Yuddham Sharanam tells us the tale of Arjun (Chay) and his wonderful family and how things go down south when they get mixed up in messy affairs. Basically, the story of how bad things happen to good people and how the good people fight the evil ones to tell us that good always wins over evil. Geddit?
This is not a new plot to the Telugu audiences by any means. But Yuddham Sharanam might work (it worked quite well for me despite its shortcomings) because of how it is presented to you. More on this later.
The film kicks off instantly and things move at a good pace until the first 15-20 minutes. It’s here that the heart and soul of Yuddham Sharanam makes its way to the screen. For an hour that follows, we are made audience to a heartwarming family story, their tender relationships and the love life of the leading man. While Revathi and Rao Ramesh play the hero’s parents, Lavanya Tripathi plays his love interest. The family bonding is shown in a very natural way and you buy into the realness of their family. The ever-dependable Rao Ramesh and the multifaceted, immensely expressive Revathi are assets to this film, so much so that the film would have been half of what it is without them. While Rao Ramesh is natural and believable to a T as the endearing Nanna, it is Revathi who steals the show with her acting. It is not dramatic acting aided with high-decibel shouting, but rather a subtle, natural one. An understanding smile, a slight nod, or full blown laughter – Revathi makes it all so believable. Like she really IS the mother of these people and the wife of Rao Ramesh.
The second half, despite the fact that everything starts to come together to form a complete picture, doesn’t feel as smoother. Writing falters at certain places. Background score too is not consistently apt. But these are the least of Yuddham Sharanam’s problems.
What could have been, should have been, MUST have been better, is Srikanth’s characterization. A tried-and-tested formula (revenge drama) like this cannot afford to have a villain whose character is not adequately written. Srikanth’s Nayak is invariably monotone. I would have loved to see more of what Nayak is and what his emotions are and what goes on in his mind. Although it doesn’t completely make up for the lack of meat in his character, Srikanth rises to the occasion and delivers a performance that is both restrained and eruptive as need be. His look is just too perfect.
This might not be the right vent for Chay’s full potential but it’s evident that he is getting better with every film. From Josh, he’s come a long way. Lavanya Tripathi fits the bill.
This movie also marks the debut of cinematographer Niketh Bommireddy. I’m not sure how the film will fare at the BO but Niketh Bommireddy surely emerged a winner! I’m already waiting for this next project! Rock on! Vivek Sagar (Pellichoopulu fame) is another talent to watch out for. Lyrics by Shreshta and Kittu Vissapragada are easy on the ears and lips. Yelugula Teraley, Enno Enno Bhaavaaley, Neevalane are addictive to say the least.
This one is old wine in a new bottle. A very beautiful-looking bottle at that!
I’m going with 3.5 out of 5!