May 28, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Guruvaram is the day Sai Baba is worshipped and the film revolves around the miracles that take place in Shirdi, the film also released on Thursday to highlight the significance. It is apparently the last film that Rami Reddy, the villain worked in before he breathed his last. The Late actor dressed in white chanting Allah Malik doesn't have much to do but unfortunately when his visuals are shown in close-up shots, one fails to see peace and divinity in his eyes, not because the audience suffers from a hangover of the image he enjoyed in movies but very clearly the director couldn't extract the required emotion.
One cannot expect much in a devotional film but an adequate research on the history of Sai Baba could have given the viewers certain amount of satisfaction. What we see is just the Baba curing the sick, spreading the message that all Gods are one and his many miracles that we have already read in story books. The film makes for an engaging watch for those who know nothing of the Baba and the others who know a little about him are sure to be disappointed.
The film has a prelude that shows that God created universe and people for a purpose but the latter has become greedy and selfish and as an avtaar of Dattatreya, Sai Baba is spotted meditating under a Neem tree for days together as a child in Shirdi and he immediately attracts people. His detractors threaten his worshippers but the grown up Baba continues to show his miracles, love to people and animals alike. He says the alms that he collects from people is actually meant to partake people's sin. Gradually people who have rubbished his miracles turn into his worshippers.
There is more emphasis on his miracles rather than his doctrine. There are too many songs and one particular song, the last one lacks imagination and the camera focuses on a hand continuously writing the verse on a piece of paper as the song is being sung in the background. Jenny and Ramana Murthy make their presence felt, Telangana Sakuntala is impressive and Shanti Swaroop and Uttej play devotee and nephew of Baba.
Guruvaram ends like a docu drama and fails to move when people are sick and dying or for that matter when Ramireddy attemps to project a saintly appearance. This is a film crafted by a devotee whose purpose basically is to propogate that believers of Sai will never be left disappointed. A half-hearted and a rushed attempt.