Not quite absorbing

Niharika Konidela and Rahul Vijay in a still from the film  

Pranith Brahmandapally makes his debut with Suryakantam, a role written to bring out many emotions and showcase Niharika’s talent. The character has ample opportunity and space to display every emotion under the sun and also bags a small introduction song that is rare for a Telugu film heroine.

The plot is nothing new, and by the end of the film, it feels like another web series put up on the big screen.

Also, the intention of the film is to tell Suryakantam’s story - the promise that Abhi makes to Suryakantham’s mother (Suhasini) that her daughter will be cared for and will always return and belong to a family that she can call her own. The rest is about the girl’s expression of love, jealousy and understanding.

A commitment-phobic Suryakantam (Niharika) disappears after Abhi (Rahul Vijay) proposes to her. She likes him but wants to convey her decision the next day. In fact, her friends are used to her vanishing act every now and then. A chatter box, boisterous and free-spirited girl, she is emotionally dysfunctional due to her parents’ divorce when she was a child and is averse to the concept of marriage. So, when Abhi is just about getting used to not having her around for so many months, he bumps into Pooja, (Perlene Bhesania) an easily likeable girl. It is a match fixed by the parents and they are about to get engaged when Suryakantam returns, this time having made up her mind to marry Abhi.

Niharika occupies centre stage and leaves an impact in the last few scenes, her silent pose as a friend in a group photo in Abhi’s wedding draws empathy. Newcomer Perlene too holds her own. She lends a quiet dignity to her role and also remains firm when the need arises. Rahul Vijay has potential to grow; this time he plays a passive role but he should make a conscious effort to do something different in his next film.

The film drags at times and Niharika’s chatter goes overboard in the first half as the director tries to establish her character. Narrative is longer than it needs to be and you will fault its pace and ability to hold your attention. The music by Mark K. Robin is not the best but it does fit well here.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 10:25:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/not-quite-absorbing/article26681469.ece

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