An image change is a good thing. Especially if your established image has failed continuously. However, what you try should be something that has a modicum of similarity to what you have done before, or should at least sync with your overall persona. When that does not happen, the image change falls flat. Welcome to the world of Sarocharu.
Ravi Teja, who seems to be in some sort of a midlife crisis, attempts a classy role in his latest release. Very little usage of expletives, toned-down violence, trademark dialogue delivery nearly missing, over-the-top laughter cut down... almost everything about him is different. But all of it feels unreal.
Plot-wise, too, Sarocharu is no great shakes. Sandhya (Kajal Agarwal) is a student in Italy, who is never seen studying or even going to college. She falls head over heels in love with Karthik (Ravi Teja) at first sight, and pursues him relentlessly. She manages to travel with him to Hyderabad in the same flight, and plans to make him fall for her on the flight. However, Karthik tells her that he is already married, and that he is on his way to divorce his wife. What happens next forms the crux of the movie.
The movie has an artificial feel right from the beginning, and the humor falls flat. The story seems to be one written for Srikanth or Jagapathi Babu, and does not go with Ravi Teja's image at all. A soft love story in which the hero talks about how love is all about understanding each other needs strong characters who the audience identifies and empathises with. Sarocharu has none of these.
Ravi Teja tries his best, but you can almost see the real Mass Maharaja waiting to come out in every scene. Kajal gets a lengthy role, and does well. Richa Gangopadhyay is as wooden as wooden can get. Two deadpan expressions is all she can muster. There are other actors, including Nara Rohit in a cameo, Jayasudha and Master Bharat, in the movie, but none of them appears for more than a couple of scenes.
Strong conversations are a must in these kinds of stories, but Sarocharu has very few meaningful dialogues. The emotional peaks in the movie trend downward. Devi Sri Prasad seems to have given away all his rejected times to the movie, and none of the songs registers with you.
Parasuram, who had made decent films like Yuvatha
earlier, falters completely with this one. The twist 20 minutes before the climax is so absurd that one wonders what the director was smoking when he dreamed it up. These kinds of scripts need a Gautam Menon or a Sekhar Kammula, and Parasuram's handling falls woefully short.
All in all, Sarocharu is not going to turn Ravi Teja's fortunes for the better, and will instead cap off what has been a miserable 2012 for the actor in similar fashion. If you absolutely must catch the flick, see it in some single screen theatre, where the audience's comments might provide some entertainment.