Cast: Abbas, Tabu, Raja, Brahmaji, Kota Srinivasa Rao, MS Narayana, Surya, Suneel, Hema, Chalapathi Rao, Devadas Kanakala, Melkote and Others. Art: T. Nagendra Prasad. Choreography: Pony Verma. Cinematography: JK Gummadi. Lyrics: Chaitanya Prasad-Peddada Murthy. Music: John P. Varkey. Story & Dialogues: KNY Pathanjali. Executive Producer: VV Durga Prasad. Producer, Screenplay & Direction: Chandra Siddharth. Banner: Filmotsav. Release Date: 22nd February, 2008.
Diamonds. You can do so many things with them. Make movies, for example. A whole lot of Hindi movies came out in the recent past with that subject, and now Idi Sangathi has robbery-greed-diamonds-guilt-redemption as it's basic plot. The screenplay could have been so much more interesting in the hands of another director. Unfortunately, Chandra Siddharth, who made a decent start with Aa Naluguru seems to have backed on solid writing and structure in his debut that seems to be lacking in Idi Sangathi.
Plot Mumbai Express meets with an accident, and Murthy, a crime reporter for a newspaper and his photographer are the first to arrive. Instead of gathering information, Murthy loots the dead passengers' ornaments and suitcases and gets it home to his wife, Swarajyam. The suitcase he brings home has 500 crores worth diamonds-all the assets of the Prime Minister converted into diamonds and being transferred to Hyderabad. Swarajyam discovers this, and without revealing it to her husband, she makes her own plans and their lives change with the entry of this secret and black treasure.
Story, Screenplay and Direction The story is kept basic, while the moral siding is obviously against any greed. The movie paints a dark picture, and everyone is either black or grey, never white. With some stereotyped (but admittedly real) characters and satirical undertones, the movie starts off and progresses slowly. The scene is set, the cards are dealt and now it's time for the players to play their turn. The 'Interval Twist' is a deception, and Raja's cameo is wasteful.
It starts off as a satirical, aims half-heartedly at some comedy and rounds off with a nice little moral lesson about greed. Not all of it is kept simple or logical either, but it is predictable. The nonchalance to greed and the insensitivity to grief are shown well. Another plus is the duration, which is kept short. The reality in some of the scenes might be hard to accept, but it is undeniable.
It is a simple narrative, but has no novelty or real entertainment value. With the same concept, better screenplay, dialogues and performances, the movie would have been a lot of fun and a statement on the kind of society it is today without exaggeration. But Idi Sangathi never gets there, and does not really have any Sangathi to bank on.
Performances Tabu's character is neither well-written nor complex. Even Amani's loud and flat character in Subhalagnam as a wife who 'sells' her husband for a crore is more interesting than Swarajyam. An artiste of Tabu's caliber is therefore wasted, and what more, she's even made to ham in some scenes in the first half-the dubbed voice is not particularly suitable for Tabu. Abbas is good and he sensibly keeps a low profile throughout, which suits the tone of his character. Suneel is okay, ditto Brahmaji. Hema as Suneel's wife keeps the energy level up in her brief role, while Kota as the Prime Minister is good. MS Narayana as his PA gets a giggle or two from the audience.
Song and Dance The leads to the songs are just terrible. The songs themselves are unnecessary, but treated as a necessary evil. The actual picturization and compositions are average.
Last Word Idi Sangathi could have been a very entertaining movie with the same concept. It fails to impress because of a lackluster script which affects all the other departments in turn.