Hyderabad: Not many films have come in the backdrop of Bengal. The culture-rich diversified Bengal might have stories dating back to the pre-Independence era. But director Rahul Sankrityan wanted to tell a story of a man ‘Shyam Singha Roy’ who was born to a Bengali father and Telugu mother.
The story starts with aspiring filmmaker Vasu in Hyderabad, a visual storyteller who aspires big on the silver screen. But Vasu unknowingly blacks out – which often gives him sepia-tinted glimpses of his past. But he ignores them. His efforts take wings when he bumps into a bubbly Krithika Shetty, whom he assumes to be heroine for his dream debut. The short film eventually lands him a mainstream film project — an opportunity that he grabs promptly. When the deadline to submit the bound script approaches, Vasu gets haunted by constant blackouts.
A sudden stream of thoughts bring back the forgotten memories. Vasu connects to deep consciousness – as if he is hypnotised by some unknown force – he finishes penning the story all in a single stroke. The script goes onto the sets. Subsequently, film propels him to stardom with massive success collections. Young director Vasudev Ghanta is a national sensation now. Bollywood makers welcome him to remake the movie in Hindi. But all hell broke loose, when a case of copyright infringement is foisted on him by publishers located in Kolkata. His filmmaking dreams get shattered all at once as he faces criticism from every corner. A shame and disgrace to Telugu cinema – a volley of comments and criticism strike him down.
The second half shows how Vasu fights back the case for the charges he is facing. Will he be able to decode the visuals of his past? What would he think about his career amidst the chaos? Vasu connects the dots in retelling the story of communist ideologue Shyam Singha Roy and his backstory forms the plot.
First things first, young director Rahul Sankrityan, who impressed audiences with just one movie ‘Taxiwala’, has been exhibiting confidence right from the promotions of Shyam Singha Roy. His conviction and vision of imagining the story is what the end result of ‘Shyam Singha Roy’. The film scores points when we talk about the opulence in bringing visual appeal. However, you might also experience a few cliche writing with an overdose of dialogues.
Besides showing Nani in a larger than life character, the story takes its sweet time to get into the plot. Apparently, the story gets a bit tepid during sequences that have Nani with Sai Pallavi.
Krithi Shetty is the show stopper in the first half. Sai Pallavi’s performance is a major takeaway besides characters like Rahul Ravindran, Abhinav Gomatam, Murali Sharma chipping in well to play their roles. Malayali actor Madonna Sebastin, who made her Telugu debut with Naga Chaitanya starrer ‘Premam’, has something to cheer about. Although she has less screen space, she portrays the right emotions to fit the bill as headfast, no-nonsense young lawyer.
Subjects like clinical hypnosis, experiences of past life, courtroom dramas are something that Telugu makers often don’t get to explore. Director Rahul should be appreciated for this. However, it might give a feeling that the film fell short of becoming a masterpiece.
‘Shyam Singha Roy’ would’ve been an engaging one if characters had some depth in establishing them. One might even think that a realistic approach might have fetched the story well. Take the sequence of Nani questioning the evil practice of untouchability in his village where the native Bengalis speak Telugu – the usual template that has been followed by Telugu filmmakers over the ages.