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'Yevade Subramanyam' Review: Yes, He Is Worth The Find

Movie: Yevade Subramanyam
Rating: 3/5
Banner:
Swapna Cinema
Cast: Nani, Malavika Nair, Vijay Devarakonda, Nazar and Others
Music: Radhan
Cinematography: Rakesh Erukulla 
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswar Rao
Producer: Priyanka Dutt
Director: Nag Aswin
Release Date: March 21, 2015

Every generation has its very own film which tracks the story of self discovery of its hero. Yevade Subramanyam made by Swapna Dutt, daughter of Ashwini Dutt is one such attempt at giving a totally new visual narrative to the Telugu audiences. It’s the journey of three friends to the mysterious and enchanting Dudh Kosi or Dudh Kasi up in the Himalayas. Let’s check out how the film’s come up…

Story:
Subramanyam finds himself hanging off a cliff on the way up to the Himalayas and that’s when his life flashes past his eyes. An IIM-A graduate, Subramanyam is an investment banker who has everything that any upwardly mobile management graduate would dream of. He is the general manager of a huge organization, he is engaged to the owner’s (Nazir) daughter Riya (Ritu Verma) and is on the verge of pulling off a merger with a seed company.

Into his picture perfect life comes Rishi (Vijay Devarakonda), a friend from his past. Much as Subramanyam tries to get Rishi out of his life, Rishi becomes a part of his life and during a night out on town, they meet Nandi or Anandi (Malavika Nair) at a pub. They hit it off instantly and Rishi insists that they make the trip to Dudh Kasi to find out who they are.

So, will they remain friends for long? Will they take the trip and will all of them survive the arduous journey?

Artistes’ Performances:
Okay, let’s start with the principal character of the film, Nani who gets to play the author-backed role. Well, he is Subramanyam and it is his journey of finding out who Subramanyam is. And Nani puts in a performance which is flawless. He is very convincing as the investment banker whose life is a series of calculated steps taken to make sure that he is successful in the proverbial sense of the term. Goes without saying, he is equally cute once he sees and understands the beauty of life.

But the surprise package of the film is surely Rishi or Vijay Devarakonda, last seen in Life Is Beautiful. His Rishi is infectious and he is totally believable as the free spirited friend of Subramanyam. He is charming and his body language and diction are adorable.

The other important character and female lead is played by Malavika Nair. She is another perfect find and you can totally relate to her charming Anandi. Nani had revealed during one of the promotional interviews that she was barely 16 when they shot for the film. Though she looks older, her live-wire intensity gets you instantly.

An ageing Krishnam Raju puts in a special role as Ramaiah and it is nice to see him after a long, long time.

There is also a little cameo put in by Sowcar Janaki which is rather nice.

Nazir, Kereeti, play other roles.

Technical Excellence:
The cinematography is by Rakesh Erukulla. He does capture some scenes beautifully and makes focuses more on keeping the visual footage realistic than awe-inspiring. And this works perfectly for the film.

Editing on the other hand could have been crispier as the second half rambles along at snail’s pace.

Music is by Radhan who does a decent job, though music is not the high point of the film. Ilayaraja has composed one number Challe gaali specially for Swapna Dutt.

Given that Swapna is a young film-maker, she has made sure that the styling of her film is perfect and that her characters look as real as possible. And she pulls it off perfectly. A special mention also has to be made of the art director and casting coordinator here.

Another mention has to be made of the dialogue writer who has come up with a sprinkling of subtle, yet funny one-liners like the Eega dialogue, which you would miss if you are not involved.

Nag Ashwin debuts with Yevade Subramanyam and he gets a good break indeed as one rarely gets a producer who believes in your story and lets you make it your way. Being from Shekhar Kammula’s school, he does suffer from the same problem as his mentor in giving too much attention to detail. But barring that, he does a impressive job.

Highlights:

  • Lead characters
  • Concept

Drawbacks:

  • Slow second half

Analysis:
For an industry obsessed with six songs and five fights format of big movies, Yevade Subramanyam is more of an exception to the rule. Of course, movies telling stories of self discovery and coming of age are not new to Telugu cinema, but Yevade Subramanyam tells it in a style that the younger generation of globe-trotting Telugu audiences will totally understand and instantly relate to.

If one looks at the format, it is like many English and Hindi films that one had seen in the past, but Yevade Subramanyam scores in terms of providing a new visual narrative to Telugu audiences looking for something different from heavy-duty blockbusters.

It is a quiet film which is in no rush to impress you or awe you. Instead, the film-makers have chosen to tell the story as realistically as possible totally focusing on the transformation of Subramanyam, the title character of the film.

And the film’s success lies in the perfect casting of the principal characters. Had it not been for them, the film would have lost out on the charm and innocence that is the primary requirement of such films.

Of course, Nag Ashwin could have tightened the film in the second half to retain the pace as the story is more or less predictable. However, looks like his association with Shekhar Kammula did leave its mark on him and the second half is more like watching a part of Nat Geo series than a feature film.

Situations like Subramanyam helping a local woman deliver a baby and Subramanyam and Anandi being stuck in a log house due to hail storm look too convenient, but again probably they were important to mark the change in Subramanyam. The pace is definitely rather slow at times and you suddenly miss the speed of a commercial film.

Having said that, credit has to be given to the film-makers for opting to tell the story the way they did and for deciding to shoot in challenging conditions at the Everest Base Camp.

In all, Yevade Subramanyam is not for those who like their films laced with songs and dance. It is for people looking for alternate cinema that still fits into mainstream cinema.

Bottomline: A change from the routine

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)

Click here Telugu review

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Tags: Aswini Dutt Swapna Dutt Yevade Subramanyam Yevade Subramanyam Review Yevade Subramanyam Telugu Review