‘Gaali Sampath’ hit the cinemas today (March 11). The film has been described as an entertaining survival drama. Does it entertain the audience? Does it have the emotional strength to make us root for it? Let’s find out.
The story is set in Araku. Sampath (Rajendra Prasad) is an old man whose dream of becoming an artist remains unfulfilled. His son, played by Sree Vishnu, has the dream of owning a truck. But Sampath, who is called Gaali Sampath by everyone because he can’t speak and only air comes out of his mouth when he tries to speak, commits two big mistakes and incurs the wrath of his son. He then accidentally falls in a 30ft-deep pit in the compound of his house. What follows next is the second half.
Rajendra Prasad headlines the film and keeps the audience engaged with his acting skills. He is better in the emotional scenes than in the comedy portions. Sree Vishnu, for whom serious roles are not new, is good in the role of a son who misunderstands his father. Lovely Singh plays the heroine’s role to a decent effect. Satya’s comedy doesn’t work in terms of dialogue, but his acting is good. Raghu Babu doesn’t do much comedy. It is Srikanth Iyengar who gets to tickle the funny bone. He outshines Tanikella Bharani and Anish Kuruvilla, among others. Mirchi Kiran and others fit the bill.
Achu Rajamani’s music is a plus. That said, the background music should have been better. ‘Fififee’ and ‘Papa O Papa’ sound good. Sai Sriram, the cinematographer, was challenged by the second half’s portions in the pit. He should have shown better craft in this segment.
First things first. The film can’t be described as a survival drama in earnest. It’s a very lazily-written comedy that has emotions as a mere footnote. There is no strong conflict between the father and son. Whatever conflict is there in the plot, it is so old-fashioned.
The first half plays out like a mediocre Malayalam movie. There are some comedy scenes that click. By and large, however, the situational comedy is found wanting.
The scenes involving Rajendra Prasad and Sree Vishnu cry for good writing. Writers Anil Ravipudi and S Krishna make do with superficial staging of the scenes.
The makers shouldn’t have revealed the key plot point. The second half would have at least managed to shock us a bit had we not known what happens at the interval bang.
‘Gaali Sampath’ falls flat with laughable narration. The father-son sentimentality works to an extent. But, overall, the film doesn’t have us on the edge of the seat or root for the father-son duo.