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Srimanthudu Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, August 7, 2015 • Telugu ]
Srimanthudu Review
Mythri Movies
Mahesh Babu, Shruti Haasan, Tejaswi Madivada, Jagapati Babu, Poorna, Rahul Ravindran, Sukanya
Koratala Siva
C.V.Mohan, Mahesh Babu, Ramesh

Srimanthudu Movie Review

Here and there, 'Srimanthudu' is all about apparently passable but subtly remarkable moments.  Take for example the interval bang: The billionaire Harshavardhan (Mahesh Babu), after beating up a bunch of baddies, gets on a bus and says, "Right.. right.." while standing on the foot-board.  Minutes earlier, Mahesh walks out of his palatial house with a bicycle in tandem.  The interval bang in one stroke unveils a Mahesh out to take on a new garb.  The audience asks in anticipation, will Mahesh shed his understatedness to give us a taste of his another self?

Koratala Shiva doesn't really unleash a Mirchi-fied Mahesh Babu even in the second half.  All throughout, the billionaire 'Srimanthudu' maintains his composure even when he has to turn into a 'hanthakudu'.  Things are so understated that the fight-to-finish itself looks half-done.

When the hero has to warn the villains, he uses the unlikely word "dattathu' to let them know they will be delivered just deserts. The dialogue come with a more-than-usual dose of English sentences, in the scenes involving Jagapathi and Mahesh.

The audience has to wait for a good deal of time for a direct confrontation between Mukesh Rishi and Mahesh Babu to happen.  When it happens, instead of high-sounding punch lines and new machinations being seen, more of the same is proffered.

Just to make sure it is a family entertainer no less, the film is tempered with a flashback involving the father, whose unknown side comes as a surprise.

Harshavardhan is the son of a billionaire-businessman and who wants to lead life on his own virtuous terms.   The first few minutes are full of trite lines and insipid scenes where the idea of characterization is reduced to Harsha revealing his righteous side to his selfish family members at the drop of a hat.  The scenes smack of banal narration: The scene where a billionaire daughter offers herself to Harsha in marriage is platitudinous in that it makes the already always-on-do-gooder-mode hero appear prohibitively churchy.  The overstating of his mentality reduces the character to being seen as unidimensional.

The film comes into its own many minutes after Harshavardhan stops revealing too much of his self.  The first scene where the film comes across as an up-to-date film is where Mahesh walks into Mukesh Rishi's (a Minister) bungalow and warns him in the best possible indirect language.  If it raises the roof, the songs like 'Charusheela..' (if not the Charusheela and her chemistry with Harsha themselves) and 'Aa kannulu..' sustain our interest.  Besides that, the fight at the marriage venue and the pre-interval fight are the ones that really qualify to be called superstar stuff.

For every first-rate cinematographic moment (Madhie's creative output), punch-delivered-in-style episode, or musical bonanza (DSP revs up the proceedings), there is a hackneyed moment going for it.  Rajendra Prasad's characterization should have been innovative instead of being a throwback to the same-old '90s-era village patriot's character.  All those induced migrations and human tragedies and murders should not have been dealt in a style that is a throwback to the old school narrative style.  The plot is almost foreseeable with the exception of Jagapathi's character, which is deliberately portrayed to mislead the unsuspecting audience.

The idea of comedy begins and ends with Vennela Kishore being ridiculed for failing to impress a girl.  Ali is becoming off-colour of late and there doesn't seem to be much to be explored.

Shruti Hasan gets a meaty role, which she does with a tinge of self-conscious performance.  She sizzles in the songs and opposite Mahesh, looks a star heroine.  The pair may be something to be watched out for.  Mahesh entertain with his banter and all; with the villains he is his Mr. Cool-cum-Ferocious and delivers all the punch lines as if he was exchanging repartees with a family member.  It is in songs like 'Charusheela' and 'Dubai yelli' that he becomes liberal with his expression.

Jagapathi does a fine job but for the scene where he does a tearjerker.

If Mukesh Rishi is routine, Sampath Raj is de-Mirchified a bit.  The villains do a good job and the line, "Item anna vadu" with reference to Mahesh is the biggest takeaway. Rahul Ravindran, Tulasi, Tejaswini, Sukanya, Shivaji Raja, Kadambari Kiran, Edidhi Sriramulu get to play a cameo each.

All the technical departments Srimanthudu-fy the film.  Madhie and DSP apart, the art work is cool.

At 163 minutes, the U/A film could have been trimmed a bit.

Verdict: A family entertainer with mass appeal, thanks to Mahesh's understated acting.  A few remarkable moments come in the form of good fight scenes.

Rating: 3.50 / 5.0

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