'Shyam Singha Roy' is out in theatres. Let's find out what are its hits and misses.
Vasudev Ghanta (Nani) makes a short film with Kirthi (Krithi Shetty) as the central character. He goes on to make a feature film titled 'Uniki'. But this is when unexpected trouble begins. The young filmmaker soon becomes infamous? What is his fault? Why does the timeline shift to the 1960s? Who are Shyam Singha Roy and his soulmate Rosy aka Maithri (Sai Pallavi)? What happened to their love story back in those days? Who are the villains of the piece? Answers to these questions are found as the story progresses.
If 'Gang Leader' was Nani's comfort genre, both 'V' and 'Tuck Jagadish' had him in relatively challenging roles. Nobody had expected him to play a serial killer with a dark past, followed by a combative Mandal Revenue Officer. In the film under review, he goes many steps ahead by playing a gutsy social reformer. He is no Telugu and he is not a contemporary character. So, it's a highly challenging role. Nani does a decent job. We like him also in the other role as well.
After a film like 'Love Story', Sai Pallavi goes the whole hog as a dancer. Her eyes are more expressive than ever. Krithi Shetty is absolutely cute, while her role is only fleetingly performance-oriented.
Madonna Sebastian is a surprise package. Jisshu Sengupta has an extended cameo. Abhinav Gomatam is not funny. Murali Sharma is spot-on. Rahul Ravindran and Leela Samson are seen in positive roles.
Mickey J Meyer was picked for the film because of his strong grounding in a certain type of music. 'Pranavalaya', the defining song of the film, is well-staged. The songs in the period segment are integral to the story in terms of lyrics. Musically, they are average.
Sanu John Varghese, the cinematographer, pulls off the period portions like an evolved technician. Avinash Kolla's art direction is sincere. The Bengal portions are enriched by his research. While the sets may not be impeccable, they are still good enough for a medium-range Telugu film.
The trailer for 'Shyam Singha Roy' had revealed its cards way too much. What could have been kept under the wraps? Perhaps, Sai Pallavi's character could have been suspenseful. But the trailer gave away almost everything, including the trajectory of the story.
Writer-director Rahul Sankrityan, who built the story based on Satyadev Janga's basic plot, challenges himself here. Although this is only his third film, he adopts a wide canvas. The previous birth of Vasu is told in a huge setting. That ended up making this film the most expensive outing in Nani's career.
Leaving aside the artistic quality, 'SSR' needed much better writing. Even crucial scenes are bland. There is nothing unpredictable out there, barring a scene or two.
The writing is also riddled with a not-so-satisfying romantic-comedy track in the first half. Shyam, the writer, is sidelined in favour of Shyam, the lover. It is not a major flaw. But the social reform segment plays out in a very uninspiring way.
The film is too long at nearly 2 hrs and 35 minutes. The itch to showcase it as an epic story is palpable.
'Shyam Singha Roy' is predictable. The climax is somewhat daring but the writing doesn't have the calibre to move us. It's just an average reincarnation tale that is saved by Nani and Sai Pallavi.