Karthik Gattamneni’s Surya Vs Surya (2015) Movie Review
Star Cast: Nikhil Siddharth, Tridha Choudhary,Madhubala, Tanikella Bharani, Sathya among others
Direction: Karthik Ghattamaneni
Producer: Malkapuram Sivakumar
Music Director: Satya Mahaveer
Censor Certificate: U/A
Runtime: 130 Minutes
The film tells the story of Surya, a man stricken with Porphyria, a type of disorder which allows him to lead a relatively normal life. However, he has problems understanding complex issues and cannot express emotions as normal people can. Brought up in a citified of Hyderabad by his mother (Madhoo), Surya joins in MSK Night College, to complete his bachelor degree in Mathematics. There he meets Verriswami Erasu (Tanikella Bharini), an Auto driver Aruna Sai (Satya), who takes an instant liking to Surya. They turn friends. At this time, Surya (Nikhil Siddhartha) is falls in love with TV journalist Sanjjanna (Tridha), who playfully keeps him guessing about her feelings for her. Did Surya share his feelings about her? Will Sanjjanna understand his disorder? what happens next forms the rest of the storyline.
Nikhil Siddhartha is the life of the film and give the film its few moments rising above the script even if the film fails to make you connect with him emotionally. Tridha is a lot to work with and makes use of as little of the potential as she can, instead of trying to make her work on her histrionics. Classmates Tanikella Bharini and Satya who doesn’t learn anything, stands by rather uselessly, while Tagubothu Ramesh is miscast as an Ice Cream seller. While Madhoo easily gives the most hammy and worst performance of her career. The rest of the performances (Shayaji Shinde, Praveen, Viva Harsha, Rao Ramesh.. etc) are mostly passable and completely overshadowed by leading actor.
Porphyria (comes from Greek word: porphyra) refers to a group of disorders that result from a buildup of natural chemicals that produce porphyria (essential for functioning Hemoglobin) in your body. Surprisingly, Porphyria has been suggested as an explanation for the origins of Vampire and Werewolf [Click Link]. Coming to Surya Vs Surya, the weak script and the theatrical and hokey dialogues are clearly culprits here. Scenes are designed with dialogues more giving audience information rather than how they might actually have happened. The thrust throughout is on telling you things rather than showing them. Surya is supposed to struggle with the genetic disorder in his early days, but things conclude as the mother says “Andaru endalo tiruguthoo needa kosam vetukkuntaaru kaanee neeku aa avasarame ledhu surya”, and things conclude there. Similarly, Surya gets through primary schooling privately at home, but mother tries to make him study his bachelor’s degree (seriously Why?!) in a college and a retailer (never really cared about business) and auto driver (who always flirts with a girl) joins same college for B. Sc (Mathamatics), turn besties. The concept of the film “Porphyria” was never really showcased on scene except for a Fight scene at Vegetable market. Director could have easily worked on more interesting moments rather than fixing to complete drama and romantic angle in the film. The film starts off capably enough, but seems to lose patience midway through. Post-intermission big messy chunks of plot are lunged at the audience, with some dexterity of hand that never quite casts a spell, despite Karthik Ghattamaneni’s impressive yet standard-issue cinematography. The film tries far too desperately to evoke what Tollywood calls “Feel Good” factor, but ends up arousing more apathy than empathy. The laziest writing is saved for the final 20 minutes, the intentions are clear-emotions are simple-yet laughable climax proceedings spoil the complete dish in a matter of minutes. A lot of the supposed emotional moments seem gimmicky, and have too much melodrama. As a result, the acting suffers and even though Nikhil puts in a encumbered performance as Surya, Madhoo fails to make an impact, coming off as sharp and disdainful at times
Director-Cinematographer Karthik Ghattamaneni’s great camerawork deserves a special mention. The framing, exposure, lighting are spoton. The songs go somewhat with the film but don’t really lift it with their picturizations while the background score gets louder as the film progresses to desperately hammer in the emotions. On the editing front, the film drags on endlessly in the second half and actually might have worked better with more seriousness and sharp cuts. Production Design of Suraksh Leisure banner is fine.
Films are supposed to be medium that showcase visual with sound to be added to accompaniment and layer the visual. May be that’s why film makers usually say show, don’t tell your storytelling on motion picture. But “Surya Vs Surya” goes the other way around in spite of some beautiful imaginary, the film follows the pronouncement of tell, don’t show and by the end you are left frustratingly disappointed at what could have been potentially brilliant and heartwarming film failing so dismally in engaging you or moving you. Sadly the film is more dramatic, obvious, and trivial rather than conceptually/emotionally satisfying journey.
Survi Review”: 2/5 (Rated 0.5 more for the Concept)