Predictable Gangster Drama
UA – Action, Drama
What Is the Film About?
Arjun (Sharwanand) and Vijay (Siddharth) are bestie’s and almost inseparable. Arjun loves Smitha (Anu Emmanuel), whereas Vijay is deeply in love with Maha (Aditi Rao Hydari).
The story of Maha Samudram kicks off when Vijay’s underlying corrupt character comes to the fore. It is in direct conflict with the dockyards mafia leader. The two have an altercation which forces Vijay out of the town. How Arjun rises up to the occasion supported by Chunchu Mama (Jagapathi Babu)? What happens to the Maha and Vijay, in the end, is the movie’s premise.
Sharwanand as the responsible and aggressive youngster, is perfect for the role. There is a visible chemistry between him and Siddharth, and that is Maha Samudram’s ultimate USP. As always, Sharwanand does well in the emotional scenes, but here he shines in the action blocks. The interval action block is a prime example. Maha Samudram is a right project for him to evolve in the direction of a hero with a mass appeal.
Siddharth, in comparison, plays a supporting part but has a better role. It is a dynamic part with different shades. Siddharth shuns his lover boy image and gets into the character entirely. The small changes in body language and aggressive attitude with an undercurrent fickle mind are neatly portrayed. The character’s turn in the second half is utter cliché, but Siddharth’s presence makes it look decent. Maha Samudram is no doubt a good comeback for Siddharth in Telugu.
Director Ajay Bhupati of RX100 fame is back with a new outing after a long gap. Maha Samudram is an emotional drama set in the backdrop of the sea-coast mafia.
From the beginning, Ajay Bhupati focuses on the emotional aspect of the story. It is the friendship initially and then the love tracks that come along. The mafia is a mere backdrop, a canvas on which the ‘emotional fluctuations’ among different characters occur.
It is therefore very critical that the various characters are appropriately established. Ajay Bhupati does an excellent job with it. We can see that a lot of effort has been put into developing the personalities and their quirks. The well-rounded characters and their subplot drive the narrative in the first half. The refreshing setting and unique parts engage even if nothing out of the blue is happening story-wise.
The interval bang is neatly done. Again, it is not the story but the rise of the lead character and the execution that does the trick.
Unfortunately, the second half fails to get going in a similarly engaging way. The journey of various characters takes a predictable turn barring that of Maha. Her character is the only difference between an utterly mundane second half and a typically predictable one.
The growth of the relationship between Arjun and Maha is decently done. Smitha’s brief part is added to the track for a predictable outcome, but it still is alright.
And then we come to the final half an hour with the re-introduction of Siddharth’s character. The actor does his part well, but the way it takes turns is highly predictable and enhances the cliché feel. The brief interaction and the subsequent happening all follow a regular pattern seen many times before.
The ending is dragged to meet ‘The Immeasurable Love’ promotional track. The whole thing is shot and acted well with a lot of emotion, but lack of freshness and sheer predictability is where it loses the plot.
On the whole, Maha Samudram has a decent first half, banking on perfect casting, unique characters and top-notch visuals and execution. However, the predictable journey taken in the second half plays spoilsport. What we have in the end is terrifically shot emotional drama that lacks depth.
There are many characters in Maha Samudram, each one with a uniqueness driving the narrative. First, let’s begin with the ladies. Aditi Rao Hydari has easily got the better part among the two. She is the main female lead, technically, and does a fab job. We see decent growth in the character arc. Aditi Rao Hydari scores well on the acting as well as glamour front. Anu Emmanuel has limited space comparatively. She is used at critical junctures in the second half.
Jagapathi Babu and Rao Ramesh play other vital roles. The experienced artist they are, they deliver the good, as expected. There is hardly any wrong note. The characterisations add to the freshness more than their performance, though. The rest of the cast is alright, even though they have smaller parts.
Music and Other Departments?
The music by Chaitan Bharadwaj is passable. A couple of songs work visually, but that’s it. However, the background score is much better, which can be felt at the interval port fight sequence. It is elevated big time by the BGM. The cinematography is excellent, capturing the seaside locales and the rustic atmosphere wonderfully well. A visual feast it felt in parts. The editing could have been sharper. The movie feels lengthy by the time it ends. The writing is adequate throughout.
Sharwanand – Siddharth
Weak Second Half
The mafia background should have been utilised better in giving fresh twits to the narrative. What we have here offers nothing new.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
Maha Samudram Review by Siddartha Toleti