'Brahmotsavam' Review: A Family Drama That Falls Short of Expectations
Director: Sreekanth Addala
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Samantha, Kajal Aggarwal, Rao Ramesh, Sathyaraj, Revathi, Jayasudha, Pranitha Subhash, Naresh, Tanikella Bharani, Sayaji Shinde, Krishna Bhagavan, Saranya Ponvannan, Pavani Gangireddy
Mahesh Babu had impressed everybody by starring in Sreekanth Addala's ‘Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu’ as the film also had Venkatesh in the lead. Sreekanth deserves a few encouraging words for getting two big stars to play brothers in his second film itself. After that came, ‘Mukunda’, which tasted like a big bag full of salt chips where there was more salt and less chips. The filmmaker is back with another big bag. This time, he gives us desserts. I’m not talking about the special kind for which people stand in queues with smiles on their faces and spaces in their stomachs. The names of the desserts keep changing in ‘Brahmotsavam’ but the taste remains the same.
When Sreekanth turned the lights on in the relationship between Venkatesh and Mahesh in ‘SVSC’, it didn’t seem out of context. When their sister (Abhinaya) didn’t share stories of her own with us, it was okay. The same habit cannot be taken forward for another movie, as well. He removes an important family member (Mahesh’s sister) from the main story in ‘Brahmotsavam’ and he expects us to understand that she’s no longer a part of the happenings of the family (is it because she’s married and living in another country?). In a nicely crafted scene, Revathi and Sathyaraj (Mahesh’s parents), make a video call to their daughter. Revathi shows the sarees she has bought and Mahesh keeps teasing his sister by downing custard apples. This little act tells us why togetherness is important. At the same time, when there’s so much going on in the family, be it a family tour or a sudden death, Mahesh’s sister is not brought into the picture. She’s just there for an emotional scene. Doesn’t she have anything more to offer?
Kajal and Samantha play Mahesh’s love interests but their real interests are not revealed. Dialogues thrown casually say something about what they do. Still, it doesn’t matter. The entire film revolves around the concept of “sharing happiness”. In the end, many questions tumble out of the film; like: Why did Mahesh dance as if his pants were on fire in 'Bala Tripuramani'? Why do songs pop up every now and then when they serve no purpose? Does the episode involving Saranya Ponvannan exist only so that Mahesh could beat up some people and call, ‘Brahmotsavam’, a family drama with action?
If not for the romantic angle Samantha brings in with her character, it’d be easy to categorize her as the cute neighborhood kid who’s loved by all. She’s bursting with energy in every scene she appears. In her next Sreekanth film, I’d be able to see her energy bubbles, I guess. She goes on a long road trip with Mahesh, and Vennela Kishore joins them. And this segment opens the door to the title track which is wonderfully shot. Rathnavelu’s camera finds some interesting places.
Kishore’s mission is to tickle our funny bones. He enters the screen halfway into the film and it’s too late already. The real and the only scene stealer is Rao Ramesh. The way he puts his muddled thoughts into words is extraordinary. It made me see the fragility of human nature and the need for one-upmanship. He gets a winning moment in the climax, as well.
The nib of Sreekanth’s ‘Brahmotsavam’ states that we’re all a family. The problem is not that the nib is broken; the nib goes all over the place and it doesn’t know where to stop and how to draw a picture that doesn’t mumble black and white philosophies.