"Do you have fire in your belly to accomplish a difficult task? Can you grin and bear it even when in distress? Do you retain your composure while in trauma? If yes, then we, the crew of the movie, need you like hell. Walk into any theater playing Sivaramaraju, get in touch with us to register as martyrs - oops viewers - and win great titles. Hurry now, avoid disappointment! Movie may last for a couple of shows only."
Super Good Films, that produced this cropper, may have to resort to such gimmicks just to recover its investment. Especially since even the so-called 'mass' audience seem to have outgrown such gratuitous fare, going by the way recent movies of the faction-Seema genre have toppled at the box office.
That apart, if you're keen on bracing yourself for the big task, remember, Sivaramaraju is atrociously sentimental, bafflingly loud, complexly woven and disturbingly exaggerated (strictly in alphabetical order) to appeal to any section of viewers.
If you can discount this in favor of star value, then you have two versions of Sivatandav - by Jagapathi and Harikrishna - placed thoughtfully on two sides of the intermission. Other special attractions include Harikrishna chopping his head off, Laya as a vamp and Venkat in a designer dhoti.
It's the three cloyingly sweet brothers (Jagapathi, Venkat, Shivaji in title roles) and their li'l sis (Mounika) who contribute to the senti factor. They love each other in such staggering proportions that these four grownups - ignoring the fact that they could catch the Hepatatis B virus - share the same raw mango, glass of milk and food. For some inexplicable reason, they just can't speak like normal siblings. So they communicate either by singing songs about the brother-sister thingy or by mouthing platitudes about family ties.
Harikrishna adds his weight to the decibel level by playing the loud landlord who dispenses justice and precious gifts as per his whims and fancies. To create that aura of a great man, there are hordes of villagers who fawn on him and act as "psychophants". We are not told how he obtains such a stature, though. Since he chops his head off just to keep up his word (thank God for little mercies), the foursome acquire a certain cult status in the village.
Later, in an amazing twist, the li'l sis ends up marrying a dude from the rival camp. While the three bhais think it's a fabulous thing, they fail to see that girl is being used as a pawn to settle scores with them. The end of the movie is when they realize the truth and act on it.
Every single scene is loud, every emotion exaggerated and every frame is loaded with sentiment. It's a movie that you want to fastforward every time the male siblings fuss over their li'l sis, every time Harikrishna appears on screen, every time the songs are on and every time any fights are shown. In short, you want to FF the whole damn thing in one go.
Jagapathi Babu gets the meatiest role, and thus stands out. He speaks with a certain restraint and acts like a normal man. He is in complete contrast to the overtly theatrical Harikrishna who looks like a Sumo wrestler in an ochre robe and talks like he is addressing a Mahanadu. Mounika gets a well-etched-out role. For a newcomer she does a decent job. The other girls in the movie just get to adorn six kilos of jasmine gajras in every scene.
The music is no great shakes either. There are about two decent soft numbers, and the rest remind you of the trademark Bonalu music. Director Samudra seems to have seen too many Telugu faction movies of late. He should have begun the movie after the effects wore off. So big brothers of Andhra, unite! You have nothing to lose but two hours, twenty-five bucks and just two ounces of sanity. Go ahead, be men!