'Sri Valli', starring Rajath and Neha Hinge as lead actors, hit the screens on Friday. Here is our review.
Sir Valli (Neha Hinge) is the daughter of a rich widower (played by Rajeev Kanakala). She has been a thick friend of Gowtham (Rajath) since childhood. When she returns from the US to Hyderabad after 15 years, Gowtham's love for Sri Valli is Devadas-like. So also Valli's Parvathi-esque love for him.
They are students of science and their professor is on the verge of finding a breakthrough in brain-mapping. Valli consents to being the subject of his experiment despite knowing the risks. But ever since she undergoes the experiment, erotic dreams visit her every night. She has dreams of a macho man having sex with her. That she enjoys those lustful moments makes her feel guilty.
All through her travails (her ultra-emotional father is no more and her brother is in a coma), Gowtham is her only emotional support.
But the mystery only thickens when Andrea, her lesbian suitor, too starts appearing in her dreams, raping her night after night.
What is with her dreams and how is it related to the experiment conducted on her? Is there more than what meets the eye? Is it a case of Past Life Regression or is there an element of crime involved? That's what the second half answers.
The only achievement of the makers is that they could come up with a phrase to describe the film's genre. Apparently, they fielded some scientist to do the brain-mapping of Vijayendra Prasad in order to decipher the genre of 'Sri Valli' with due respect for him.
Erotic dreams, scientific jargon, brother-sister sentiment, father-daughter sentiment, male-female fights, lesbian lust, the professor's flashback, and, above all, Magadheera-type regression. Wait! In the beginning, Rajamouli quotes a scriptural aphorism: Our relationships in this janam were pre-destined by those in our previous janam. If your head hasn't been messed up by the bombardments, you should successfully see all these for what they are: messy.
Even before resolving some of the most lingering questions from the first half, we are treated to a new set of confusions in the second. Suddenly, one Andrea, the lesbian classmate of Sri Valli, becomes the major focus. So much so, one actually starts wondering if, given the quotation from Rajamouli's voice-over, Sri Valli was lusted by a lesbian in medieval times.
There is a twist towards the climax. The villain of the piece has a troubled past. But this emotional element is bulldozed over by mediocre fights in the climax.
Anchor Jhansi appears as a witch who knows the language of the ghosts. If you are in a good mood, you will laugh out loud. If not, you will scream in agony watching this most atrocious scene in a long time.
There is more. Rajeev Kanakala, ever on the verge of breaking down, announces that he may die anytime. This comes after a heavy dose of Valli's sex dreams, a 'Malli nee kosam pudatha' promise made hundreds of years ago, some horror, some doses of childhood innocence etc. Should this father having a premonition of his death have been introduced before the audience can make peace with all that kichidi?
In terms of making values, 'Sri Valli' has got some of the most mediocre outputs in recent times. Sir Charan's BGM is sub-par. MM Srilekha's music can be counted in for one number. Rajasekhar's cinematography is at the level of a poorly-done TV serial. The editing is childish.
The performances of the lead pair are inconsistent. Rajath can't be seen in a full-fledged role. Neha Hinge looks older than her age. Otherwise, she makes some good expressions here and there.
'Sri Valli' has a lot of wrong hangovers. A mix of genres, it's a revenge story gone horribly wrong.