July 16, 2010 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Indu (Manjari Phadnis) has an ear for music. A Brahmin from Kerala she falls in love with Chakri (Allari Naresh) who sings lovely folk songs. He keeps his profession a secret in order to win over her family. On the way home after the wedding Indu bumps into an old man played by Sarath Babu and gets into an animated conversation for a brief period and he likes her instantly. Infact after sometime Indu brings him home and nurses him to health after he is found lying unconscious on the road. The couple are surprised when they are invited to his palatial home and when Sarath Babu expresses his desire to adopt Indu. Indu declines the offer politely and inturn makes Sarath Babu adopt a mentally deranged youth who has an integral role to play in the film. What happens in the second part of the film forms the crux of the story.
Subhapradam is set in the picturesque locations of Alappuzha in Kerala and you get to watch more than what one saw in Ye Maaya Chesave. All the songs are beautifully choreographed picturised and Manjari Phadnis gets an ample scope to show her versatility. Very expressive in dance and dialogue, she dominates the show. She also gets to play a double role of Indu and Sindu both as a traditional Brahmin girl well versed in dance and music and as a contemporary women, educated, independent, an allrounder and a beautiful, sensitive human being.
However the prime character Indu overshadows Chakri. Naresh has nothing much to do, he plays second fiddle to her and fails to make an impact. His character doesn't run evenly, it is erratic at times. Once he is shown as behaving in a particular manner because of a compulsion but later again he is shown as getting a bit greedy. Somehow his character is etched in a haphazard manner and you are left wondering what he is all about. He appears content letting the leading lady take over the show and keeps moulding his behaviour and character accordingly. He might have been roped in after his convincing performance in the tailor made role in Seema Sastry and a few other films. Here he is misfit.
Indu's family look strange, the men are bald in some scenes and in others they appear with ungainly wigs. The women in the household are either very tall or very short. The backdrop if it had been set in an authentic Andhra setting, would have lent credence to the story. Just to show Manjari's multi-faceted and multi-linguistic personality, the uncles and aunts have been added but they ended as extra baggage, not adding any value to the story. Also there is no entertainment, the conversation between Dharmavarapu and Naresh drags and bores. The story comes to life only towards the end of the film when a social issue is brought to the fore. The climax song is very pleasing and good.
What one notices in this entire drama is the good aspects in a human are highlighted, the negativity in the form of Allari Naresh is underplayed. Sarath Babu's reactions to Naresh's behaviour is praiseworthy, he is not hurt by Naresh's attitude, and all he sees is the goodness in Indu and revels in the happiness he gets from seeing her. Even after decades on screen, Sarath Babu glows and radiates. All the songs are lovely and Mouname Chebutondi is very nice to hear and watch on screen.
An admirable job by Manjari Phadnis but the story fails to make an impact. The issue which has been highlighted in the film is not path-breaking, more gruesome forms have been shown on the celluloid. Also the story, the setting, the subject is clichéd. It is a noble effort but nobody gains except Manjari Phadnis. It is simply her show which demonstrates her character's greatness, selflessness and goodness! Finally, the renowned director K. Viswanath proves yet again that he is still the master in bringing out good music and dance but the same can't be said about the story here, it is just not in tune with the times. Subhapradam is an assembling of lovely song and dance without a proper story structure.
Cast: Allari Naresh, Manjari Phadnis, Sharath Babu, Vizag Prasad, Giribabu, Raghubabu, Rallapalli, Jayalakshmi, Dubbing Janaki, Devadas Kanakala, Amanamanchi and Others.
Banner: Sri Sri Rajarajeswari Films Pvt. Ltd.
Music: Mani Sharma.
Presenter: Cherukuri Kousalendra Rao.
Producer(s): Harigopala Krishna Murthy, PN Thilak.
Director: K. Viswanath.
Release Date: July 16, 2010.