S/O Satyamurthy: To keep up a father’s honour

April 10, 2015 07:15 pm | Updated 07:32 pm IST

Allu Arjun

Allu Arjun

The world makes us cynical. When we hear someone built a business empire worth a few hundred crore, we suspect foul play — darkness lurking behind the veil of a Good Samaritan. Director Trivikram Srinivas makes one such business magnate, Satyamurthy (Prakash Raj) the driving force behind this film. True to his name, Satyamurthy walks a righteous path. No, there is no mask. But he has incurred debts of Rs. 300 crore. After his demise, stocks plummet and the company stares at insolvency.

The first son (Vennela Kishore) is shocked and undergoing psychiatric therapy. The second son Viraj Anand (Allu Arjun) has to make a choice — keep the family wealth and let investors bite the dust or give up the wealth, repay loans and keep his father’s name flying high. He chooses the latter.

S/o SatyamurthyCast: Allu Arjun, Rajendra Prasad, Samantha, Upendra and Nithya Menen Direction: Trivikram Srinivas Music: Devi Sri Prasad Story: A son has to uphold his father’s ideals and prove detractors wrong. Bottom line: Brevity is the need of the hour.

Trivikram wants his audience to ponder over values and family ties through this story of a son who isn’t content if 99/100 people applaud his father. He wants the one main detractor, a calculative businessman (Rajendra Prasad), also to change his opinion. The family drama has a huge cast, and many characters are given unique facets or quirks. But before the plot thickens, one has to bear with songs that hinder the film’s flow. Some good dialogues, which one has come to expect from a Trivikram movie, salvages the proceedings.

Viraj loses the girl he was engaged to (Adah Sharma, who sleepwalks through her part), ends up working at her wedding while being mocked at by her father (Rao Ramesh) and his friend Rajendra Prasad. Viraj falls in love with Subbalakshmi alias Sameera (Samantha) and to win her, has to get land papers now in the hands of a don, Devaraj (Upendra).

The action shifts to a hamlet in the crossroads of Tamil Nadu and Andhra. In this Tamil speaking belt, we are introduced to a gamut of characters — Upendra, Sneha, Nithya Menen, Kota Srinivasa Rao and Sampath Raj — who speak Telugu with a twang. A few minutes into this rugged milieu and one senses déjà vu. We’ve seen enough films with characters placed in the villain’s den. Thankfully, the drama is lively and fun moments come through Ali and Brahmanandam.

The film attempts to break away from staid portrayal of women and notions of machismo in Telugu cinema. The don wants his wife to be happy and hides his dark side from her. The heroine is cast a diabetic. There are lines that scoff at people who label a girl unlucky when her engagement is broken. Also, the wall with post-its in Rajendra Prasad’s house says something about marriages in which communication has taken a beating.

Among the large cast, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Nithya Menen, Kota Srinivasa Rao, the gorgeous Sneha, Upendra, M.S. Narayana, Ali and Brahmanandam make a mark. Vennela Kishore and Sampath Raj are wasted. Rajendra Prasad plays his role to the hilt and his face-offs with Allu Arjun are interesting to watch. Samantha enacts her part with grace. Allu Arjun shoulders the film with his remarkable performance and seems to be getting better with each film.

The film’s biggest undoing is its length. A trimmer version would be far more engaging.

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