The title can reflect either our respect for the past or a pointer that we are caught up in a time wrap refusing to move out. It is anybody’s guess as ...
Telugu cinema is built around the adage that the stars glitter – always. He is cult; he is the cultivated persona with as much character as the huge cut-out created for his Friday welcome. The film the star creates is as synthetic as the décor and as noisy as the atmosphere of the fans – drums and all. Elsewhere, characters build actors and actor’s fans. Here we have stars who have fans and the latter are fixated about “the hero” who by default would imply his one who can do anything. There is simply nothing he cannot do. Strangely at a time when a casual comment by a matinee idol on a talk show invited all-round disapproval, stars here carry no particular social responsibility or accountability.
In the name of entertainment, they get away with the loudest of jokes, crudest anatomical references, pelvic gyrations on your face and paradoxically build on their star image. In this ‘creative backdrop’ the filmmaker is far from tunes to the calls of good cinema. Instead, he gives the viewer large doses of his addictive preferences.
The title can reflect either our respect for the past or a pointer that we are caught up in a time wrap refusing to move out. It is anybody’s guess as to which of the two reflects in ‘Soggade Chinni Nayana’ – a title borrowed from a popular number starring ANR.
Nagarjuna returns with a double role of Bangarraju and Dr Ram Mohan. Dr Ram Mohan and his wife Sita (Lavanya Tripathi) return to India to meet Satya (Ramya Krishna), the grand old lady of the typical large family comprising hordes of people including uncle (Chalapathy Rao), Brahmaji, Jhansi, her husband (Vennela Kishore), etc. The gorgeous Satya is in command of things. Her husband Bangarraju returns from heaven and is often in conversation with Satya. The Ram – Sita wedding is on the rocks and the Bangarraju – Satya couple are engaged in some crude form to keep the marriage going.
The bad guys are Mahadevan, Sampath Raj, etc., who are engaged in the family dispute with the Bangarraju wing. There are stereotypes like an old temple, paddy fields and family groups, girls in distress mode throwing themselves at the hero, the hero in boisterous moments dancing to over choreographed songs, etc. There is also Atmanandam (Brahmanandam) who is making money by hoodwinking people with the belief that he can call departed souls and talk to them.
It is pell-mell out there. Chaos rules. Crass humour rules the roost. There is neither consistency nor credibility. The crew is in sync with the expected tastes. As is the cast. The likes of Lavanya Tripathi, Hamsa Nandini and Anasuya are non-starters. The likes of Nasser and Posani Krishna Murali make an art out of hamming. Brahmanandam fights hard to garner form. In the midst of all this, Nagarjuna, with his energy and the cultivated star status tries hard to keep things going. The lone bright spot is Ramya Krishna – all grace, charm and vigour. This rural do-gooder operating with the western doc juxtapositioned to focus on contrasting styles is a non-starter. At a time when the box-office offers a rich fare, one would choose Kalyan Krishna’s old wine only if you are running short of bottles.