Reviews

Shourya: Ensures good thrills

Manchu Manoj, Regina in Shourya  

Shourya, a gritty affair is proof that Telugu cinema is ready to accept change. Director Dasaradh steers away from his family drama roots in crafting a taut thriller, camouflaged in a commercial cover that respects a viewer’s intelligence. In what could have easily been a preachy drama on honour killing and the caste system, there are numerous surprises amidst some fluff. The narrative isn’t entirely folly-free but the end result indicates an opportunity well utilised.

The tale is set against a tumultuous backdrop switching between Hyderabad and Ramachandrapuram, where Shourya (Manchu Manoj) and Nethra (Regina) are ready to leave for Sweden in quest of a peaceful life, against the wishes of the girl’s parents. Just then, there’s an attempt to murder a pivotal character. Blame games begin, there are alternate flashbacks, and the narrative goes back and forth with multiple versions of the same incident. Who’re the culprits and how much of this is the truth? Some spoon-feeding and distractions apart, you’re kept hooked for a majority and leave the hall with a good aftertaste.

Beyond the goodies, Shourya could have been more hard-hitting had the director built an atmosphere that felt more real. The characterisation of Manchu Manoj in the initial portions as a persistent do-gooder and the romance between him and Regina feel out of place. There are the likes of Prabhas Sreenu, Shakalaka Shankar and Brahmanandam to give this story an entertaining spin. The comic relief by them elicits laughs but struggles to add value to the story.

It’s a relief that the director isn’t desperate to provide a solution to social ills and doesn’t thrust political commentary on you. Dasaradh justifies the title well, given it’s treated more as an issue for Shourya than the society as a whole. There are regular twists, (the best one’s reserved for the interval bang) to make sure it doesn’t have a documentary flavour.

Most actors in the film underplay themselves. It’s a welcome sight to see Manoj dressed like a regular guy in the crowd, sticking to his part, avoiding unnecessary heroics. Regina’s fashion sense overshadows her performance. Prabhas Sreenu is in better form than Brahmanandam and Shakalaka Shankar. It’s a cakewalk for Prakash Raj in lending weight to his role of a sincere-yet-brash cop. Subbaraju and Nagineedu don’t have much to offer. The music shows the effort of the composer K Vedaa to sound different. Dasaradh makes progress as a director and a screenplay writer, assembling his resources well to ensure a bankable output.

Shourya

Cast: Manchu Manoj, Regina, Prakash Raj, Nagineedu

Music: K Vedaa

Director: Dasaradh

Rating: 3 stars

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 9:09:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/shourya-ensures-good-thrills/article8314091.ece

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