A rural setting somewhere in West Godavari. Lush green paddy fields. Villagers
with their usual problems. A person among these villagers who is looked upon as
God by them for being the upholder of their welfare and rights. This "devudu"
with an ability to deliver monologues at deafening decibels, flare the nostrils
faster than you can count, and indulge in violence so sadistic even Marquis de
Sade would blush.
Then a babe whose role is to gyrate with "devudu" in the songs and offer some titillation. Politics and factionalism galore. And, finally, a 'comedy' track featuring veteran comedians of Tollywood who've been put through hamming and screaming by the director to make them seem the Laurel and Hardy of this side of the Atlantic (sorry, Stan and Olly).
All these stereotyped attributes have been seen, condoned, and even appreciated sometimes in scores of Telugu movies in the past. Appreciated, because they did justice to the basic aspects called screenplay and flow. We liked 'Trishulam', we liked 'Peddarayudu' and we liked 'Narasimha Naidu' for these reasons.
But when films like 'Simharaasi' piggyback on these attributes - and only on these attributes - it finally boils down to whether the film has the ever-bankable star power to save it from viewers' angst. Sadly, Dr.Rajashekhar's heydays have passed by.
The character's travails, his rags to riches story, his decision to remain celibate but then again to relent to the undying love of Raji (Sakshi Sivanand) - all these challenge the viewers' logical reasoning. The script aims more at glorifying the character of Narasimha Raju (Rajashekhar) than letting any story take center-stage.
The film does have its moments, though, in the form of this man's acting prowess with the indispensable voice-over by Sai Kumar (the same guy whose plans to become an actor solely on the basis of his stentorian voice have resulted in squibs like 'Khaaki Chokka'). One still feels that giving him a good script sans the kitsch mentioned above would definitely bring out encores of films like 'Ankusham' and 'Anna'.
Only time will tell the fate of this movie. And it has been harsh on such films