Gautam Menon's latest outing "Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo" reminded me of those comedy scenes when a wannabe director sits in his office with a pile of DVDs and copies scenes from here and there to make a "new" film. Except, Gautam Menon appears to have done this with his own films to arrive at SSS.
This might sound harsh, given that the film is stylishly shot, has wonderful songs and a BGM that has more personality than its lead characters (yay, welcome back AR Rahman) and a popcorn "classy" romance that's Gautam Menon's trademark. But none of this can quite compensate the sense of deja vu that starts out being cute but overpowers you after a point.
The film begins like "Kaakha Kaakha" which was remade in Telugu as "Gharshana" - a sombre male voice narrating a story of violence. After that, it becomes "Ye Maaya Chesave" for a while before going back to "Gharshana" mode again. Naga Chaitanya who is nameless for most part of the film, plays a young man in love with his friend's sister who's staying with them. The first half of the film is like an opera - there are more songs than dialogues and as beautifully shot as they are, you wait impatiently for the story to get moving. The intriguing opening sequence, after all, has set up your expectations.
And then, the mood finally changes (happens in a song, big surprise). The cat and mouse game that follows this has some intense action sequences and moments of tension. As the body count goes up and Baba Sehgal as Kamath, the rogue cop, goes hunting for the young couple, you look forward to a denouement that will tie up all the loose ends and make sense of all the violence. What you get instead is a one scene, thoroughly unconvincing explanation for what was going on. Let me use the most popular phrase in the country currently - it's a surgical strike on rationality.
Naga Chaitanya and Manjima Mohan hit it off and they share a decent chemistry, although Naga Chaitanya becoming a "man" because he wields a gun is cringe-worthy. While Naga Chaitanya's range of expressions is pretty limited, Manjima does well in the romantic scenes as well as the turbulent ones. The plot with its large holes, however, is too much of a let-down. At the end of "Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo", you wonder which dish Gautam Menon had in mind when scripting the film - aviyal or idli upma?