Sarkaru Vaari Paata Movie Review: Mahesh Babu's entertainment makes up for plain writing
The film is watchable as long as it is watchable. The first half, despite the not-so-amusing rom-com track, works to an extent.
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Keerthy Suresh and others
Director: Parasuram Petla
Run-Time: 162 Minutes
At this rate, one of Mahesh Babu's future films is going to be about what should be done to make India a $5 trillion economy at the EARLIEST. The film, regardless of who writes and directs it, will feature at least three speeches by our hero. He will say 'Work hard' in the first one, 'Work harder' in the second one, and 'Work hardest' in the third one. By the end of the final speech, millions of youths will be motivated enough to usher in an economic revolution of 'Maharshi'-esque proportions.
For now, though, Mahesh Babu's saviour character has to make do with a less important but a nonetheless colossal task. Apparently, evil men have robbed the Indian banks of a whopping Rs 13 lakh crores. Rajendranath (Samuthirakani) is one of them, owing Rs 10,000 crores to banks. Because of his wilful defaulting, the common man is having to pay extra EMIs. We are tempted to reveal what happens when Mahesh (Mahesh Babu) delivers this so-called truth bomb about inflated EMIs, but we won't do it because that would give away the climax, which anyways is a semi-joke.
Mahesh is an NRI orphan (we have seen NRIs and orphans but NRI orphan is an up-gradation in Telugu cinema) who runs a massive finance company. He is its founder, manager, front-end executive, and recovery agent rolled into one. He bashes up his American loanees who are too busy making love to their girlfriends instead of promptly paying the interest on loan. Fittingly, such a versatile character crosses paths with Kalavathi (Keerthy Suresh), who is versatile in a subversive manner. She has a hidden agenda but revealing it would be giving away 75% of the story. So, we are holding ourselves back.
There comes a point when Mahesh has to fly down to Vizag to lock horns with the main villain, played by Samuthirakani. Let it be just said that this villain is powerful and, to prove that he is a man of immense clout, he literally rushes to the Finance Minister's office, literally hugs him, and literally explains what he has just done.
The film is watchable as long as it is watchable. The first half, despite the not-so-amusing rom-com track, works to an extent. Kalavathi's intentions are revealed right off the bat. At first, this reviewer felt that the film was wrong in revealing its cards too soon. But the fashion in which the story unfolds in the second half, in retrospect, it feels right to uncover Kalavathi's intentions lest the 'twist' would have been too messy to handle. Mahesh comes across as Kajal Aggarwal's gullible character in 'Badshah', with Keerthy Suresh doing a Jr NTR. (Side note: The 'Banthi' philosophy in that film was so funny!).
In his recent films, Mahesh behaved as though he deserves to be loved at the first opportunity. For a change, 'SVP' makes a fool out of his character in the rom-com portions. That's a whiff of fresh air. But the 'I am reeling off punches and repartees' air to his performance is a turn-off after a point.
The comedy track in the second half performs no function. There is no reason why Subbaraju wouldn't know of the real motive behind Mahesh's histrionics when he has already revealed it to the main villain. 'Ma Ma Mahesha', the much-glorified mass number, is enjoyable.
The scenes involving the hero, Brahmaji and Posani Krishna Murali are proof that Mahesh's films have mainly become all about words and words. The action scenes are bereft of innovative ideas. The dialogues about bad debts and the sins of Vijay Mallya types are heavily drawn from viral WhatsApp forwards.
The film taps into the middle-class angst around fugitives. It builds bland sentimentality around EMIs that the poor and middle-class are obligated to pay. It propagates the lie that write-offs are waivers.
Thaman's background score was a highlight of recent movies like 'Akhanda' and 'Bheemla Nayak'. Here, his work is plain. R Madhi's cinematography is not spectacular.