Aravindha Sametha is about ethnic factionalism in Rayalaseema, which affects the lives of people in one particular village named Kommadi. The animosity of two families for each other grows more violent with every passing day and leads to bloody wars. The bloodlust of the older generation and the change that the younger generation craves for is what director-writer Trivikram Srinivas deftly handles in this Jr NTR and Pooja Hegde film.
Aravindha Sametha begins with a violent tussle between Veera Raghava Reddy’s (Jr NTR) father Narappa Reddy (Nag Babu) and Basireddy (Jagpathi Babu). Starting with a sharp action sequence, the audience takes in scenes as Jr NTR plows his way through a force of men, with an axe in his hand for the next 120 odd minutes. What makes this movie (about local factions in Telugu-speaking states) different from a Mirchi, or even Pournami is the clarity with which the protagonist sets out to make a change for the betterment of his people.
This clarity comes not from the protagonist, but through Aravindha (Pooja Hegde). An anthropology student who specializes in ethnic factionalism, Aravindha is Veera’s voice of reason. Trivikram is known for writing great dialogues, which reverberate with the audience and when Aravindha tells Veera “the man who can stop a brewing fight from happening, is a big man”, there is no drum roll before she says it, neither are there special effects in the background to tell the audience that it is important. But throughout the film, her clinical observations help Veera make smart choices for his people. Aravindha is not Trivikram’s quintessential leading lady, but she is a refreshing change, thanks to her intellect and perception.
Veera understands how important it is to stop the war that is brewing in his village and he wants peace for everyone. He is the torchbearer of peace that Kommadi needs, but Basireddy is no amateur either. Will people listen to talks of peace by a man who has committed murder? Or will they continue with violence? This gnawing question is what makes Raghava choose violence as a weapon to bring about peace. He gives his enemy the choice to come to truce, or to be killed mercilessly and with such conviction that it brings in a deep fear in Basireddy’s son — all this but without glorifying violence.
Jr NTR’s restrained performance adds more weight to Raghava’s cause. Trivikram’s heavy dialogues add certain depth to Raghava’s character and Aravindha’s matter-of-fact observations about the hero’s situation keeps him grounded. This coupled with S Thaman’s music makes Aravindha Sametha an entertaining commercial film about factionalism.
Jagpathi Babu as Basireddy is excellent. We see Basireddy’s lust for blood and violence, excellently portrayed by the actor. Eashwari Rao, Sithara, Devyani, Esha Rebba and Supraja Pathak are mostly used to fill in as Raghava’s family. Such talented actors being reduced to just a mouthpiece for the actor is disheartening.
One last word of advice: can Tollywood give up the temptation for a song-and-dance number just before the climax please? It only hampers the storytelling.
First Published: Oct 11, 2018 17:01 IST