Swathi Muthyam Movie Review: Situational comedy can't save this superficial family entertainer
Swathi Muthyam Movie Review: Debutant Ganesh gets to play a uni-dimensional character; the writing fails him.
Name: Swathi Muthyam
Director: Lakshman K Krishna
Cast: Kamal Haasan
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Run-Time: 124 Minutes
First things first. It is no secret that 'Swathi Muthyam' has got the plot point of surrogacy leading to a conflict at its centre. Bala Murali (debutant Ganesh Bellamkonda) becomes a victim of unforeseen circumstances because of what he did a couple of years ago. If you have seen the trailer and followed the makers' words concerning the sperm donation element, you can easily see the interval plot turn coming from miles away: Bala's wedding with Bhagya Lakshmi (Varsha Bollamma) gets shelved.
Debutant filmmaker Lakshman K Krishna relies excessively on the power of situational comedy rather than drama. His creative choices work when the lens is focused on the elders. This film understands the psychological and behaviour of middle-aged men displaying a sense of entitlement and anger more than unsuspecting youngsters caught in a bind. By the time the film is over, you will remember the reactions of Bala's father (played by the ever-so-effortless Rao Ramesh) more than the pain undergone by Bhagya Lakshmi, the most affected person.
Not intimate, but plastic
This brings us to how the screenplay treats the bonding between the lead couple. The bonding between Bala and Bhagya doesn't feel personal; rather, it feels plastic.
Old-school thinking robs Bhagya of a distinct personality. In the olden days, filmmakers used to resolve issues by writing ideal female characters. You don't see the female lead as often as you should in the second half of 'Swathi Muthyam'. It is as if the director felt she has no purpose beyond displaying her large-heartedness. There are no close-up shots of a key character (no, it is not Divya Sreepada).
This film is old-fashioned in another fundamental way. There comes a point when Bala has to confess to something in the presence of hundreds of people. Bala is asked a 'Yes' or 'No' question. After he says 'Yes', the conflict worsens because nobody else wants to listen to him anymore. Everybody just walks away mournfully. This is how melodramatic crybaby-friendly family dramas used to stage scenes in the olden days. This is not how things pan out in real life.
Character artists get it right
Amidst a sea of convenient plot turns, Goparaju Ramana keeps the audience engaged with his quirks. Rao Ramesh, despite his predictable reactions, is still praiseworthy. Subbaraju, who plays a 40-year-old bachelor, is fun to watch; the 'Baahubali' actor has so much calibre in him to enliven situational comedies. Vennela Kishore, as an RMP doctor, had so much potential but his character is underwritten.
Debutant Ganesh gets to play a uni-dimensional character; the writing fails him. Varsha gets a montage song that mirrors her state of mind. Mahati Swara Sagar's music is decent.
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Check out the trailer of film below:
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