Satish Vegesna’s Shatamanam Bhavati (2017) Movie Review
Star Cast: Sharwanand, Anupama Parameshwaran, Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Indraja, Naresh and Anand
Music Composed by Mickey J Meyer
Produced by Dil Raju
Directed by Satish Vegesna
Cinematography by Sameer Reddy
Produced by Dil Raju
Censor Certificate: U & Runtime: 134 Minutes
Set predominantly in the picturesque green lands of Atreyapuram, Shatamanam Bhavati revolves around the Raghava Raju couple, obviously, (Prakash Raaj & Dr. Jayasudha Kapoor), and their two boys and daughter (Indraja). Somewhat alienated, the family begrudgingly come together when they get wind of their age-old parents getting divorced. Inevitably, their reunion goes awry when mirky pasts and familial issues come to light, rupturing their already fragile relationships and subsequently, altering the course of their digital relationships permanently.
Coming to the performances, needlessly to say that Shatamanam Bhavati entirely belongs to Anupama Parmeswaran alone, still the noteworthy acts include the one coming from Naresh and Anand playing the brother’s son and son of Raghava Raju. We know Sharwanand is quite competent actor, but that entirely dependent on director and script. This one misfired. Anand, Indraja, Raja Ravindra, Prabhas Seenu and Praveen coming up with all mediocre performances due to the reckless writing. Prakash Raaj and Dr Jayasudha Kapoor are routine, but still manage to leave an impact in important emotional scenes.
The screenplay of the movie is as old as Aravalli Hills. Well you want to climb them enjoy their beauty, like them, have an exotic trekking trip, but you end up in a hotel room watching them from a distance. That’s how you feel when you watch Raghava Raju Family. The emotional connect with the characters from an audience point of view is quite far and distant. Sharwanand’s character Raju and Anupama as Nithya they just keep falling in love with each other, while the major tension was happening between the old couple. A screenplay a bit tighter and logical would have concentrated on bringing out the emotions between the older generation parents and newer generation parents with divorce drama. Rather it keeps trying to be a happy-go-lucky story that neither serve the purpose nor forms the crux of the story. What sort of love story between two budding youngster can solve a problem between two old ideologies like “Be united” or New age ideology “Be far and be connected” the writers have major explanation to an audience member, if they were watching a love story, a comedy, or a matured discussion between three generations ideologies.
Director Satish Vegesna falls back on old troops with heavy inspirations from the legends like Kranthi Kumar, Dasari Narayana Rao, Adhurti Subbarao and the new age director like Trivikram Srinivasa Rao and Krishna Vamsi. There is no unique code to his vision or execution. It’s just like you are watching DVDs or your favorite movies like how he made dubsmash-es of them. One feels like his emotional quotient in understanding a situation is highly limited and fragmented by his Telugu film knowledge. There is nothing wrong in taking inspirations, even copying until and unless you are sure about what you want. Here as a director he confuses and ultimately confuses the viewer as well. If you want to make a slice of life film, make it close to reality, but not close to your imaginative reality. No father no mother or no child would accept a parents divorce, just like that and spend a happy holiday. There should have been many more scenes and situations, where daughter and son are trying to address the elephant in the room rather than getting immersed in boxing matches and emails.
Other technicalities, The songs and background score of the film by Mickey J Meyer try hard to win over the viewer with their timely insertions, whereas an average cinematography, sloppy editing and an all predictable narration (with a bizarrely written climax), do not let the film rise above the run-of-a-mill stuff. One technicality makes a solid impression that’s lyrics by Ramajogayya Sastry and Srimani, with meaningful homage to village life.
Well let me describe you a funny fragment of my imagination to let you understand my displeasure. Let dive into it. (Let’s imagine four viewers from different generations sitting with the director in the middle)
Viewer 1: (opening sequences) Wow! What a village.
Viewer 2: This looks familiar
Viewer 3: Did I bring back my car keys or not?
Viewer 4: Yesterday, I ate Garellu. I don’t know how they affect my stomach.
Director : Guys!! Guys!! This is the best part, look alive look at the screen.
Viewer 1: Papa, Toilet
Viewer 2: Let me tweet about this.
Viewer 3: If they give interval soon enough, I have to make a call.
Viewer 4: Dozed off.
Viewer 4: Are we at home. Why is Seetharamayyagari Manavaralu Playing…
Viewer 1: Dozed off.
Viewer 2: Liking and disliking his friends and girl friends pictures on face book.
Viewer 3: End this. End This. End this Man.
Director: No where to be seen.
(The End Card)
Viewer 1: Papa, let us go to the Mc Donalds
Viewer 2: Tweeting about the movie.
Viewer 3: Worrying about his valuables.
Viewer 4: What an experience, I just time travelled to my youger days. ANR, SVR and Savitri are awesome.
Director: (With Press) I Made a movie, that is enjoyable to all the generations. <Cut to his back pocket> A Bela Seshe DVD. Amen.