Movie: Srinivasa Kalyanam
Cast: Nithiin, Raashi Khanna, Jayasudha and Prakash Raj
Direction: Satish Vegesna
Director Satish Vegesna’s debut directorial Shatamanam Bhavati delved deep into the core emotions depicting the story of older parents feeling isolated by their children living abroad. Despite its old world feel, the film’s theme struck a chord with the audience and brought a sense of relatability to the youngsters, who surrender themselves to the technology neglecting their moral responsibilities.
His next film, Srinivasa Kalyanam almost made on an over-familiar premise focusing on the sanctity of marriage, packs a light tone of emotions before its narrative loses the steam and collapses like a house of cards due to its cliches.
It 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.
Both fall in love and decide to get married. But there awaits a problem when opposite poles attract each other and in this case when these families which are ploes apart meet to fix the marriage alliance. The idealistic family of Vasu wants the ritual to be a traditional five-day event, while RK has strong disrespect towards this belief and wanted 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 its 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 with a heart-rending wallop, but the narrative changes the track with its soul hard to find. Despite having some stellar cast in the film, the story progresses without its moments and looks hollow with a string of elaborate and preachy set-ups. By the time it hobbles to the climax, we feel it’s extremely tiring, far-fetched and feel the director too is 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 with alcohol-soda analogy, the other moment she gets blatantly body-shamed and ridiculed for her eating habits and food preferences.
It’s weird to see such imperfections of people becoming fodder to our writers and directors. Strange it may look, but why do our filmmakers have no qualms about remarking on weight or looks of a person? Do they choose 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 now reduced to a caricature in this film. Others including Jayasudha, Prakash Raj, Rajendra Prasad, Naresh Vijaya Krishna, Aamani and Nandita Swetha among others bring grandeur with their presence, but couldn’t win laurels with their performance.
Srinivasa Kalyanam doesn’t work because it relies too heavily on lectures, cliches and stereotypes and you can see it going nowhere from the moment you sit in your chair.