Yuddham Sharanam Review
'Yuddham Sharanam', starring Naga Chaitanya, Lavanya and Srikanth, hits the screens this Friday. Here is our review.
Naga Chaitanya is a dreamer who is experimenting with his own brand of drone. His parents (Rao Ramesh and Revathi) are Good Samaritans, tending to the ill and resurrecting lives.
Somewhere, a politician who has just committed a Rs. 3000 Cr scam wants to divert the attention of the people by engineering serials blasts. Nayak (Srikanth), a gangster with a mafia-type network, is fielded by the politician's men to mastermind the blasts.
On the day of the blasts, the hero's parents go missing.
When Chaitanya goes out in search of his missing parents, he realizes that there has always been more than what meets the eye in their lives.
Meanwhile, JD Shastri (Murali Sharma) is hell-bent on cracking the blasts case.
What happened to the parents, and who wants them dead? What is Nayak's agenda with respect to the hero and his family. Answers to these are found as the screenplay progresses.
We were told that 'Yuddham Sharanam' is a crime-thriller that would present a twist every few minutes. Srikanth's character was hyped-up to the point that the audience could be forgiven for thinking that Telugu cinema has suddenly got a new-age villain. The pitfalls of over-hyping aside, this film proves that snazzy background music and a superficial grittiness can't sell a worn-out story line.
There definitely are two interesting threads, at least on paper. One is Nayak turning out to be ambitious and playing the game on his terms; and two, a sharp investigator (JD Shastri) who yearns for career growth by hook or crook.
While these elements could have been enriching, they don't go the whole hog through the course. Nayak is reduced to a footnote, on and off. Even the finale is not climactic enough. He is not dreadful. What is actually dreadful (you know what we mean) is the way he falls in trouble.
May be, Naga Chaitanya was asked to keep a light-touch expression for some eerie reason. Nothing else explains the lack of agony on his face. In his first scene, he narrates his plight (the parents are missing) in a 'Saahasam Swasaga Sagipo' mode. The intensity palpable in his voice never makes a comeback for the rest of the film.
Lavanya Tripathi was directly sent from heaven to be his 'jodi'. She puts anything but an earnest expression in the second half. It's as if the pair are not in an existential crisis but complacent in the knowledge that they are pre-destined to gain the upper-hand over a massive mafia.
Dark, dusty by-lanes, suspicious characters and grim expressions galore. But they together don't add up to much.
In the first half, the senti streak of the family drama goes on and on. Less of the melodrama could have helped. Rao Ramesh and Revathi (who behave as if they are straight out of some heaven) feel as if they are EVERYWHERE. Had the hero been an Arjun Reddy, he would have demanded some "private space" for himself and his lover girl.
Srikanth definitely has an over-rated role and delivers an underwhelming performance. Harika Vedula and Seema Chowdary as Chaitu's sisters make their presence felt. Abburi Ravi's dialogues are a dampener. Some of the lines sound as if they are as old as Srikanth's first film.
Vivek Sagar's songs are interspersed with the narration. They are neither intrusive or forced and that's good. The cinematography could have been adept.
A film whose plot never seems to thicken, a climax which disappears without a whimper, simplistic scenes, lack of twists. Without 'sharanam'.