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The simple yet, inspiring tale of Srimanthudu is about the scion of a wealthy business family, who is disinterested in merely making money. His thoughts and later circumstances move him to adopt a nondescript village and develop it against various odds. A wealthy entrepreneur (Jagapathi Babu) is a worried lot owing to his son's (Mahesh Babu) indifferent and aloof attitude. He wishes his son to acquire and continue the monumental business empire that he built over his lifetime. But, the latter does not agree to it, stating that he wishes to acquire respect first. His thoughts lie elsewhere. He meets a girl (Shruthi Haasan) and they soon fall in love owing to the similarity in their thoughts. However, when she gets to know his identity, she simply ignores him. When confronted, she chides him that he is too rich and does not even know the place of his birth. She is later revealed to be the daughter of a benevolent village head (Dr Rajendra Prasad). Incidentally that is the same village. ...Written by
After the magnificent success of the film, actor Mahesh babu surprised the director of this film, Koratala siva by gifting an Audi A6 car which is worth Rs. 50 lakh. See more »
The UK release was cut, a compulsory cut was required to remove sight of real cockfighting, in line with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. Without these cuts the film would have been refused classification. See more »
Imagine having a good meal. You are happy and your taste buds are tingling in anticipation of the dessert. You see a beautifully decorated cheesecake come your way. The slight dusting of cocoa ups your anticipation and the delicate tangy smell of lemon wafts to you making your mouth water. And then you try to cut into it and find it hard. You still think it'll taste okay. You bite into it and you realize it is stale. There goes the entire experience of your meal.
Srimanthudu is somewhat like that. It starts off well enough. We are introduced to an heir apparent Harsha (Mahesh Babu) who's not really interested in his billions, and his dad Ravikanth (Jagapathi Babu) who does not really understand his son's world. In comes Charuseela (Sruthi Hassan), a girl pursuing a rural development course in NIRD, Hyderabad. Harsha meets Charu and tells her that he loves the course she's doing, and joins her college.
The two get close but when Charu finds out who Harsha is, she distances him telling him that he does not even know his roots and she's a rooted girl and that their worlds will not collide. This statement leads Harsha to discover his roots in a village called Devarakota. How Harsha adopts the village of Devarakota and rids it of the ills plaguing it forms the plot of Srimanthudu.
So the appetizer, the first half, is nice. The first song, Harsha's and Charu's meet-cutes, and Mahesh's acting - all of these make for a good takeoff. There are nicely composed fights and the thrills flow organically. The main course, most of the second half, works well. There are no punch dialog's or fights for the sake of fights. The comedy and Sruthi Hassan spice things up well enough, and you begin to relax thinking your meal is well set. A mass song comes in like slightly sour curd, and you still don't mind. And then the pr- climax / climax sets in, and goes about ruining everything that worked well so far. Sigh.
Director Koratala Siva does a good job with most of the film. He makes sure the script is adhered to, pulls off good mas-ala moments without heavy dialog's or counters, and paces the narrative well - while the film does proceed in a leisurely fashion, at no point does Srimanthudu have you feeling bored. Mahesh supports his director ably and puts in a splendid performance. He also pulls off the rich guy look effortlessly with elegant and understated costumes and styling. The sighing of the women in the theater was audible every time he made an appearance.
Sruthi Hassan does her usual thing, and the rest of the supporting cast do a decent job, too. Sampath and Mukesh Rishi are way too typecast - it is getting boring watching them do these "I'm so bad-ass" villain characters that get beaten to pulp in the climax.
Technically, Srimathudu is impressive. The songs are so much better on screen, and the background score elevates several core moments. The art director could've really gone easy on the baling, though - rich does not necessarily mean gaudy. The dialog's are sharp and not punchlines, which is a relief.
Srimanthudu is a good ride all the way until the final cricket match that Mahesh plays with a rod and the heads of a dozen goons. It is good to see Mahesh give first place to the story, and try and make a strong comeback after the tripe that was Aagadu. Go watch this one - it's been a while since the script was the hero in a big-budget film.
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