In an age when family as an institution is shrinking out of existence, having
one could be a comfort. But not so for Srikant! True, a happy family would be
a luxury, and the best one can do is aspire to it. So that's what he does. Indeed,
his family appears to have a model of every vice.
He hopes against hope that his family would become one good family. But his hopes
remain hopes with father, Kota Srinivasa Rao, addicted to the bottle; mother,
Y Vijaya, obsessed with her chits; brother, Raghava, gambling with cards; a sister
and son-in-law, Brahmanandam, whose only occupation is fleecing his in-laws for
more and more money.
If they are occupied with what they are doing best, there is nothing to worry,
but they cross their paths frequently and sparks fly, turning the house into a
hell hole. Barring Srikant, the only sane person in the house is the daughter-in-law,
Suhasini. And it is to their credit that they keep the home and hearth going.
This hellish experience at home makes Srikant disinterested in marriage, until
one fine day he meets Jayalakshmi who believes in the concept of a happy family.
Mighty thrilled that he has found his soul mate, he proposes his love for her.
But she tells him matter-of-factly that she doesn't mind marrying him but only
if her grandfather, Nageswara Rao, approves of the marriage.
Now, Nageswara Rao, who has a bitter experience with his other daughter's in-laws,
tells Srikant that he would approve of the marriage only after he is convinced
that his is a happy family. For that, he says, he would be in Srikant's house
for a month to have a first hand experience. Srikant, who will do anything for
his ladylove, bribes his family members to act like good human beings when Nageswara
Rao is in their house. Will they reform themselves and earn the goodwill of Nageswara
Rao, is the moot point.
It is a good theme, which has been handled well. But the theme is so familiar
that every scene is predictable. What is of significance is the subdued performance
of Nageswara Rao. As every one would expect, the Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner
does not go about giving long lectures to reform Srikant's degenerate family members.
On the other hand, the realization comes from within, with his mere presence in
the house. Srikant keeps weeping like a small boy all the time, while Jayalakshmi
looks like an expressionless doll. Kota has portrayed the role of a drunkard so
many times that it comes naturally to him.
Go if you must, but don't expect anything new. Even then it is worth watching,
for it has been presented well.