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Sammathame review: Good intent can’t alone salvage this clumsy romance starring Kiran Abbavaram, Chandini Chowdary

First-time director Gopinath Reddy’s film emphasises the importance of mutual acceptance in a tale of two opposites

  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 07.54 AM, Jun 24, 2022

Sammathame review: Good intent can’t alone salvage this clumsy romance starring Kiran Abbavaram, Chandini Chowdary


Krishna loses his zest for life at an early age after his mother's untimely demise. The loneliness makes him realise the importance of a female presence in a household and ever since, marriage remains Krishna’s only goal. He comes across a potential match Saanvi, a girl he’s instantly smitten by. What’s in store for these opposites?


Sammathame deals with the highs and lows in the relationship between a conservative small-town boy and an independent city-bred girl. Their worlds and expectations from one another are extremely contrasting. While he’s very possessive of his lady love, the latter believes in giving space to her partner. He sets many boundaries but all she wants is some air to breathe - could there be a common ground for the two?

Writer, director Gopinath Reddy chooses a pertinent issue among modern-day relationships as the core idea behind his first film - the absence of mutual acceptance. The intent is commendable for sure but what’s the use of telling a coming-of-age story when you don’t give enough time for the protagonist to transform? All it takes Krishna is one slap and a monologue to be a better version of himself.

Krishna has an unusual demand from his match - a girl who has never fallen in love before and has ‘preserved’ herself for marriage. He rejects Saanvi for the same reason when she mentions her ex. They bury the hatchet later and fall in love but the control freak in Krishna gets the better of him. Saanvi doesn’t call him out for his immaturity but over time, she loses her identity gradually just to be in his good books.

A bulk of Sammathame is about the guy passing unfair judgements about city-bred women. Why do filmmakers oversell smoking and drinking as tropes just to establish the idea of an independent woman? It’s even more ironic that a grandma and her granddaughter fight over a bottle of whisky early on. The storyteller exposes his own bias while trying to convey the cultural shock that a small-town boy Krishna experiences in a city.

The male gaze is very apparent in the way Gopinath writes his female lead. For a significant part of the film, the story projects Krishna as the victim in the relationship (when it had to be the other way round). The director takes his own sweet time to arrive at the film’s core conflict and stuffs his narrative with a series of pointless, stray incidents. The dialogues are amateurish at best.

Just because a father discusses the importance of a female presence in a household, a 12-13-year-old boy expresses his interest to marry a girl early and makes that his lifetime ambition. How and why would a writer come up with such an obnoxious sequence? It’s high time Telugu writers smell the coffee and move beyond the obsession of making marriage the sole motive of a character in a romance.

There’s more to life than romance and marriage and most filmmakers use the excuse of cinematic liberty to drive such far-fetched ideas and underestimate the audience’s intelligence. Sammathame’s storytelling is all over the place. The forced comedy track with Saptagiri halts the momentum and one experiences an emotional disconnect with most of the characters and situations.

Kiran Abbavaram needs to work a lot on his dialogue delivery if he aims to make progress as an actor. One can’t sell the same body language and casual acting to pull off every character. Chandini Chowdary looks like a dream in Sammathame though one can’t say the same about her character. None of the supporting roles makes a strong impact. Shekar Chandra’s music is passable.


Sammathame is a half-baked romance that explores the idea of mutual acceptance in films on a very superficial level. The writing and storytelling leave a lot to be desired while the performances aren’t impressive either. Avoidable.