Thriller scripts dipped in divinity factor always score well among Telugu audience. Karthikeya was a recent example. Well promoted as a newfangled thriller, Subramanyapuram starring Sumanth, Eesha Rebba in main leads under debutant Santosh direction is one of the awaited release this week. Post critically acclaimed Malli Rava, will Sumanth score one more hit to his card?
The ancient village of Subramanyapuram famous for all powerful, famous Subramania Swamy Temple is shadowed by a series of suicides which is considered as the curse of almighty for offering Abhishekam. On the other side, atheist and researcher on ancient temples, Mr Karthik (Sumanth) takes up Subramaniapuram as second thesis for his project work. Luckily he also has his girl (Eesha Rebba) hailing from the same village. Karthik after losing one of his friend’s lives in Subramanyapuram treats the issue more seriously and with the help of village headman (Suresh), how Karthik cracks the temple mystery is rest.
Superb success of Karthikeya seems to have inspired writer, director Santosh to pen a similar storyline centered on the dichotomy between belief in god and scientific reasoning. As a line, series of suicides in Subramanyapuram is exciting to read on paper. When it comes to visual presentation, a solid script and gripping presentation decides the fate of a film. Unfortunately, Santosh fell half way losing the hold midway after establishing the point very well. Rather than building the excitement and registering panicky in the village, he went on repeated suicidal scenes that resulted in dullness. At the same time, visuals looked impoverish restricting the visual grandeur. By the time, Sumanth seriously indulges into the Subramanyapuram topic, audience are made restless. Santosh’s way of uncoiling the temple mystery fold by fold did not sustain the momentum. RK Prathap’s camera work and Karthika Srinivas editing aren’t really edgy. Sekhar Chandra scored decent background score while songs can be forgotten easily. Production standards of Beeram Sudhakar Reddy are acceptable.
Onto performances, Sumanth looked fine. Though such roles won’t offer much to excel, Sumanth did his job upping the content value with his presence. Eesha Rebba has nothing much to do. Sai Kumar threw some science jargon while Suresh as village headman is suspicious. Among the other cast, none needs a mention.
The whole setup of Subramanyapuram village, Subramanya Swamy temple and curse leading to series of suicides is more than enough for a film to turn riveting. But, debutant Santosh missed the golden chance and got himself struck at a point. There was so much of broader width available for the writer-director to churn thrilling episodes and arrest the patron attention. Intelligence shown in creative presentation of suicides missed thereon in remaining portions like establishing a strong emotional bond between characters or ripening the fun or even in unfolding the mystery captivatingly.
Rana’s voice over begins the first half on absorbing note. Subramanya Swamy temple and divinity dip us in amuse. Later on, till two to three well designed suicides, story went on right track. Sumanth’s introduction as researcher and his project presentation in front of Sai Kumar draw parallel chords for Sumanth to take up Subramanyapuram challenge. In between, the love track with Eesha Rebba is a mere waste. Police Officer’s investigation is so silly. Interval block is acceptable because the real story is yet to unleash.
Second half too repeats the same suicides and it gets more disturbing. Suresh and villagers take some time as they decide to leave village. Here on Sumanth’s challenge to crack the temple’s back story in ten days increases the tempo. More deaths on one hand and Sumanth’s continuous chase to find the main culprit either a human being or even a god behind on other hand goes on interestingly. Director is then hurried to unlock the real twist thus come Susrutha, the ancient physician and ancient kingdom or usage of Psychic drugs in Second World War by Hitler and the hypnotic state of those committed suicide added value to core point. Then climax is largely remodeled form of Karthikeya.
All in all, Subramanyapuram has got an exciting element that fell flat on execution. Director has blindly followed the super natural thriller Karthikeya but missed the magic in treatment. Sumanth though shouldered entire film, snail paced storytelling and repetitiveness in presentation diluted the original essence. CJ goes with 2.25 stars and Box Office fate depends on how B, C centers lap this film. Being made on a shoe string budget, recovery may not be a problem.