Shatamanam Bhavati Review
'Shatamanam Bhavati' hits the screens today after two milestone movies of two big stars have entertained the audience. Here is our review.
Raju (Sharwanand) is a sinless thatayya bhaktha whose goodness is as mythical as Gautamiputra Satakarni's valour. His grandparents Raghava Raju (Prakash Raj) and his wife (played by Jayasudha) too are known for goodness, but more than that they are known for missing their sons/daughter settled in US, Canada, and Australia.
When Jayasudha almost playfully (!) tells her husband that she will think of living with one of her children if they don't make it to Athreyapuram this Sankranthi, the paragon of virtues that is Raghava Raju decides to tell his children something so shocking that they start immediately for India.
Among the relatives who visit them is, no prizes for guessing, Raju's super-innocuous maradalu (Anupama Parameswaran as Nithya). Love blossoms.
All ends well, but not before the demystification of Raghava Raju's shocking decision in a climax you always knew coming.
Any time after the film starts, the elder will ask Raju to take the maradalu on a tour of the village. Invariably, nobody else will accompany them. Once this scene bombards you, make sure you start ticking the check list. Invariably, the bava-maradalu duo will indulge in little joys (like savouring 'kallu'). Invariably, there will be an eve-teasing scene through which the hero emerges a martyr. You will not find only one item: The bava helping her cross the lake by carrying her on his shoulders even as she rhythmically moves her legs up and down in rapture!
There comes the scene where the hero says that one has to share joys, not sorrows, as he has just done. Guess what sorrow has visited him? The maradalu accidentally hit his finger with a stone. As his finger bleeds, the bava quotes this line, probably gifted to him by his ideologue-in-chief, Mahatma Tathayya.
As the future couple go through all this, somewhere in the second half, Jayasudha almost erupts in joy when the grand-daughter says those much-awaited six words: 'Life long ikade undi povalani undi'. Check your checklist.
Just as you think 'Shatamanam Bhavati' has no mandatory references to Pawan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu, the idea of parody smuggles its way in the form of a Dubsmash scene. This is just another version of those antyakshari scenes that are a staple of family entertainers.
In the first half, the good uncle (played by Sijju) says he loved someone as a youngster and in the second half, the bava arranges for their meeting. Yes, your guess is right. That old lover woman's personal life hasn't been well.
Amid the uncles and aunties committing the crime of being busy with either their work or TV, it's the talented Bava alone who can liberate them from unsentimental stuff by snapping cable network, for example. Meanwhile, don't forget to mark a tick against Entry No. 22: Family members getting senti over flipping through the village's oldest photo album, which is their family album!
Director Satish Vegesna draws from a certain template. His strength lies in delivering a few laughs through situational humour. Besides Sharwa, Naresh (the hero's father as Bangarraju, nicknamed as Kangarraju), Praveen and others do comedy.
You have to be in a parallel universe to believe that Raghava Raju means what he is saying. The film's conflict point, if one dares to call it, is wafer-thin
Sharwanand has done the right thing by choosing a family entertainer. He could well become all the more likeable after 'SB'. He comes across as a guy-next-door and does his part very well. Anupama gets her first full-fledged role in Tollywood. She looks youngish and tender; her 'VP means waht', 'Kallu means what', etc are interesting. Prakash Raj being the fine actor he is does his part as if it were a breeze. Only that he has no much dialogue except in the climax. Jayasudha is once again at her 'sahaja nati' best. Whether she is joyous or agonized, it's a treat to watch her natural acting. Naresh once again has an impactful role after 'A Aa'; his line 'Anni vishayallo kangaru pade nenu, nee vishayam lo enduku..' is touching. Sijju, Indraja, Raja Ravindra and Saiths do a good job.
Mickey J Meyer's music is endearing and fits the bill. 'Nilavade', picturized on the lead pair in retro mode, is enjoyable. His music goes a long way in making 'SB' a feel-good watch.
Sameer Reddy's cinematography is excellent. He captures the beauty of the village quite well.
'Shatamanam Bhavati' may not have a refreshing story line, but the film works for those who look for feel-good, light touch emotional entertainers.