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Srikanth Review - Rajkummar Rao starrer does one thing fresh and makes the rest look like fairytale

Srikanth Review - Rajkummar Rao starrer does one thing fresh and makes the rest look like fairytale
3/5rating
Srikanth Review - Rajkummar Rao starrer does one thing fresh and makes the rest look like fairytale
Srikanth Movie Review

Last Updated: 10.24 AM, May 10, 2024

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Based on the legendary life of industrialist Srikanth Bolla, the founder of Bollant Industries, who is visually impaired but never let it define him, Srikanth tells his story and more. A child born visually impaired is often treated as an exhibition by the world rather than as a human being. He grows up to be a smart boy, never without the ghost that follows him because of his condition. As he grows older, he succeeds in everything in life, but that doesn't mean people forget his shortcomings. The film explores how he rises to the top and the tragedies that hit him while he tries to retain his position.

Srikanth Review

Biopics have been the flavor of the season for more than a couple of years now. People who have lived lives worth celebrating, sometimes not so worthwhile but still interesting, are brought under the spotlight and made to tell their stories. These adaptations from real life to reel screen are tricky because you are creating a replica of a human who is sometimes even alive like in the case we are discussing today. How do you show the greys of a person and also fulfill the need for a hero for your story, who according to 'popular' norms is supposed to be all white? But then, how is he a human if not grey? Srikanth, a new entry to the list of biopics, at least understands that, and it is indeed a great step in a much-needed direction.

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Written by Jagdeep Sidhu with Sumit Purohit and directed by Tushar Hiranandani, Srikanth takes the usual route of telling stories where you are welcomed into a story that begins with a tragedy. A father in a rural village in India is about to bury his son, whose birth was being celebrated moments ago. The fact that he is blind is making them take this drastic step. Some suggest returning him to God and asking for a 'complete' baby for his mother. Tushar and his team intend to handhold their audience and walk them through this experience. You are directly thrown into a hard-hitting moment, and now you are emotionally triggered. Does that work in the long run?

The best part about Srikanth is how Tushar, with his writers, never looks at Srikanth as a 'bichara'. Even with his condition, he is a boy/man with confidence who is almost arrogant and overconfident. He compensates for his shortcomings with an abundance of overconfidence. He is the bully in a class full of kids who have all their senses intact. So, at no point are we supposed to give him sympathy, and that plot device is used and translated on the screen well. It helps in creating a man and not a quintessential hero, which this story needs the most.

This is the story of a man who could be just a couple of years away from being called legendary in the headlines in the real world. So when Hiranandani delves into a unique moment of the God complex seeping into his being on the screen, it is indeed a very great story to tell. As I said, shortcomings are compensated for by overconfidence. But that also means the man makes that his nature and behaves in the most arrogant ways at moments. Tushar captures that path of Bolla and does a very fresh thing for the biopics. Full marks to whoever thought of emphasizing this.

But having said that, the rest of the screenplay is more of a fairytale and less of a life lived. Yes, the man here has achieved unimaginable things, and that makes for a good watch, but when a film makes it look like it was all as easy as it looks on the screen, how is a viewer supposed to clap? It all looks too sweet to be true and a fairytale that will end and we all will return to our normal lives. Add to that, a courtroom proceeding appears which is nothing close to real. The attempt to add drama and 'seeti maar' dialogues to your script sometimes takes away the realism from a story that needs it the most. Sadly, Srikanth suffers from it a whole lot of times. The movie completely forgets Srikanth has parents for the longest time, only to bring them back for an emotional flashback reminding you of the tragedy to keep you on board. Remember I said hand-holding? Exactly that.

Rajkummar Rao delivers a very fine performance. There are many traps laid when someone decides to play a visually impaired person. Walking past them without falling in is difficult. There are points where the drama goes too high around Rao and it all flies too close to melodrama, one that is not organic or easy to witness. But Rajkummar Rao also successfully managed to bounce back. It's high time Hindi films realize the potential of Jyotika as an actor again and have her in films that she deserves. Here she gives a heartfelt performance and takes the responsibility of keeping the film grounded with her presence.

Sharad Kelkar is impressive in a brief role. However, Alaya F, who has a very appealing screen presence, gets the most vague introduction scene for a female lead. There is no connection, cannot be drawn, but she just appears on the screen and has an opinion on what Srikanth should do with his life within 5 minutes and a Jubin Nautiyal song later. While on that, why do all Jubin songs sound the same? Is the T-Series to be blamed or the singer for choosing them? Back to Alaya, the script forgets her for a brief bit just like we did in this paragraph. And that is not a good thing. The actor deserves better.

The music is basic, the climax is structured to bring out certain emotions, and most of the actors are doing a very good job at playing what is told to them.

Srikanth Review - Final Verdict

Srikanth has its share of good moments and no one can take away its merit of doing many things rightly. But there are also bits that bother and you cannot ignore those either. It can be best defined as a ‘glass half full’ situation.

Srikanth releases in theatres near you on May 10, 2024. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.

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