'Maha Samudram', which is produced by Ramabrahmam Sunkara of AK Entertainments, is out in theatres. Coming from 'RX 100' director Ajay Bhupathi, the film had two trailers announcing its release. How is the story? What is the film like? Let's find out in this review.
Arjun (Sharwanand) and Vijay (Siddharth) are thick friends in Vizag. Dhanunjay (Ramachandra Raju) is ruling the underworld in Vizag by controlling the export-import business, drug rackets and all via the port.
Vijay wants to become a cop and make a quick buck by allying with the villain. Arjun is sincere and wants to set up a business. Maha (Aditi Rao Hydari), who is in love with Vijay, is unhappy that he is non-committal about their marriage. As fate would have it, an accident triggers a chain of events. It's now up to Arjun and Vijay to chart their own paths. In this, Dhanunjay's younger brother Gooni Babji (Rao Ramesh) and Arjun's elder friend Chunchu Mama (Jagapathi Babu) have an instrumental role to play.
Since 'Malli Malli Idi Rani Roju', Sharwanand's performances have acquired a certain class. The actor makes sure we connect with his emotions in this film as well. His performance in 'Jaanu' was underrated, while it was not-so-great in 'Sreekaram'. Siddharth's character arc improves as the story progresses, so also his performance.
Aditi Rao Hydari is enjoyable, shedding her 'V' and 'Sammohanam' persona. But she could have emoted better in the first half. Anu Emmanuel doesn't have much to say, barring a scene involving her and her boyfriend Arjun. Rao Ramesh outcompetes Jagapathi Babu at every turn. 'KGF' actor Ramachandra Raju fits the bill.
Composer Chaitan Bharadwaj, who was the music director for director Ajay Bhupathi's debut movie as well, is able with the BGM. But the songs hardly register. 'Hey Thikamaka Modale' is driven by the mood of the segment in which it is set. The BGM is gripping in the final portions.
Raj Thota's camera work is appropriate in the more serious blocks. The performers are allowed to get into the mind of the viewer. The editing by KL Praveen was driven by the director's choice to keep the telling lengthy at about 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Director Ajay Bhupathi, by now, has made it obvious that his mojo lies in writing grey characters. In 'RX 100', it took time for the audience to understand the evil motives of the heroine. As the film progressed, Payal Rajput's character turned out to be more evil than the audience thought.
In 'Maha Samudram', the characters are not straightforward. But they don't deliver a sucker punch either. They don't have predictable arcs. But they don't give us a high either.
The first 30 minutes go into introducing the characters and establishing their equations/worldview. The establishment is not exciting and leaves us with mixed feelings. Dhanunjay, the don, gets a series of ordinary moments till before the interval.
The stretch leading to the interval is the only highpoint in the first half. Even the love story is not awesome. The chemistry between Maha and Vijay should have been intriguing. Had the character Arjun been equipped with better drama in the second half, the emotional impact would have been strong.
After Gooni Babji and Arjun start to bore us, we expect Vijay's re-entry to rev up the mood. But the wrapping up of the final portions feels hurried, although the climax is not forced.
The dialogues should have been meaty, considering the characterizations and the story.
'Maha Samudram' is somewhere between shallow and deep. The waves are just uninspiring.