Srinivasa Kalyanam Review: A cliche-ridden film that lacks soul
The film doesn’t work because it relies too heavily on lectures, cliches and stereotypes
Director Satish Vegesna’s debut Shatamanam Bhavati delved deep into the emotions of older parents feeling isolated thanks to their children living abroad. Despite its old world feel, the film’s theme struck a chord with the audience. His next film, Srinivasa Kalyanam made on the over-familiar premise focusing on the sanctity of marriage, starts on a light note before its narrative loses the steam and collapses like a house of cards due to the weight of its cliches.
Direction: Satish Vegesna
Cast: Nithiin, Raashi Khanna, Jayasudha, Prakash Raj
The film charts the story of Vasu (Nithiin), an architect living in Chandigarh, who is drawn by two things – the words of his grandmother and his love for traditions. He chances upon Sri (Raashi Khanna), younger daughter of RK (Prakash Raj), a Hyderabad-based business tycoon, who lets her understand today’s world before she takes up her family business. They fall in love and decide to get married. But a problem arises when these families which are poles apart meet to fix the marriage alliance. Vasu's family wants the ritual to be a traditional five-day event, while RK, who has a strong disrespect towards this belief, wants it to be a simple affair.
The narrative starts off breezily with enough wisecracks to keep you engrossed. However, the director gives you barely any chance to enjoy the action owing to the film's inconsistency and excessive melodrama. The film moves at an unforgivably slow pace with a tedious love track and sequences that involve more talk than action. Every time Nithiin appears on the frame, we are up for some bhaashan. As the conflict of the tale gets introduced around intermission, one would think that the stage is set for an emotional drama to unfold, but instead the narrative changes the track and its soul is hard to find. Despite some stellar actors, the story feels hollow with a string of elaborate and preachy set-ups. By the time it hobbles to the climax, we find the film extremely tiring and far-fetched, and even the director seems to be desperate to end it.
There’s an amusing scene in which Bujji (Vidyullekha) talks about the importance of having a woman in a man’s life using an analogy of alcohol and soda. But in another scene she gets blatantly body-shamed and ridiculed for her eating habits and food preferences. It’s disheartening that these are still used as fodder for our writers and directors. Why do our filmmakers have no qualms about remarking on weight or looks of a person? They seem to cast a chubby person in a film only to unleash crude humour and make them a laughing stock for their physical appearance.
Nithiin tries his best to bring his charm to his part, but ends up being monotonous. Raashi Khanna, last seen in a consequential role in Tholi Prema, is reduced to a caricature in this film. The rest of the cast is adequate, though not exceptional.
Srinivasa Kalyanam doesn’t work because it relies too heavily on lectures, cliches and stereotypes; you can see it is going nowhere from the moment you sit in your chair.