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Sridevi Shoban Babu review: A cumbersome, ridiculous, outdated romance

Santosh Shoban, Gouri Kishan play the lead roles in the entertainer helmed by Prasanth Kumar Dimmala

Sridevi Shoban Babu review: A cumbersome, ridiculous, outdated romance
Sridevi Shoban Babu
  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 07.51 AM, Feb 18, 2023

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Sridevi is an aspirant costume designer and a pampered daughter who’s not afraid to speak her heart out. When she voices her interest to visit Araku to seek creative inspiration for her next design, she faces resistance from her father. She tricks him and leaves for Araku but there’s more to the trip than meets the eye. She bumps into her cousin Shoban unexpectedly and there’s love in the air. Will their romance withstand many roadblocks?


Trivikram’s Attarintiki Daaredi was an important link to the revival of the family drama genre in Telugu cinema in the previous decade, but it looks like filmmakers are yet to outgrow the film’s tropes. There’s no harm in being ‘inspired’ and taking the tried-and-tested route but the least storytellers could do is stay true to the main purpose behind escapist fares - entertainment. Sridevi Shoban Babu doesn’t bring anything new to the table and is old wine in an even older bottle.


While the makers, with ‘utmost honesty’, proclaim that the title is an attempt to honour Sridevi and Shoban Babu, you ultimately get a film that’ll have the legendary actors turning in their graves. The film, spanning over two ‘lengthy’ hours, is a simple story surrounding an unresolved conflict between two siblings and how the romance revolving around their kids paves the way for a solution.

Much like in Trivikram’s films, there are two perspectives to every situation and the second one is ‘preserved’ as a reveal for the latter hour. Beyond the basic premise, the film beats around the bush with pointless subplots that neither provide comical relief nor drive the story forward. The director Prasanth Kumar Dimmala desperately throws every ingredient into the mix - horror, comedy, romance, drama and action.

Among them, the romance angle is the film’s weakest link. While the girl is introduced as a tomboyish character with some spunk, she ‘realises’ her femininity when falls for the guy who goes out of the way to help an elderly man grieving the death of his son. The entire track surrounding the paperwork of an ill-fated property is petty and silly. The never-ending imaginary duets add insult to injury and the narrative roams around in circles, lacks focus.

The backstory surrounding Shoban’s best friend and how he helps him reveal the true colours of his ex contributes nothing to the story. There are newer characters who populate the story and needlessly add up to the chaos. Sridevi Shoban Babu offers a throwback to Shoban Babu’s hits in the 70s/80s like Soggadu and Devatha, which, honestly, seem more modern in comparison. When the lights turn on by the end of the screening, it offers a metaphorical meaning to the viewing experience (there’s some light at the end of the tunnel).

While the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ quote holds true in the industry, it’s disappointing when someone of Santosh Shoban’s calibre chooses one paltry script after the other, just to stay in the limelight. His performance lacks originality and one can’t ignore the influences of several leading stars in his dialogue delivery and mannerisms. Gouri Kishan may have signed Sridevi Shoban Babu to try something mainstream and massy, though her part is devoid of any identity or personality to make an impact.

Naga Babu and Rohini are passable in been-there-done-that roles that don’t present them any scope to utilise their experience. Moin plays his part with sincerity despite a poorly written part. Syed Kamran’s soundscape is unique and fresh but the cliche-ridden screenplay barely offers him to make his presence felt. The repeated (and expected) references to Chiranjeevi, Allu Arjun are jarring.


Sridevi Shoban Babu is a dull family drama that borrows a leaf from many hit films and has very little going for it, from story to performances or entertainment value. Santosh Shoban’s struggles with the choice of scripts continue and his on-screen counterpart Gouri Kishan doesn’t get anything meaty in her first mainstream outing either. The ‘patience-tester’ award of the year goes to…..