Movie: S/O Satyamurthy
Banner: Haarika & Hassine Creations
Cast: Allu Arjun, Upendra, Prakash Raj, Rajendra Prasad, Samantha, Sneha, Adah Sharma, Nithya Menen and Others
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Cinematography: Prasad Murella
Editor: Prawin Pudi
Producer: S. Radha Krishna
Story and Direction: Trivikram Srinivas
Release Date: Apr 9th, 2015
Last time they came together, Julayi happened. And this time, they come in April and S/O Satyamurthy happened. Trivikram plays with words and Allu Arjun plays with hearts of young boys and girls. So, when they come together it is indeed party time for their fans. Now let’s see if SOS is a perfect birthday gift from Bunny for his fans or if it fails to ‘touch’ them…
The title is more or less self explanatory, that it is the story of a father and son. So we have Viraj Anand (Allu Arjun), son of Satyamurthy (Prakash Raj) who lives life, well let’s say prince size. He gets engaged to Adah Sharma and life seems to be on a roller coaster ride when goes off to Barcelona for his bachelor’s vacation.
And just like in the roller coaster, down comes his ride and his world comes crashing down within minutes. His father dies in a road accident and all he and his family are left with are debts that his father left behind.
Their Rs 300 crore empire turns into a bundle of valueless share papers and his elder brother Vennela Kishore loses it completely. Forced to choose between claiming insolvency and repaying their debtors for values, Viraj Anand chooses the later.
From their bungalow, the family shifts to a modest flat and Anand finds himself playing the wedding planner for his ex-fiance.
Here, he meets the super cute and diabetic Sameera or Subbalakshmi (Samantha). And it’s for her, Viraj Anand ends up taking up a bet with her dad Paidi Subba Rao (Rajendra Prasad). This lands him in a village ruled by Devraj Naidu (Upendra) and from here, the story shows how Viraj Anand manages to win the bet.
Bunny or Allu Arjun is a delight. He is as good as ever. Well, all along it has been said that he is trying for an image make-over with SOS. And given the story, you are bound to expect some heavy-duty dialogues and equally heavy-duty action. But Bunny stays off the temptation and sticks to doing what he is best at. He dances, romances, fights and has perfect comic timing. Of course, the mischievous Bunny has surely sobered down, but he still keeps you entertained just like his uncle megastar Chiranjeevi.
Samantha looks pretty as Sameera and dresses really well. Her wardrobe is trendy and the cuts used will catch up this season. She also looks curvy and has worked on her glam quotient. She also stopped pouting and it really works for her.
Nithya Menon gets short-changed, though she gets a good entry. Her role is not well-rounded and whoever did her wardrobe must really take their tips from Samantha’s stylist. Since it is her first big film, Nithya must have taken care of her look. But she is good as ever.
Upendra gets an awesome entry, given that he is a top star in Kannada himself. That said, his character fizzles out as the film progresses. To highlight Viraj Anand, his Devraj Naidu gets sidelined. Otherwise, he is good.
It could be sentiment or coincidence, but Rajendra Prasad gets an important role just like in Julayi. In fact, though the principal character is Satyamurthy, Paidi Subba Rao is an equally important character in the film. So he gets to eat the cake vis-à-vis other character actors.
In turn, Rao Ramesh too gets a half-baked role. Though he is as good as ever, his characterization does not give him much scope.
Sneha makes a comeback as Devraj’s wife after her wedding and she is a perfect pick for the character she plays.
Adah Sharma leaves you wondering about a few things while Vennela Kishore gets a teeny-weeny role. On the other hand, Ali and Brahmanandam get meatier roles. In fact, Ali gets a full-length role after a very long time.
Sampath Raj is another guy who gets a really small role which does not give him ample screen space. And probably this is one of MS Narayana’s last films and he will surely be missed by the industry.
As with all Trivikram films, SOS has his stamp all over it. Cinematography is by Prasad Murella and editing is by Prawin Pudi.
While cinematography is decent, Prawin should have tightened the film a bit. Of course, one cannot blame him as there is continuity, but he should have done away with some scenes nevertheless.
Music is by Bunny’s favourite Devi Sri Prasad and he manages to give a top-charting album once again. Though you find the tunes a bit repetitive when you hear them on your music system, they kind of fit the situation when you watch them on screen.
All the songs are situational and will top the charts for the next few weeks. Come to the party Subbalakshmi will be the hot pick for Sangeet parties henceforth along with Soooper machi. Seetakaalam is a melodious pick that will go well with youngsters.
- Weak climax
- Characterisation of villains
- Lengthy second half
- Boring wedding sequence in first half
Bunny and Trivikram is probably the nicest combination apart from Trivikram and Pawan Kalyan. They seem to be in sync and Trivikram’s dialogues go perfectly well with their body language and on-screen persona. So, SOS is yet another attempt at cashing in on this awesome synchronization between the director and his hero.
This time, Trivikram tries to present Allu Arjun in a new mould to endear him to mass and class audiences. Bunny puts in enough hard work to play the part of Son of Satyamurthy without going overboard emotionally. Trivikram retains the mischievous side, but tones it down a few notches to enable the make-over.
But then there is a downside to even the best of the stories and for SOS, the downside is the rest of the plot.
During the first half, you are given a hint about Viraj Anand’s niece and his responsibility towards her. That thread is let off eventually. Then, there is the time-tested and now ‘oh so boring’ wedding planner sequence during the first half. Of course, it does provide scope for the item song and shows the la-di-da prince sobering down, it nevertheless bores the audience as similar plots have been used and re-used in almost all the films in Telugu and Hindi in the past few years.
And in the second half, a villain from Rayalaseema, even in he is a Tamil-speaking Devraj Naidu on Andhra-Tamil Nadu border, is something that the audience have been fed with for nearly three decades now. So, when the plot comes from Trivikram, the audiences are bound to feel a bit cheated.
The first half is so been there seen that, that it lacks freshness and the second half does not have the pace that one expects from a Bunny film. So, one is left wondering if the film will appeal to the teenage and young fans, the core audiences of Bunny.
And one cannot but help think of Srinu Vaitla who made a pathetic Aagadu after riding high on the success of Dookudu. Similarly, Trivikram who has been on a high after Julayi and Attarintiki Daaredi spins a rather tedious yarn sprinkled with dialogues that have a message in each and every line.
Now, that could be surely the making or breaking point for the film as the audiences may or may not like being preached for two hours and fourty two mins at a stretch.
Also, one point that stands out as a sore thumb is the constant mention of how rich Satyamurthy was and how he was worth Rs 300 crores. Well, coming from Trivikram in 2015, it is probably the biggest joke of the film, though unintentional.
Another point where Trivikram disappoints is by failing to write the right parts for Ali, Brahmanandam and MS Narayana. In fact, MS Narayana was probably at his best in Trivikram films and in SOS, Trivikram wastes all his three favourite comedians and this seriously mars the entertainment quotient of the film.
It might take at least a week to know how the film will actually do at the theatres. It may pick up slowly since there are no big releases till the month end or it could lose steam in the second week.
Bottomline: One only for Bunny and Trivikram
(Venkat can be reached email@example.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)