There's something about being the first big release of a summer. And this featured the hit combination of Julayi
, and was from the director of the biggest ever hit in Telugu
. The crowds at the theatres today confirmed that: five shows in the span of a half hour at a single multiplex - and all full and people still streaming in to see if they could wrangle tickets.
Only, such humungous expectations do not augur well for our movies. We've seen several mucho hyped movies fall flat on their faces in spite of being decent entertainers. Because when the expectations peak, people do not settle for merely decent movies. They want the best. And even for the best of writers/directors, it is difficult to come up with blockbusters all the time.
S/o Satyamurthy, then, is not as good as the hype. Which could be excused - but it is not even as good as Trivikram's average movies. The film is about Viraj Anand (Allu Arjun) and his father Satyamurthy (Prakash Raj). Viraj comes from an insanely rich family and has everything on a platter until the day his father dies in a road accident.
He then finds out that his father had debts to the tune of Rs. 300 crores. He's given an option to either declare insolvency and keep his property, or sell off everything to clear loans. Being the good man, he decides to give away all his property and keep his father's name intact. He then shifts to a poorer house (to the extent that poverty is allowed to touch our heroes) and starts looking out for a job.
He finds one as a wedding planner, falls in love with Sameera (Samantha) in the wedding, and goes to her father (Rajendra Prasad) to ask for her hand. There he realizes that his dad had sold a plot under litigation, and promises to clear the land's title. This leads him to a village in Tamil Nadu ruled over by Devraj Naidu (Upendra). What happens there and how Viraj clears his father's name forms the rest of the plot.
S/o Satyamurthy suffers from a shallowness hitherto unknown in Trivikram movies. The characters, dialogues, situations and emotions - all of them feel superficial and fail to connect with the viewers. It is difficult for anyone to invest in the fate of such hollow characters, and without that investment, movies just don't work. The comedy is good in bits and pieces, but when Brahmanandam begins to irritate you, you know things are not working. The film never flows from one scene to another, and instead feels like a cut-paste effort, the ugly edges standing out significantly.
Allu Arjun carries the movie on his shoulders, but his mannerisms fail to catch on here. His acting is top-notch and the dancing is good, but what you expect from Allu Arjun is not good - it is spectacular, which is missing. The others hardly get any scope - with such a huge starcast, no one gets more than 5-8 scenes. Upendra, Sneha and Rajendra Prasad still do expectedly well in their parts.
The film is technically sound - good cinematography, decent music (which sadly is not enhanced on screen through the kind of awesome picturisation you expect of songs in Trivikram's films) and some superb locales prop up the film considerably. Devi Sri Prasad comes up with decent music, but you won't be humming these songs a few weeks down the line.
All in all, S/o Satyamurthy is an ode to the hero's dad - the irony there being that the father is killed off quite early so they can give the son more screen time. Something like that needs pulling it off.