The Opening shot of Mahesh babu who plays Army Major Ajay Krishna in Sarileru Neekevvaru is that of him admiringly staring at the National Flag.This is symbolic of the superficiality and banality of this film. Of course the trailer and promotions promise exactly this, a Sankranthi commercial masala film. I don’t mind a formula film tailored to excite mahesh babu’s fans, I just wish there was more thought and bit more imagination while being fully commercial.
The screenplay chugs along swiftly ticking off all expected tropes starting with a Action episode, comedy sequence an Interval bang etc. Major Ajay stationed in Kashmir is assigned with a mission to rescue children from terrorists. During this operation, his name sake and colleague (Satyadev) is severely injured. Ajay (Mahesh Babu) is sent to help out the family of his injured colleague (Satyadev). Satyadev’s mother Professor Bharthi played by Vijayshanthi is an honest and upright professor who is awaiting her son’s arrival for the marriage of his sister.
Ajay embarks on a train journey and this is an extended comedy episode involving the lead actress Rashmika Mandana, Sangeetha and other ensemble cast. The scenes here resemble the staple material in all Anil Ravipudi films, characters with a defined mannerism repeating dialogues like “Never before Ever After”. Whats disappointing here is, not only are scenes slapstick but the fact the jokes are centered around rape. In a scene during this episode, the heroine accuses the hero of raping her, so that she could force him to marry her. of course this is all done in a light and comedic vein but in these times of Me Too, better judgement should have prevailed and such jokes about rape should have been avoided. This lack of judgement is a fall from grace for the actress Rashmika whose previous film Dear Comrade was exactly about the issue of sexual harassment. Mahesh babu who is a brand ambassador for MARD should have been much more vigilant. The story now shifts to kurnool where professor Bharathi and her family is in deep trouble due to a dangerous and evil local politician played in his typical style by Prakash Raj. You pretty much know what follows next.
what works for the film is, the pacing. Director Anil ravipudi manages to keep it pacy and never bore the audience. How much you would like the film really depends on what your seeking for, if you enjoy familiarity and looking for Mahesh babu to show unbridled energy with full conviction, then you have this in abundance. In the rest of the cast, Vijayshanthi makes a terrific comeback. She is dignified yet compelling in her performance. Overall Sarileru Neekevvaru is a low denominator entertainer, I did not regretting seeing it nor would i regret missing it.