An overdose of drama

In many mainstream narratives featuring a wastrel son, the mother often comes to his rescue while the father feels he’s good for nothing. So in
Vijetha
, which is mostly predictable and clichéd, the slight difference is the role reversal. The mother and sister know the boy is taking his father for a ride. The father, Srinivasa Rao (Murali Sharma), tries to fulfil every wish of his son, oblivious to the fact that the boy has taken him for granted. Murali Sharma is dependable as always; it’s amazing how he’s become an integral part of Telugu cinema, gels into his character and breathes life into an otherwise boring film

Borrowing its title from the 1985 film that starred Chiranjeevi, this one stars the superstar’s son-in-law Kalyaan Dhev (as Ram) and one would think the title refers to his own triumph. The story has all the trappings for such a journey. Ram fritters away his school and college days, and the film sometimes glorifies it. He doesn’t care about being jobless and there are plenty of lame lines about how marks and ranks aren’t important in the big picture. If these lines come from someone who strives to make a mark in a creative streak, it holds merit. But it becomes a convenient spiel for Ram and his friends who are content idling away.

Then, out of the blue comes a scene where Srinivasa Rao lectures a wedding photographer on the essence of photography. The picture gradually emerges — Rao was once a photographer on the brink of joining the National Geographic team but traded that dream to earn for his family. His journey is more interesting than the son’s. The son’s turnaround happens after several inane comic sequences and listless songs, spurred on by an overtly emotional turn of events. The part where Ram and friends make a billionaire heir realise the importance of family is contrived. In all that kidnap drama, no one in that influential family thought of a counterplan? The film plods on until the hero gets his father to rediscover his old passion and get his share of the spotlight. The film’s essence isn’t bad at all. But it’s boringly told and occasionally some scenes might bring a smile — like Pragati riding a bike. The more sensible leading lady, Jaitra (Malvika Nair), gets a brief part. She does it well, but we’ve seen her in better roles.

Vijetha
has nothing going for it barring Murali Sharma.

(For longer version, check www.thehindu.com)


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