suspect after another. Despite all dots falling into place, the truth eludes.
The climax is about who actually stole the car and with what agenda.
Writer-director Sriram Aditya surely doesn't have a novel story line. Essentially, it is a been-there-done-that case. Bits and pieces of even the main characters have also been seen in other movies.
But 'Shamantakamani' still makes for an engaging watch because of its tight screenplay. The imperfect characters come with their own grievances. In their disappointments, their frustrations, their semi-broken dreams, the film finds its emotional quotient.
Aadhi's parents (played by Tanikella Bharani and comedienne Hema) constantly humiliate him for being a fit-for-nothing bum. His rich lover (played by Chandni Chowdhary) seems to question his lowly ways.
Sundeep Kishan's girlfriend, halfway through elopement, realizes that the 'chillara man' is not meant for her.
Sudheer Babu lives with the memories of his mother, who was devoured by fate when he was eight. He is sandwiched between a superstitious, self-centred father (Suman) and a stepmother who has no love for him.
Entering small-time mechanic Rajendra Prasad's little life is an indebted widow (Indraja), who has no colour in her life and which is what the mechanic promises to give her.
In this scheme, only Nara Rohith's character doesn't come with any emotional backstory. In tandem with his drunkard sidekick (played by Raghu Karamanchi, who gets reasonably good screen time), the corrupted cop represents the unemotional system.
Will their momentary, accidental tryst with five-star life for a night result in more sorrow? That's the ending.
The proceedings are peppered throughout with comic relief. The hyperlink-style screenplay doesn't confuse at all.
All the performances deserve a special mention. The scene where Sudheer quarrels with Suman about his intent to celebrate his birthday stands out as the best in terms of the former's performance. The scene where Chandni shouts at Aadhi for sounding the horn stands out in terms of conception. Sundeep Kishan makes a very good impact. Rajendra Prasad is hilarious. Nara Rohith gets to show a reckless attitude.
Mani Sharma's BGM does full justice to the film's genre. The cinematography is another high point, with the frames very bright and colorful.
'Shamantakamani' has an ordinary story line. The screenplay and performances are what makes it an enjoyable watch. It breaks free from done-to-death scenes that Tollywood has been addicted to.