Sridevi Soda Center: Predictable Rural Entertainer
Sudheer Babu has mostly done urban characters that suit him well but now he has teamed up with Karuna Kumar for a rural entertainer. The director made a solid debut with Palasa 1978 last year and received great critical acclaim. This combination itself has created a lot of buzz for the movie and the pre-release stuff has received a positive buzz. As the film has hit the screens today, let’s find out if it lives up to the hype or not.
The film is set in the Amalapuram village backdrop and revolves around Lighting Suri Babu (Sudheer Babu) and Sodakottu Sridevi (Anandhi). They both fall in love and Sridevi’s father (Naresh) rejects their marriage due to caste issues. There is one more character that falls in love with Sridevi, making things even more complicated. After a major sequence, Sudheer Babu lands in Jail. Will he be able to come out? Can he make his love story successful? forms the rest of the story.
Sudheer Babu has made an honest effort to play the part perfectly. He has worked on the diction and dialogue delivery to suit the story. However, his efforts don't translate too well into the performance leaving a lot to be desired. He has done exceptionally well in the action scenes and gives a decent performance in the emotional scenes. While Suribabu as a character needed a better actor, we cannot deny the fact that Sudheer has given his best. Naresh, who plays Anandhi’s father in the film gets a meaty role and he has impressed everyone with his fantastic performance. Though predictable, Naresh’s role has a lot to offer and Naresh’s experience comes into play.
Anandhi, who has been busy with Tamil films despite being a Telugu girl, gets a good role in the film and she has done well. However, the focus is not on the female lead for the most part, and yet she manages to leave an impact. Her scenes with Naresh are well written and performed. Raghu Babu gets a different role and he nails it apart from Satyam Rajesh who is decent.
Karuna Kumar’s debut film Palasa 1978 had a story based on caste and is deeply rooted. For Sridevi Soda Center, he has come up with a similar concept but this time he has ensured that there are enough commercial elements. Be it the love story or the action sequences, he has followed a template while not deviating from the main story.
Though he had a great story in hand, he started off very slow in the first half with one predictable scene after the other. He only picks up pace and comes to the point before interval. But, he shines well during the pre-climax and climax portions where there is a lot of intense drama. As Karuna Kumar has done well in such scenes, he should’ve added such scenes to hint us what he has in store for us during the climax. If he had taken care of the love story in the first half and made it work, this film would have reached the next level.
The cinematography is excellent in Sridevi Soda Center as Shamdat Sainudeen captures the rural backdrop beautifully. He has done a great job in shooting the boat race scene which is one of the major highlights of the movie. The art direction is superb as well. The first half should’ve been edited carefully to make things more gripping.
Mani Sharma’s music is decent at best and only Mandhuloda song has managed to get some attention. But, he excels with his background score which is unique from his regular work.
On the whole, Sridevi Soda Center has a decent amount of entertainment especially in the last 40 mins. If you are someone who loves intense action dramas, you can give it a shot!