Sreekaram Review & Rating
Sreekaram Review: A Well Packaged Film Missing A Few Necessary Goods
Two things sell well, the cliche goes about commercial art. Sex and violence.
Two things make people wet their eyes in commercial art. Mother sentiment. And plight of the farmers.
There have been several films about farmers and their plights. The latest trend is the stories of the youth moving to villages by leaving out high profile jobs and indulge themselves in farming. There are a few good success stories in real life too. If the youth really take care of farming and come up with innovative ways, the agriculture scene in India will be in a different state. But supporting farmers and speaking about agriculture have at best been fashion statements.
In comes the movie Sreekaram. The Sharwanand starrer is commented upon as a remake of Maharshi. Both films share a lot of common threads like a software engineer takes up agriculture. Both films have villains who wants to own up the agricultural land of the farmers for their own purposes. And even the enticing elements too match. But the real similarity of Sreekaram is with his own blockbuster Shathamanam Bhavathi than to the Mahesh Babu starrer.
Karthik is a successful software engineer and earns dream numbers. He hails from a poor farmer’s family in a village near Tirupati. His father wants his son to go to America and farm dollars instead of working in their own village. It is between them the real conflict element arises. Karthik works at an IT company in Hyderabad.
Chaitra (Priyanka) is his colleague and she tries her best to make him fall in love with her like all self-respecting Telugu heroines do. Of course, as this film is similar to a Mahesh Babu film, it is the duty of the heroine to woo the hero. Arthamavuthondaa? Okay! But Karthik is inspired to go back to his village and do farming. Not just that, he wants to make farming a new way of life where it will become a trend among the youth to indulge themselves in farming. In the meanwhile, he meets with former farmers who are now struggling to make ends meet in the big bad city.
Karthik quits his high-salaried job and returns to his village with an aspiration to bring back the lost glory to the farmers and agriculture. His father who has a lot of expectations on his son opposes this. Reason? He’s Rao Ramesh. The challenges he faces in convincing the villagers to return to agriculture and his inspirational success story as a farmer form the rest of the predictable story.
Writing and direction
First things first. It’s a good story and a neat subject matter. If done well, it has the potential to inspire the youth to think about farming as a serious option. But as much as the heavy treatment given in the first half of the film to the plights of farmers and the reasons for agriculture has gone out of interest for the current generation youth, the second half is where the film becomes too cinematic.
This is the biggest failure of the filmmakers. They fail to come up with proper practical solutions like director Shankar does with his films. Overnight our hero becomes successful. And overnight he sells his goods with just a social media post. But does the filmmaker and story writer know the current day reality? It’s not just the situations and monetary support, it is the serious lack of farming coolies (farm workers) who work properly that’s killing farming in many ways.
Everyone nowadays gets freebies and not intending to work. All the benefits one get from the government in terms of freebies amounts to Rs. 2 lakhs. It is the lack of the workers who really love to work. Not laze around is also another issue one has to consider. Easy money has become a big problem. One of the best solutions is not just combined farming as shown in the film (which is a partial solution to fight lack of Human Resources) but corporate farming where the farmers work as salaried employees and are guided by the corporates and scientists to get better yields.
Things like this make agriculture a viable profession. But this film mostly concentrated in the glorification of farmers with empty words and the hero. The conflict element isn’t properly established too. The writing is weaker in the second half of the film. The climax is more rushed and fails to create an impact like Shathamanam Bhavathi or Maharshi.
As for performances, Sharwanand did a sincere job. He’s good in the role and looked earnest as long as he doesn’t smile. His body language as a farmer is neat and authentic for the most part. The dialogue delivery lacked the punch required for heavy lifting. But his efforts are visible. Priyanka Arulmohan has a meaty role in the second half and she’s up to the task. In the first half she happily indulged in wooing the hero like she has no other purpose.
Rao Ramesh is his usual self. But it is Naresh who makes a lasting impression in his smaller role. Satya makes a mark with his humour. Saikumar as the villain is miscast. He’s straight out of the pre-Lucia days of a Kannada films. Irritates to the core. Rest of the others are okayish to various degrees.
The music of the film is plain okay. The background score is derivative. The cinematography is superb. The editing could have been better. The art department has done a good job in selecting proper and authentic locations. The dialogues by Sai Madhav Burra are quotably great. It’s expected from a writer of his stature. The production values are top-notch.
Sreekaram is a good film at heart but has done a partial job out of a story with a great potential. It’s as much a remake of Maharshi as it is of Shathamanam Bhavathi. Nevertheless it’s a one time watch. A neat commercial cinema on a topical subject. Nothing more than that. We cannot expect more than that in a world that’s living more on trending than doing actually.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
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