Predictable Heart Wrenching Emotional Drama
What Is the Film About?
Set in the hinterlands of Godavari district, Lighting Sooribabu (Sudheer Babu) falls in love with Sridevi (Aanandhi). The latter’s father disapproves of their marriage. Meanwhile, an aged guy also falls for the charms of Sridevi. Expectedly, he also has a beef with Sooribabu.
How does Sooribabu’ emotional flare lead him to jail, and what happens to the love of his life Sridevi? Does their love have a happy ending forms the overall plot of the rustic romantic drama.
How Is Sudheer Babu’s Performance?
Sudheer Babu has come with a career-best effort in terms of performance. He has changed his dialect and worked on his emotions. It takes time to get used to, but it settles down nicely. However, despite the ‘best efforts’, it still is not at its best. The sequence before the judge is a fine example to show the necessary improvement. But, the ‘effort’ yields positive results towards the end. There is a pain that can be felt, although not as palpable as one would expect.
Direction by Karuna Kumar ?
Director Karuna Kumar of Palasa 1978 fame is back with another outing Sridevi Soda Center. It is another drama with caste playing a pivotal role in driving emotions.
Sridevi Soda Center begins impressively. The opening scene intrigues, and the subsequent portions establishing the world are well done. The boat race sequence is a major highlight in this entire stretch. It makes one look forward to the rest with keen interest.
However, as the narrative progressed and we get to the love story, things take a very ordinary and routine turn. They are not harmful to take down the proceedings, but they lack the uniqueness or remarkable quality to impress. It is like the story is progressing through predictable beats giving a formulaic feel to everything.
Well, the routineness is common across all stories with a similar angle. What separates the good from the ordinary are the music and the chemistry between the lead. We can understand that the director, too, is aware of the same and is making an effort to make them work. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t. It is passable at best.
Apart from the music and chemistry, the writing too plays a critical role in holding things together. It adds bite to the routine template-driven narrative. We saw that with Karuna Kumar’s debut attempt Palasa. It is a mixed bag in Sridevi Soda Center.
The interval block is decent, with good sequences lined up related to the hero’s father and the subordinate of the villain. The drama works here, and therefore the emotion connects. One can see the impact of writing here. The love story is found wanting in this aspect.
Post intermission, things take a further routine turn. It shouldn’t be a surprise at all if one is reminded of several (recent to old) movies with similar situations. Again, it’s the music and chemistry that has to appeal to make the routine work.
By this time, it is clear where Sridevi Soda Center is heading. The honour-killing template is visible if it wasn’t already. The lack of freshness, too, is evident all through. And yet, the pre-climax and climax work.
The emotional drama and performances in the pre-climax and climax are where Sridevi Soda Center regains its momentum after the initial high. It is predictable, no doubt, but is also engaging at the same time. The proper execution of the drama does the trick.
Overall, Sridevi Soda Center is a predictable drama centred on a ‘now-routine theme. It has a neat beginning and ending with a passable middle. Give it is a try if you are in a mood for something emotional and expect no surprises (knowing well the terrain).
Anandhi and Others?
Anandhi playing the female is perfect for the part. However, besides that, there is nothing else standing out concerning her act. It is a standard fare variety with no real highs. At the same time, there are no real lows to complain about.
Besides the lead pair, seniors Naresh and Raghu Babu do well in their parts. Naresh delivers in the emotional scenes. Similarly, Raghu Babu gets to enact a role that is not typically in his ‘comic’ zone. He has done a fine job. Harsha Vardhan is adequate as usual. Pavel Navageethan is a good choice for the part. But, its impact is marred due to the regular drama and lack of intensity. Goparaju Ramana is wasted. The rest of the cast is alright playing more minor roles.
Music and Other Departments?
The music category of the film can be divided into two parts – the songs and the BGM. The former could have been better, and the latter is good. Mani Sharma provides both. The cinematography by Shandut Sainudeen is neat. The rustic locales are captured beautifully. The boat racing sequences stand out. The editing is decent overall, but one gets a feeling if it could be sharper. It would have helped the pacing. The writing is par for course for the setting. It would have helped the narrative if there were some memorable words. It is where Sridevi Soda Center lacks.
Boat Race Scene
Few Emotional Scenes
Lack Of Freshness
There is nothing much to change regarding the story, but a better romantic track is definitely the need of the hour. It would have improved the overall appeal.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes with reservations
Sridevi Soda Center Review by Siddartha Toleti
— Sridevi Soda Center climax delivers the shocking punch even though if it’s highly predictable. Watch out for our detailed review and rating.
— The movie is heading to the end on the predictable path.
— Sridevi Soda Center second half started. We’ll get to see late actor Kathi Mahesh on screen for a brief cameo appearance.
— Reason for Suri Babu going to prison is revealed. Interval. ( The boat racing scene is the highlight of the first half).
— Village rivalry along with the love track is being established.
— Movie starts off with Uppena vibes. The first boat racing episode has been shot well utilizing Sudheer Babu’s well built body.
— Sridevi Soda Center show started. Suri Babu (Sudheer Babu) enters the prison on a murder case. It’s time for his flashback.
Sridevi Soda Center U.S. Premiere updates rolling soon. Stay tuned.
Sridevi Soda Center is Sudheer Babu’s new film. It is promoted as the biggest release post the opening up of theatres after the second wave. Well, it is indeed the biggest, and there are high hopes from its theatrical performance.
The biggest reason for the expectation is director Karuna Kumar. He made his debut with the gritty and realistic drama, Palasa 1978. Although it couldn’t do as well theatrically due to the pandemic back then, it found a good life post its curtailed theatrical run. Karuna Kumar won lots of praise for his handling of raw and intense drama.
Sridevi Soda Center, therefore, had a superb buzz right from the moment it was announced. The crew, including names likes Mani Sharma (music) and Sreekar Prasad (editing) further elevated its profile. Anandhi’s striking presence as the female lead is also an asset.
The theatrical trailer and a couple of songs have increased the expectations on Sridevi Soda Center. The production house, 70 MM Entertainments, had previously made the successful flicks Anando Brahma and Yatra. They burst onto the scene with Sudheer Babu’ Bhale Manchi Roju. With Sridevi Soda Center, 70MM Entertainments will be hoping to continue its success spree.
Coming to the release, Sridevi Soda Center is getting the widest outing in Telugu states and the US. If it gets a positive word of mouth, there would be no looking back for the team.
Mirchi9 is here, as always, to bring you the genuine and honest review ‘first on net’. Watch this space for our updates.