Srimanthudu Review, What’s Behind: When it’s a Mahesh Babu film, entire India vigils to hear a maximum positive response. Amidst flop streak of ‘Nenokkadine’ and ‘Aagadu,’ there are many calculations behind this flick, co-produced by Mahesh. Director Koratala Siva showed a new commercial angle with ‘Mirchi’ is here with second project while Shruti Hasan, Devi Sri Prasad, Madhie are ever reliable names. Let’s see, what is lying in ‘Srimanthudu’ review.
Srimanthudu Story: Harsha (Mahesh Babu) is the only son of top businessman Ravi Kanth (Jagapathi Babu). Unlike father, Harsha is a man of principles with no objective to descend the business empire while his father and mother (Sukanya) dreams to see him lead their company. On the parallel side, we are introduced to Devara Kota village shivering in the clutches of local MP Venkata Ratnam (Mukesh Roshi), his brutal brothers Sasi (Sampat Rai) and Radha (Harsha).
Meanwhile, Harsha falls in love with Charuseela (Shruti Hasan), a student of National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD). Delighted by curriculum of developing villages through modern technology as part of the NIRD course, Harsha too joins the same Institute and gradually they are bonded by love. Surprise comes in the form of a business magazine’s special edition revealing Charuseela that Harsha as son of business tycoon. Here Charuseela explains Harsha about his native village Devara Kota and she too hails from same village, daughter of local benevolent person Narayana Rao (Rajendra Prasad).
Well, here begins Harsha’s mission of adopting Devara Kota to give a better life for local people. What kinds of challenges are posed by Venkata Ratnam and his brothers before Harsha? What is the actual flashback of Ravi Kanth with Devara Kota?
Srimanthudu Artists & Technicians: From very first directorial hit venture ‘Mirchi,’ a peculiar sense of commerciality is vouched in director Koratala Siva. Being a passionate writer, the noble idea of village adoption did not find any stumbling blocks in deviating from commercial values. There is a strong likelihood of such storyline becoming preachy and purely message oriented. Koratala Siva scripted it carefully based on Mahesh Babu’s charisma and his immaculate stature to deliver some good thoughts for audience without misplacing the regular heroism.
For achieving this balance, Siva depended more on writing skills. There are plenty of fine lines to encourage instant claps and cheers from Fans and common viewers. Such was the depth in content and strength in protagonist characterization provoking immediate reaction. Siva demonstrated tremendous maturity in direction also. Though take-off was decent followed by Mahesh-Shruti romantic thread half appeasing, Siva unleashed his best of skills from pre-interval till pre-climax. Whatsoever, the lag with dragged episodes and slow narration in first half served major drawback. There was a soul and feel missing in total romantic track.
Madhie’s camerawork gave a polished look and more than all Harsha has the best ever looks from Mahesh Babu. Editing by Kotagiri needed some immediate trimming in first half where there is clear lack of content. Devi Sri Prasad scored decent musical score. ‘Rama Rama’ and ‘Jaago’ songs are best picks while all the songs are shot well. Production values of Mythri Movie Makers and MB are top notch.
Mahesh Babu’s characterization is the real driving force. He is handsome in college scenes and made best use of dialogue modulation to strike strongly in second half. His chemistry and pairing with Shruti Hasan is refreshingly cute. Dances and action, Mahesh over performed. Emotionally Mahesh elevated the drama and sentiment in village episodes. All in all, he is life and soul of ‘Srimanthudu.’ Luckily, Shruti Hasan got a meaty role. She has more to excel in second half while first half romance is half baked and unentertaining. Jagapathi Babu is impressive in a short and purposeful role. His body language and dressing sense needs to be highlighted. Sukanya has nothing much to do. Then Rajendra Prasad got value driven role which serves a booster for uplifting hero’s ambition. Sampat Raj, Mukesh Rishi and Harsha’s barbaric villainy isn’t established to the needed standards. Fun wise, the film falls short in comic quotient with Ali, Vennela Kishore tried soberly. Among the rest, Rahul Ravindran, Surekh Vani, Tulasi, Edida Sriram etc struck to their portions.
Srimanthudu Rating Analysis: Koratala Siva’s new experiment on flying an ethics, morals based message film on commercial hero came out satisfactorily. Letting the first half go for simple character establishments and weak romantic thread, Koratala Siva could not engage the interests of audience with left out comic entertainment. He could have easily curtailed the unnecessary length in many scenes dealing on hero, heroine. In fact, this same thread leads to hero’s foreword for Devara Kota. There was hurriedness in wrapping climax too where Siva could have added more value than a customary action filled ending. Such areas left the viewers dejected on how come director missed his professionally creative attitude. At the same time, he took on plethora of cinematic liberties spiraling with many questions from clever audience.
On to the best positive side, adoption of a village is a very meaningful and powerful program which can re-design the structure of India. The tasks for development perspective involving too many activities ensured Mahesh Babu’s character to flow flawless as seen in ‘Jaago’ montage song. Drama between JB, Sukanya - Mahesh or emotional bond in RP - Edida Sriram or sustained action in confrontation between Mahesh – Sampat Raj team resulted in an overall good movie watch. As village adoption schemes require both money flow and people’s participation, there was automatic scope available for Siva to accomplish feel good sense into narration.
Taking into account all the handicaps in narration, ‘Srimanthudu’ rating is worth 3 stars. Shortening the length and better climax could have made the movie more appreciative on critics’ front. For common audience and Mahesh Babu Fans, this is a paisa vasool entertainer. Commercially, ‘Srimanthudu’ is going to stick at Box Office to recreate new wonders.
Srimanthudu Verdict by Cinejosh: Mahesh Babu One Man Show.
Srimanthudu Rating by Cinejosh: 3.0/5.0