A hero comes to the village as a messiah and saves it from the clutches of evil. When we hear that basic line many films would flash in our mind and Srimanthudu in one line is a no different. But where the film manages to strike the chord is in balancing the drama with action to give us an engaging movie that is simultaneously an action movie and a drama about the struggle with village life today.
Koratala Siva has made a perfect commercial recipe with a content that is very resonating and one that has been used on small film scale so far. With Superstar Mahesh Babu it is now bound to get the maximum reach possible. In fact the star had previously touched on part of this issue in Arjun, albeit briefly when the character had to go to a village to attend a funeral.
The really good thing in the film is the village sequences sans the commerciality to a degree. Various issues are touched upon here like the lack of proper schools, free flow of alcohol versus the lack of water, procuring lands for SEZ’s, migration of the villagers to the cities. Basically all the problems are highlighted here one by one but the real victory of the director here is that they flow smoothly in the screenplay with nothing actually popping out highlighting each of those individual issues.
There is a superb scene during the second half when the nephew of Rajendra Prasad plans to take his parents to the city and get settled there. This scene not only highlights the issue at hand but also manages to move the screenplay forward in a very convincing manner. It is sequences like these sometimes mixed with action that makes the movie work despite its predictable nature and slow pace.
Performances are consistently good which is expected with such a cast at disposal. As usual with a Telugu film, it’s the hero who towers above all as it’s around him the whole film revolves. Mahesh Babu does what is expected of him with very ease. Rest of the cast, including the heroine Shruti Hassan, chips in as and when required.
The biggest hero of the film sharing equal credit with the hero is clearly director Koratala Siva. He has once again made a predictable story work with his writing. Strong and powerful scenes are the strength of the film. And when you have an actor like Mahesh Babu, the impact is sure to be even bigger.
Musically the film is fine, nothing spectacular though. The background score is alright, its good in emotional scenes but lacks the fizz when it comes to the action part. Editing is good and so are the production values.
Final conclusion: Srimanthudu is an enagaing masala film with superlative performance by the lead actor and tout narration by the director.