Cinema

‘Soggade’ charms all the way

Nagarjuna and Lavanya Tripathi  

One wouldn’t think that a hero in a Telugu film, that too enacted by an established actor, would need lessons in romance. Doesn’t go with the acceptable image of a hero, isn’t it? Imagine the hero being so clued into his tablet that he doesn’t notice a bunch of guys taunting his wife. A perfect recipe for disaster. Debut director Kalyan Krishna makes Nagarjuna, who still gets tagged with the romantic label, to take up this part.

The nerdy doctor, Ramu (Nag) is now in the territory once inhabited by his father Bangarraju (Nagarjuna, again), an incorrigible flirt. Ramu and his wife Sita (Lavanya) are heading towards the former’s village to meet his mother Satyabhama (Ramya Krishna). A lady who hitches a ride with them blushes when she learns that Ramu is the son of Bangarraju.

Bangarraju was all that Ramu isn’t — an eternal charmer known for his swagger, panchakattu and he rode a Bullet sporting branded sunglasses and puligoru on his chain. There’s one mysterious Krishnakumari at the mention of whom Satyabhama flares up and is sure Bangarraju is rotting in hell for the heartburn she had to go through. Labels like Manmadhudu and other adjectives are showered on Nagarjuna. In any other film or with any other actor, this kind of praise would have looked out of place.

Soggade Chinni Nayana is a joy ride into this world of contrasts, the rural setting becoming the perfect foil for native sensibilities to take over. Music by Anup Rubens and cinematography by P.S. Vinod and Siddharth complement the rural flavour. The courtyard brims with the chatter of family members, children run around, there’s talk of gorintaku, chillies are set out to dry and amidst all this, there’s Ramu who’s glued to his laptop or tablet.

The fun begins with the supernatural thread of the story. Bangarraju is permitted by lord Yama (Nagababu) to visit his wife as a soul and help her set things right in the family. The onus is on him to infuse some romance into Ramu’s life and save his marriage.

Once Bangarraju arrives, we get an idea of his erstwhile antics. There’s more than romance at play. Bangarraju has to face the truth about his death, and the lurking danger for his family. The film dwells on the lessons in romance for a long time, until the folklore style murder mystery takes over.

Nagarjuna is in top form and in the company of Ramya Krishna, sets the screen on fire. The two actors are like old flames and sparks fly when they come together. Ramya’s character shows no let up in vanity and is the right match for Bangarraju. Lavanya Tripathi comes up with yet another graceful and confident portrayal. She expresses the angst of a lonely wife well enough to draw empathy.

It doesn’t take much to identify the conniving mastermind who wants to wreck havoc on Bangarraju’s family. Yet, the subplot of the temple jewellery and a protecting snake are engaging.

Anushka Shetty appears in a surprise cameo. And there’s Brahmanandam who gets a fun role after a few lacklustre outings. He gets beaten up, but not by Nagarjuna.

Soggade Chinni Nayana is set in a familiar, comfort zone and guarantees a lot of fun.

Soggade Chinni Nayana

Cast: Nagarjuna, Ramya Krishna, Lavanya Tripathi

Direction: Kalyan Krishna

Music: Anup Rubens

Story line: An enigmatic father returns as a soul to help his son and family.

Bottom line: A fun ride that capitalises on Nagarjuna’s charisma.

Rating: 3.5 stars


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 11:03:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/%E2%80%98Soggade%E2%80%99-charms-all-the-way/article14001549.ece

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