Film: Sontha Ooru
Genre: Art Film
Banner: Sravya Productions
Cast: Raja, Theertha, L B Sriram, Swathi, Tanikella, M S, Jeeva, Vijaychander, Jayaprakash Reddy and others
Music: Saketh Sairam
Cinematography: Sabu James
Dialogues: Gandham Nagaraju
Editing: Sri Guha
Director: P Sunil Kumar Reddy
Producers: Y Ravindra Babu, Kishori Basireddy
Release date: 21/03/2009
Given the commercialization and globalization, the essence of countryside and agricultural lands has been going through a phase of extinction. In that context, the film has been made to take through a nostalgic journey. How true has it stood to the sentiment, let us see.
A small village has many characters in the form of Bujji (Raja) who is in love with Malli (Teertha), the prostitute and both of them are quite close to Rudrudu (L B Sriram) who takes care of the dead bodies in the graveyard and arranges for their funeral.
They all have a village head Devudu babu (Tanikella) who has the goodwill and respect of all the villagers. Then there is Naidu (Jeeva) who always becomes the victim of crow droppings. Reddy (Vijaychander) is the honest and hardworking farmer.
Everything goes well but their lives take a turn when the government comes with the proposal of setting up a special business zone there so they want the villagers to sell their lands and leave. This news is brought by the MRO (M S).
Whether the village folks accept it or not forms the rest of the story.
The film belongs to L B Sriram as he came up with an award winning performance; it was the strength of his dialogues that gave him the added impact. Raja was regular, Teertha is a buxom babe and oozed out her sex appeal and oomph to the fullest extent, Tanikella was elegant, M S was normal, Jeeva was just okay, Vijaychander and Jayaprakash Reddy came and went. The others did not have much in it.
The director has attempted to come up with a thoughtful message about the current urbanization of the villages but then there seems to be few hitches. While the presentation is somewhat okay, the narration lacked the depth and the script was written without much gravity. Screenplay was okay, music and camerawork was average, editing could have been better, dialogues are excellent. Locations and costumes fitted the scenario and not much for the art department in this.
On a whole it is an artistic attempt with no big commercial elements.
Right from the beginning, the film had the smell of an art movie in it and given the romantic angle and the philosophic angle of death, it looked like a mixture of life with a very spiritual view.
However, the film has fallen flat in conveying a message to the audience. The issue was about the acquisition of villages and agricultural lands. So it would have made a lot of sense to come up with a revolution or an awakening among the village folks to come together and preserve the lands. Instead, what follows is a string of deaths and in the end it turns out to be a complete tragic tale without a message to audiences nor enough substance in it to feel an impact.
The film could have been a lot better if the focus was towards a positive solution towards the situation. However, the real life and soul of the film was L B Sriram who has come out with an exceptional performance. His strength lied in the dialogues and the way he has given the reality of life in a philosophical way. This will be one of his all time best performances in his career. If the idea of the makers was to show how important it is to protect the agriculture and the village system then why was the issue not attended during the climax?
The story moves towards the characters in the movie and the stale endings they have. All efforts look waste and depressing after so much that has been shown, the pace of the movie also was slow and it must be said that there is hardly any story for the first twenty minutes or so. The film is more of an art genre material and there is not much for the mass audience except the exposing of Theertha and a weak item song. Even the class will not have the patience to sit through the movie only to get depressed in the end.
Although the first half is interesting, second half killed the tempo. The length of the movie would have restricted to 1.30 hr or below 2 hrs.
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