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FeaturesCinema & TV'Sreekaram' begins on promising note, but let down by clichés

‘Sreekaram’ begins on promising note, but let down by clichés

Published: 12th Mar 2021 6:47 pm

A new set of stars are coming into their own. The audience now has ‘an alternate set of star dust’. To ask for another ‘actor’ is asking for the moon in the midst of a mid-summer day’s dream! However, unlike many other releases during the pandemic, Sreekaram garners a good initial response.

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Maybe the eternal need for food keeps the subject still relevant. This could perhaps even be a morale booster to the folks at Ghazipur, Tikri and Sindhu borders who the nation has since forgotten. After a laboured travel, the film maker pitches well in the finale.

Karthik (Sharwanand) is a promising software engineer who has the ear of his boss (Shishir Sharma). Even as he tackles attractive projects, he plans a visit back home to Rayalaseema for Sankranthi. Time for all colour (and loud ones at that), hordes of relatives (luckily all not under the same roof).

Papa Keshavallu (Rao Ramesh) and mother (Amani) have complete confidence in their kid and bet on his decision making. In the city, there is this girl (Priyanka Arul Mohan) who is head over heels in love with Karthik till an industrialist (Murali Sharma) is willing to accept him – however, with conditions.

Karthik will have nothing to do with it and decides to give up his software career to take up co-operative farming. His suave uncle Ekambaram (Sai Kumar) is however the villain, an evolved moneylender. In keeping with times and like modern bankers, he is the one who volunteers to give loans and then sucks the victim dry. After the predictable interludes of romance, failure at farming, family dispute all is well that ends well.

Director Kishor gets a few things right and many things wrong. He may well be the first director to artistically record Covid-19 as a part of his narrative. The film begins with oka oopu oopeddam and unfortunately for the viewers there is not much oopu in the film. His revisit to rural co-operatives is nowhere near Benegal’s ‘77 magic: Manthan.

As ever, Tollywood stews its own debris. Resultantly, a story or a film is nothing more than a new aggregate of old clichés. One’s heart goes out to Rao Ramesh, who does everything a committed actor can do for a film. The evolution from the doting to the angry father is effortless and convincing. Sai Kumar as the villain has a pleasant role.

For once, evil is not personified in its exaggeration and is placed in pastel hues just like the costumes of Priyanka Arul Mohan. The legacy of the likes of Banumati, Savitri through Vanishree, Jayasudha and Vijaya Shanti seems to be evaporating. It is sad that leading heroines continue to be nothing but props to a story. Sharwanand is energetic but badly needs to go back to the gym. Adequate at most times, he shoulders the burden of the script that has outlived its utility.

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