After waiting for a theatrical release for more than six months, 'SR Kalyanamandapam' today (August 6) finally came out. Its teaser and trailer were interesting. Is the film engaging? We will tell you in our review.
Kalyan (Kiran Abbavaram), who is in love with his classmate Sindhu (Priyanka Jawalkar), is faced with a difficult problem when his drunkard and irresponsible father (Sai Kumar) mortgages the family-owned wedding hall to Papa Rao (Srikanth Iyengar). The son has to marshall his talent and muscle power to not only keep the wedding hall from changing hands but also win Sindhu on his side. Can he?
Much as 'Raja Vaaru Rani Vaaru' was critically acclaimed, it was a non-entity. Kiran Abbavaram puts it behind and delivers a solid performance in 'SR Kalyanamandapam'. Formerly a YouTube star, his biggest strength is his utter ease. His dialogue delivery is fine and he looks poised to play performance-oriented roles in the future.
Priyanka Jawalkar is convincing and looks the part of a college-goer. Her chemistry with Kiran is fairly good. She is overshadowed by Sai Kumar, who oscillates between light-veined dialogues and emotional lines. Srikanth Iyengar gets a boring character to play. Besides Tulasi, Tanikella Bharani has a part. Arun, Anil, Bharat and Kittayya are seen in small roles. Their comedy hardly works.
Chaitan Bharadwaj, who is yet to outshine his 'RX 100' tunes, does a decent job with the songs. 'Choosale Kallara', 'Chukkala Chunni' and 'Siggendukura Mama' click as part of the film. Viswas Daniel's cinematography and Sudheer Macharla's production design capture the essence of the film. The former bathes the frames in a measured colour palette. The art director rises to the occasion.
The film begins with a death scene. Villagers gossip that Dharma (Sai Kumar) will fail to carry forward the legacy of his father in running the SR marriage hall competently. Dharma is not only naive but also has zero urge to make money. His wife (Tulasi) constantly cribs about his failures and his son falls out with him. The premise is set well.
However, the film falters in narrating the story. Even the trailer had made it clear that the father and his son are going through a rough patch in their lives and that they are not even on talking terms. Until the pre-climax phase, their equations are frozen and the emotions don't leave us with a lump in the throat. Director Sridhar Gade doesn't transport us to the world of Dharma and his son Kalyan.
If the father-son track works, it is only because of two particular scenes in the second half. In the first of them, Kalyan pours his heart out in front of his father's sidekick. In the other good scene, Dharma fulminates and cries in the presence of the villain. Sai Kumar is commendable in it.
The rom-com scenes fall apart after a while. Kalyan's obsession with the heroine's midriff starts to bore after a point. The track lacks the swag it was supposed to have. The friends of the hero come with underwhelming comic timing and that's a big minus.
The film goes on and on for 148 minutes. Its run-time is too much for sure. Even so, the sentimental scenes can engage a section of the audience. Kiran Abbavaram
shows ease. The songs are decent. Had the comedy been really strong, this film would have been special.