Review: SR Kalyanamandapam

‘SR Kalyanamandapam’ today arrived at the theatres. In this section, we will tell you what to expect from the romantic action drama.

Kalyan (Kiran Abbavaram) is busy wooing Sindhu (Priyanka Jawalkar), his classmate, in the college. At home, he is going through an emotional churn. His relationship with his father Dharma (Sai Kumar) was spoilt years ago because the latter doesn’t perform the duties of a family man. As time passes, Kalyan has to rise to the occasion in saving SR Kalyanamandapam, which his grandfather has bequeathed to the family. What Kalyan does to revive its glory is the crux of the story. 

After a soft film like ‘Raja Vaaru Rani Vaaru’, Kiran is in his elements. Since he is the film’s writer, he has imagined his character glowingly. He gives himself indulgent college campus moments in recent cinema. The performance is studied even in the scenes where a lesser actor could have gone over the top.

Priyanka Jawalkar, who was terribly underutilized in the recent ‘Thimmarusu’, plays the part of a much-wooed girl with confidence. This is her first proper heroine role. Sai Kumar is a delight to watch. His dialogues in the emotional scenes hit home.

Tulasi doesn’t overdo it. Srikanth Iyengar, however, is forgettable. Arun, Anil, Bharat, Kittayya and others fail to tickle the funny bone. 

Technical Departments:
Chaitan Bharadwaj composes ‘Choosale Kallara’, ‘Chukkala Chunni’ and ‘Siggendukura Mama’ well but the song placement leaves much to be desired. The background music is a plus. Viswas Daniel’s cinematography is apt. Sudheer Macharla’s production design is another plus.

Kiran Abbavaram, who is ready with two more films later this year, has written the story, screenplay and dialogues of ‘SR Kalyanamandapam’ himself. He makes sure that the story lets him enjoy doing slow-motion action scenes. There are quite a few elevation shots as well. The first fight of the film, set in the backdrop of a bar, has him pay homage to Nandamuri Balakrishna and Chiranjeevi. Somewhere in the film, Pawan Kalyan is celebrated as ‘Kushi’ plays on the big screen. All this was clearly meant to excite the fanboys of the superstars and also earn their goodwill perhaps. 

While Kiran succeeds to an extent in pulling off the massy moments and action scenes, the writing goes for a toss otherwise. The storyline is impressive, but the story arc is cut to a template. The coming-of-age nature of the family scenes is not milked thoroughly. Is it because the dialogues don’t pack a punch? Perhaps. If the film is watchable, it is because of the conviction shown by its key performers – Kiran and Sai Kumar.

The sincerity of the third act is missing in the second act, where the scenes are a drag. The hero’s friends want to look like they are moving heaven and earth to help him win over Sindhu’s hand in marriage. But one of them is inadequate at best and unwatchable at worst. 

Srikanth Iyengar, who peeved a lot of us with his over-the-top act in ‘Gaali Sampath’, appears in just one scene in the first half. Even in the second half, his presence is token for the most part in spite of the fact that he is the main villain. Even if you concede that the story is not about the typical hero vs villain clash, he should have looked solid. 

The film comes into its own only in the climax. By then, you would have lost much of your interest in the proceedings.

‘SR Kalyanamandapam’ has a substantial premise and engaging sentimental scenes. Otherwise, the film doesn’t strike the right chord. It’s over-indulgent and also too long. 

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