The story may revolve around the male leads but Ajay Bhupathi has not bothered to invest any effort in their character development.

Sharwanand and Siddharth in a scene from Maha SamudramFacebook | Sharwanand
Flix Review Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 17:21
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Ajay Bhupathi’s Maha Samudram, starring actors Sharwanand, Siddharth, Aditi Rao Hydari, Anu Emmanuel, Jagapathi Babu, Sharanya and others, is about the friends-turned-foes equation between Arjun (Sharwanand) and Vijay (Siddharth). The saga revolves around the two men, Vijay who wants to become a police officer, and Arjun who does not have such high ambitions. The premise may not sound so bad, but 'drab' is the adjective that best summarises the film.

Though Arjun’s character appears to be the trouble-maker, he is the gullible, honest one who can be easily manipulated. Vijay, on the other hand, wants to become a police officer solely to make money through corruption. Due to certain circumstances, Arjun ends up in an illegal business. Halfway through the film, Vijay makes an exit, only to reappear towards the end. No, this is not a spoiler, because everybody can see it coming from miles away.

The story may revolve around the male leads but Ajay Bhupathi has not bothered to invest any effort in their character development. Apparently, merely switching from jeans to cargos implies that they have become goons?! In comparison, Aditi Rao Hydari as Mahalakshmi, a classical dance teacher who's in a relationship with Vijay, gets a better deal. She loves to dance but eventually starts to hate it and wants no memory of it. Even the sight of anklets hurts her. Given what happens to the rest of the cast, this is an interesting character arc.

Anu Emmanuel, playing Smitha, has no significant role. Her introduction in the film is random and forced, and it continues in the same vein throughout. I had to Google the name of her character while writing the review, and that says a lot about the role she plays. It makes no difference whatsoever. The 'romance' between her and Arjun begins with a road accident; Smitha knows nothing about Arjun except that he's a cash dispensing machine, and Arjun too doesn't know anything about her other than the fact that she's a terrible driver. But this brief 'love' story is enough for Smitha to deliver dialogues like ‘Nee manasu samudram laantidhi andhulo andariki kalavaalani untadhi, kaani kondharike adhrushtam dhakkuthondhi’ (your heart is as big as an ocean but not everyone is lucky enough to find a place in it). And this is not the only line which screams 'absurd'. There could be a contest for whether Smitha had more screen time or Arjun’s bracelet. My bet is on the bracelet.

Saranya plays a stereotypical mother character. And the filmmaker hasn’t even bothered to name her. Jagapathi Babu plays Chunchu, a small-time drug dealer and Arjun's relative. The film also has Rao Ramesh (playing the role of Babji), a wonderful character artist. However, his character is so poorly written that despite his best efforts, he is unable to salvage it. His entire characterisation is that he has a deformity which apparently means that he is the most cunning person around. Like the evil Valmiki character in Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, who walks with a limp, Babji too has certain mannerisms which are supposed to be funny.

Chaitan Bharadwaj has scored the music, and it is just as unimpressive as the film. Raj Thota, however, makes an impact with his cinematography, lending the film a raw and rustic look. The film was supposed to be a comeback for actor Siddharth into Tollywood. Unfortunately, this isn't a memorable comeback by any means.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.

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