This is going to be a pretty short review.
This film is just……average. That’s all, really. Okay, I’ll try to tell some more.
Samantakamani is, as you might know already, a “multi-starrer”, starring Nara Rohith, Sundeep Kishan, Aadi Saikumar and Sudheer Babu. When the trailer released, I thought the film would have a “Swamy Ra Ra”, “Ko Ante Koti”, “D for Dopidi” quality to it. You know, films of that kind. You know what I’m talking about, right? And boy, right I was!
This has become a genre in itself, I think. The primary elements in movies of this kind remain the same. Idol or a car, looting a bank or looting a car, po-tay-to po-tah-to. Half a dozen characters, give or take one. Each has his/her own version of what happened during a particular time. In the end, all these are tied together to make the big reveal, the surprise element we have all been guessing at and waiting for. Add to this a short run-time and no songs, we have the blueprint for a thousand Samantakamanis. You can toy with this blueprint how much ever you want to and the result would still be very similar to the original. At one point, it will get boring. We’ve seen it all. Just don’t overdo it. One movie is great. Two is good. Three is bearable. Four is irritating. STOP already.
I won’t blame the makers. At the end of the day, these films do make money. More than we expect. And all’s well that ends well. So far as finances are concerned, at least.
I won’t get into the details and “spoil” it for you, but Samantakamani is, as I said, crisp. It takes off well and characters are established one after the other, without breathing space, as if to say, “Know all these people ASAP so we can dive into the actual scenes where you’ll be blown away with stunning camerawork”. No, I’m serious. There’s no depth to these characters, they are mere names. And faces to match those names with. They fail to become real people on-screen whom you can empathize with. There’s too much pressure to tell the tale under 2 hrs, keeping the viewers hooked, that there’s no space to give any character the weight it deserves. At least the boys get something. The girls’ characters are worse. I saw clips from the movie’s audio launch event and three girls (one of them being Chandini Chowdary) were addressed as the “leading ladies” of the film. Now, that’s a good joke! I saw Chandini on screen for 10 whole minutes in the film and the other two have a scene or two each. Enough said!
Even the seasoned Rajendra Prasad doesn’t get much to do, save for all the slaps he gets from Nara Rohith’s Ranjith. Sudheer Babu struggles with emotional scenes to the point of making it look like a school-drama acting. Aadi is charming. Chandini Chowdary is okay, but like all roles in the film, hers is super-thin and literally anyone could have pulled it off. I enjoyed Raghu Karumanchi’s act though. Indraja is wasted.
I’m going with 2.5 out of 5! Watchable but you’ll forget about it in a day or two.
PS: All the images are YouTube screenshots from the movie’s trailer.