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Saroja - Review

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Director Venkat Prabhu had brought out a Tamil film earlier called Chennai-600028 produced by SP Charan. This time, he has come out with a bilingual film as the lead artistes in the movie like Srihari, Prakash Raj, Kaajal and Nikhita are well known among the Telugu audiences and the producer has tried to cash in on the image by bringing out the film in two languages - Tamil and Telugu. The style is novel and the film runs with two different stories, but focus is on a common issue in the climax. The director has tried to project four common men accidentally involving in an uncommon issue.

There are four friends living in Chennai. Of them, one is an artiste in a TV serial. He gets engaged to a girl, whom one of the friends (Vaibhav) also loved but was not able to express it either before the girl or to his other friends. After the engagement, the friends plan to watch the IPL cricket match in Hyderabad. Instead of going by train or by flight, they choose to go by road. On the other side, there is a multi-millionaire called Viswanath (Prakash Raj). He always moves around in different cities in the name of business but does not concentrate on his home affairs. His friend Ravi (Srihari) is a police officer, who starts a trust to help the orphans and children suffering from heart ailments. Whenever he helps others, he does not take any bribe. Instead he asks to donate liberally for the trust to help the orphans. Viwanath has a daughter called Saroja. Once she gets kidnapped. Meanwhile, the four friends, who were caught in a traffic jam on their way to Hyderabad, take a different route to reach Hyderabad. They lose their way and accidentally hit a man, who identifies himself as a police. While trying to save him, two of them go to a nearby house where there are lights for help. However, a group of people reach the spot and shoot the police officer dead. They also try to kill the two friends who tried to save him but the friends escape. Somehow, all the four join together and escape from the place. While they are about to catch a goods train, one of them (SP Charan) says that he had lost his purse and needs it at any cost and returns to the factory where he had lost it. So all the other three have no option but to follow. While searching for purse, one of the youth notices Saroja and saves her. Now, their mission turns further tough as they have to escape and also save Saroja from the hands of the goons. Somehow they reach the railway station, where Saroja finds Viswanath and reaches him. But there is a sudden twist with the police officer Ravi turning to be a villain and trying to eliminate Viswanath to take the ransom. However, the four youth thrash the goons and in the mean time, Viswanath shoots Ravi . Before dying, Ravi reveals that he had planned the kidnap drama only to secure Rs 20 crore to help the children from heart ailments etc through his trust.

The story of the film is a little different from the routine plots. It is in a zig zag mode and reminds of the direction of Ram Gopal Varma, with lot of puzzles left in the minds of the audiences. The audiences get confused as to what is happening on the screen but gets a clear picture only in the climax. The performance of Srihari and Prakash Raj remains an asset for the film. Another technician who needs compliments is the camera by Shakti Saravanan as the entire film has the heroes running around and the cinematographer has maintained a good colour gradation especially while the film has the night backdrop.

Dialogues by Vennelakanti are good in parts but not at all noteworthy. After a long gap, Nikhita appears in a vamp kind of role in the flick. Though Kaajal was boasted to be the heroine, she has not got much role to play in the film except in a few scenes. Music by Yuvan Shankar Raja is average and the re-recording is noteworthy as all the scenes are perfectly dubbed in terms of sounds.

Though the film technically appears brilliant, the absence of entertainment would prove costly to the producer. The non-availability of comic relief has made the audiences bored in the film. Srihari's role is moulded with good precision. While there are only a couple of action scenes, in most part of the film, he has appeared in a sincere police officer role. The sudden twist in the climax surprises the audiences. Prakash Raj's performance as a father who cries for a kidnapped daughter is excellent. However, the commercial success of the film is by and large very doubtful.

Cast: Srihari, Prakash Raj, Vaibhav, SP Charan, Kaajal Agarwal, Nikhita, Brahmanandam and others
Credits: Dialogues and lyrics – Vennelakanti, Music – Yuvan Shankar Raja, Camera – Shakti Saravanan, Producer – T Siva, Screenplay and direction – Venkat Prabhu
Banner: Amma Creations
Released on: September 5, 2008

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