Cinema

Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu: Been there, seen that

Arthana and Raj Tarun in the film  

There’s an unwritten diktat in mainstream cinema. The leading lady could be well groomed and educated. But she will eventually fall in love with the wastrel hero, who will be surrounded by similar friends.

Srinivas Gavireddy re-churns this age-old formula with the newest toast of the Telugu film industry — Raj Tarun. This storyline isn’t new for the actor. Remember Cinema Chupista Maava? He finds himself in a similar space again.

The story is set in a hamlet where a little boy, Ram, chances upon Seetha, when he accompanies a college-going guy who’s dating her elder sister! A bond develops between the two kids. The smart alec that Ram is, he throws a tantrum until his parents send him to the same school that Seetha studies.

Soon, however, the girl is sent to the city to study. As an interlude, we are told he stops playing cricket because during one such game she gets injured by the cricket ball. It’s anyone’s guess that the director will refer to this development much later.

The boy grows up (as Raj Tarun) believing the girl (Arthana) is made for him. Seetha, now an MBBS student, returns to the village on vacation (a long vacation, a luxury that most medical students don’t have in reality). Ram, meanwhile, is yet to clear inter exams and spends his time dreaming about Seetha and/or getting drunk in the bar accompanied by friends.

The tired narration is punctuated by smart repartees at the film industry, for instance, taking a dig at how ‘useless’ heroes get very important and busy in the second half. Then, there are supporting actors who compete with one another and talk in a high-pitched voice — a granny who drives people up the wall, a soothsayer with a sing-song narration, a mother who doesn’t let go of a chance to underline how useless her son is.

The silver lining comes when an irate Seetha asks her family members, who want to marry her off at the earliest, why should she be punished if a guy relentlessly pursues her. The flicker of hope is too good to last. The rest of the story takes a hackneyed route to show how true love conquers all.

The director tries to and succeeds, to an extent, to liven up the proceedings with a contest. Again, not a new idea but it’s better than what one has endured so far in this film.

Raj Tarun comes up with a convincing performance, befitting the part of a love-stuck underdog. But it’s time filmmakers offer this scrawny actor something new. In how many films can you see him acting the good-for-nothing guy or be surrounded by good-for-nothing guys?

Arthana makes an impressive debut and Adarsh Balakrishna makes a mark in a brief part.

Gopi Sunder’s music is the film’s lifeline. A few songs are striking, particularly ‘Seethamahalakshmi’.

Seethamma Andalu Ramayya Sitralu

Cast: Raj Tarun, Arthana

Direction: Srinivas Gavireddy

Music: Gopi Sunder

Genre: Romance

Rating: 2 stars

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2020 3:29:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Seethamma-Andalu-Ramayya-Sitralu-Been-there-seen-that/article14026765.ece

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