Mahesh Babu plays to all his strengths in this formulaic film

There was so much scope in the story and the director failed to use it to his advantage

Published: 13th May 2022 09:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2022 09:39 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Mahesh Babu’s latest release Sarkaru Vaari Paata sheds light on rising bad loans and how the government is failing to exercise its power to protect wilful defaulters, who are affecting loan recovery. The film is like a moral science class where you get one message after another, each scene a problem-solving exercise and a moral instruction that results in a nugget of wisdom.

Giving a message is good, but when it goes on and on, one gets a feeling that there is not enough seriousness and substance in the film. The thing about this Parasuram Petla (Bujji) directorial is that you have seen it all before. It’s the story of an idealistic youngster, who will go to any lengths—and I mean any lengths—to bring down the culprits to the fore, and in particular, one wilful defaulter, who owes thousands of crores to the banks.

The film opens with a flashback that introduces us to our protagonist Mahesh (Mahesh Babu), who becomes an orphan at a young age after his parents (Naga Babu, Pavitra Lokesh) die by suicide for failing to repay a loan of Rs 15,000. He was raised in an orphanage and after a few years, he moves to the USA and runs a finance company with his friend, Kishore (Vennela Kishore). Mahesh turns the world upside down if his customers don’t pay the interest by the 9th of every month.

Kalavathi, a compulsive gambler, dupes Mahesh for $10,000 in order to overcome gambling losses. Mahesh realises that he was tricked by Kalavathi and confronts her to clear the loan. The argument leads him to travel to Visakhapatnam and meet Kalavathi’s father and a wilful defaulter Rajendranath (Samuthirakani). Mahesh asks Rajendranath for his money and invites his wrath. His actions also hog the limelight of the media and in an interesting turn of events, Mahesh reveals that Rajendranath owes him Rs 10,000 crore. What ensues is a showdown between the good guy and the bad guy.

The film is tedious primarily due to its uninteresting romantic plot. There was so much scope in the story and the director failed to use it to his advantage. The film mars the excitement with unnecessarily lengthy scenes presumed to be a comedy. Particularly, the long, drunken babbling about an imaginary character (Jessie) and the cringe-inducing comedy involving Subba Raju meanders, stumbles and fumbles the narration.

Parasuram is known for infusing humour into a sensible story, but, here, he has churned out a film that fails to rise above the ordinary and each of its moves in the narrative seemed shaky. Each time you expect the story to take a new turn, it falls short of our expectations. Instead of rooting for Mahesh’s lone fight against the power system and his attempts to spread awareness among his colony people, one feels let down by its banality. Despite having a relevant social issue, the predictability of the narration is a dampener. No hard-hitting one-liners and philosophical musings don’t help to salvage the film.

Through a string of double entendre dialogues and the buzzing voice of the protagonist, Parasuram tells us that when men fall in love, it is pure and real, while women first fall for the man’s money and walk all over his feelings. There is a ridiculous dialogue in the film where Mahesh tells Vennela Kishore that customers who borrow money are like a girl waiting at the bus bay. No matter how difficult it is, we have to woo the girl. Likewise, we have to go to any extent to get our money back from them. It’s difficult to know what this metaphor is supposed to mean, but the hero was serious about it when he said it!

Keerthy Suresh’s character is criminally underwritten and she has no scope besides a few dialogues about fulfilling her wishes. Samuthirakani looks menacing, but his character lacks the dynamism to take on the audacity of Mahesh. Tanikella Bharani walks around as a figure of poise but has little to contribute to the emotional quotient of the film. Vennela Kishore walks away with some of the best lines of the film and he perfectly complements Mahesh in the first hour. Subba Raju’s character seems forced into the plot and Nadhiya makes her presence felt in a cameo. Mahesh Babu, undeniably, puts forth a performance worthy of note. His little transitions in his character as Mahesh sum up a convincing display of him. His terrific makeover and energy are palpable and the actor plays to all his strengths in an otherwise formulaic film.

R Madhi’s cinematography, S Thaman’s background score, and the production design work well for the film, while Marthand K Venkatesh’s editing could have been better. Overall, Sarkaru Vaari Paata has many flaws and there’s no doubt about it. But it benefits from Mahesh Babu’s lovable performance, which makes one overlook so many of its problems.

Film: Sarkaru Vaari Paata
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Keerthy Suresh, Samuthirakani, Vennela Kishore
Director: Parasuram Petla (Bujji)
Rating:  2.5/5


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