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Escapist fare

G.S.G.S.



ILLOGICAL CAPER: Bhoomika and NTR manage to entertain.

Simhadri (TELUGU)

Cast: N.T. Rama Rao (Jr.), Bhumika, Ankita

Music: Keeravani

Dir: S.S. Rajamouli

A THOROUGH `escapist' fare, full of improbable scenes, Simhadri still manages to entertain masses. The hero, who lives incognito for some time as a simple man, suddenly reveals himself as the most worshipped man of the area and returns to his place to complete the job. Here, the hero goes to Kerala instead of Rayalaseema not to complete the story but to begin it. Thus, the story has two backdrops — one in coastal Andhra and the other in Trivandrum, Kerala.

The film opens with Simhadri's (N.T.R) childhood scenes wherein the young hero saves landlord Rambhupal Verma's (Nasser) life at one instance. A grateful Verma brings up an orphaned Simhadri. After 12 years, Simhadri, a teenager now, is the trusted lieutenant of Verma, who has two daughters. Sita (Sita), the eldest daughter, marries her lover (Bhanuchander) against her father's wishes and settles down in Kerala. The second daughter and the son-in-law (Surya) live with Verma. Their daughter Kasturi (Ankita) loses her heart to Simhadri who, in turn, keeps her at a bay.

The first taste of Simhadri's combat skills is given when he beats up a golf player (Ravi) who insults his master. And a doctor who examines the golfer is surprised to find the same kind of injuries received by some rowdysheeters in Kerala, where he served earlier. When Simhadri comes to know about Verma's eldest daughter, he plans to reunite the family.

Soon, Verma decides to get Kasturi married to Simhadri. And to ward off the resistance in his family, he adopts Simhadri formally. At this juncture, Indu (Bhoomika) is introduced as a mentally handicapped woman living in Bheemli. Simhadri brings her home, which becomes a big issue forcing Simhadri to leave the house.

During Godavari pushkaras, Verma and his family, Simhadri and Indu meet at Rajahmundry where a fight takes place between Simhadri, a D.I.G. of Police (Sharad Saxena) and some goons from Kerala. In the melee, Indu gets hurt but regains her memory. The first thing she does after coming to senses is stab Simhadri who is then admitted to a hospital. The D.I.G. narrates the whole story to Verma that comes to us as a flashback taking us to some beautiful locations in Kerala.

And this is the part that audience cannot digest — an Andhraite going to Kerala looking for a job and getting entangled in the underworld web. Simhadri earns the title `Singamalai' here and becomes the apple-eyed boy in the region, as he successfully breaks the mafia network. The reason behind Indu's trying to kill Simhadri and the drama that ensues is reserved for the final battle between the mafia leaders (Mukhesh Rishi and Rahul Dev) and Simhadri.

Too many fights mar the film. The comedy track set in Kerala's nature cure hospital, featuring Brahmandam, Venu Madhav and N.T.R. is in bad taste. N.T.R. has grown as an action star to new heights with this film. His diction is good and performance balanced. He displays tremendous ease both in performance and dances. Rambhupal Verma's role is played by Nasser in a dignified way. Photographic work is astounding. Music by Keeravani is also an asset to the film.

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