Nikhil Gowda, son of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, is rumoured to make his political debut this year, and the film goes overboard in praising him and his father.

Seetharama Kalyana review Nikhils action drama verges on political propaganda
Flix Sandalwood Friday, January 25, 2019 - 15:58
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Choreographer-turned-director A Harsha has patented himself as a commercial director, and time and again, with every actor he has collaborated, he has used the same formula. A decade after making his debut, with seven films in his kitty, the filmmaker has joined hands with actor Nikhil Gowda, son of Karnataka’s Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, for Seetharama Kalyana.

The trailer was neatly packaged with a love story, a lot of action, comedy and family sentiment. The film is an extension of the trailer, which is predictable in parts. Arya (Nikhil Kumar), son of Shankar (Sharath Kumar), a big name in the construction business, is a happy-go-lucky youth. He meets Geetha (Rachita Ram), who is from a village, at a wedding in Ooty. Though they fall in love, they keep it to themselves.

Geetha is daddy’s little girl (Ravishankar as Narasimahaiah). However, her mother (Madhoo) wants her to experience the world and hence sends her to Bengaluru for higher studies. So, Geetha, clad in a half-saree even in a Bengaluru college to prove that she is a "village belle", takes Arya’s help to explore the city. The movie takes several more twists and turns to reach an expected climax, with Arya's father playing a significant role in the proceedings. 

“I am my dad’s visiting card," declares Nikhil Gowda before fighting goons in the first half. By then, you are already told numerous times about his dad and how great that man is (the audience members are no strangers to this indirect reference). Though Sharath Kumar plays the part on screen, we all know about this Mannina Maga (son of the soil) Nikhil keeps referring to. And thus goes the two-and-half-hour-long movie, with pro-farmer and pro-village dialogues, which will appeal to a major chunk of voters for the political party that Nikhil’s father represents in real life.

With rumours doing the rounds that Nikhil might take the plunge into electoral politics in this year’s general elections, considerable efforts have gone into building his image in the movie, as a leader. Nikhil’s acting skills may have improved from Jaguar, but he still has a lot to learn. He tries hard to be a commercial hero, but his facial expressions just don’t cooperate.

Rachita Ram, who plays an extremely emotional woman, is highly convincing. It looks like a tailor-made role for her and it is a treat to watch her on the big screen. Other actors have been given justifiable screen space and they have all excelled in their roles.

Director Harsha, a devotee of Lord Hanuman, has always named his films after his favourite god. This time, however, he seems to have switched his loyalty from Hanuman to Ram. He tries too hard to please the hero and has penned the character on a larger-than-life scale. That’s where the film has gone wrong. Of course, commercial movies are all about hero-worshipping, but this movie has crossed the threshold and that too without a solid script.

The storyline is predictable and is inspired by several Telugu movies. The action sequences, too, are overboard. Nikhil giving chase and jumping to fight the villains is repeated extensively, making us wonder whose idea it was.

Anup Rubens’ 'Ninna Raaja Naanu' (in Armaan Malik's voice which makes us float) and 'O Jaanu O Jaanu' are melodious and hummable. However, the background score, though commendable, is too loud. The film looks colourful in every frame, and Harsha has used his experience as a choreographer to make sure that the songs look good. 

Watch this film if you are a fan of typical commercial potboilers.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

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