Rating: 7.5/10 (Enchanting Indeed)
Cast: Sudheer Babu, Aditi Rao Hydari, Naresh, Pavitra Lokesh, Rahul Ramakrishna, Abhay, Tanikella Bharani, Harshini, Hariteja
Written and Directed by: Mohankrishna Indraganti
Producer: Sivalenka Krishna Prasad
Banner: Sridevi Movies
Mohankrishna Indraganti is one filmmaker who traverses various genres with his films. He is back with his latest film Sammohanam starring Sudheer Babu, Mahesh Babu's brother- in law, who is desperately looking for a break. Also starring Hyderbad native Aditi Rao Hydari in her telugu debut, can this movie give a big break to it's lead actor? Let's find out
Story: An children's book artist named Vijay (Sudheer Babu) has a pre-conceived notion about the entertainment industry and dislikes the glitz and glamour that comes with it. When he meets a famous actress named Sameera Rathod (Aditi Rao), she slowly starts to change his opinion about film stars. What happens between them forms the rest of Sammohanam.
Performances: Sudheer Babu shows great maturity in acting and delivers a good, subtle performance. His performance in the pre-interval and interval sequences show how much he has improved. He is an asset to the film and play the character of a guy who hates film stars very well.
Aditi Rao Hydari is the perfect combination of looks and acting skills. She does a good job in her Telugu debut and her first attempt at dubbing for herself is commendable. She looks good in the songs as well.
After playing a variety of versatile roles in his long career, Naresh perhaps gets the best role of his career in Sammohanam. He is an absolute riot as Sudheer Babu's father. His passion and determination for acting at his such is a joy to watch and he is unbelievably hilarious in this role. Watch out for his performance in the pre climax sequences as this again proves how much of entertainment he generates. Naresh is the highlight of this film and he steals the show.
Rahul Ramakrishna and Abhay as Sudheer's friends also add some solid comedy to the proceedings.
Nandu plays a character with grey shades who has his sights on the heroine. The guy who played the role of Amit is adequate.
Pavitra Lokesh gets a dignified role as Vijay's mother and she is outstanding in the rejection scene. Tanikella Bharani and the rest of the cast are aptly cast.
Direction: Mohankrishna Indraganti has always been a sort of offbeat filmmaker and has always traversed genres. But the best part of his films are the writing and realism he brings to it. When looked at it on paper and on screen, Sammohanam is highly unrealistic and a true fairytale in itself. But Indraganti's ability as writer brings out the realism and experience to make this a truly endearing and touching film. His dialogues are excellent and the conversations in the film are really good. The one that stands out is the rejection scene between Pavitra Lokesh and Sudheer Babu. This scene is excellent. It's ironic that Sammohanam is a movie and that for the entirety of the first half, they are filming a movie in a movie. But given the plot of the film, it makes sense. It also gives the viewer an unintentional view as to how films are made in Tollywood. The film they are making called Kummestha could easily be a film they actually made in Telugu. The comedy in the film is sprinkled throughout nicely and it balances the otherwise serious moments well. The only problem of the film would be the subplot involving Sameera's character. It seems very farcical and routine and it's something that everyone probably faces. The whole flashback and turn of events are very unconvincing but the way Indraganti deals with the situation is brilliant. He brings back Naresh into the proceedings and lightens up the movie once again and delivers a feel good ending. Overall, Indraganti does a very good job and proves why he's one of the best writers in the industry once again with this film.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Vivek Sagar is outstanding. The violin BGM that he composed is extremely soothing. The songs are alaso well shot but the placement of the first two songs come pretty quickly one after the other. Cinematography by PG Vinda is extravagant. The color palettes and shots used are really good and refreshing and the colors reflect the mood of the scene perfectly. The quality of the camerawork given the budget is really good. Art by Ravinder is really good for the balcony scene and the house set the movie is set in. Dialogues by Mohankrishna Indraganti are excellent. There is an equal balance of philosophical and comical dialogues throughout the film depending on the situation. Editing by Marthand K Venkatesh is decent. Production Values by Sridevi Movies are incredible. The quality and output of the film gives it a very grand feel in the final product on screen.
- Heroine Subplot
- Pace at certain times
Analysis and Final Take: The concept of a guy who dislikes film stars and falls in love with an actor is quite an ironic one. In my time of watching movies, I haven't really seen a story like it so it's new to me. Sammohanam does more right than it does wrong. It's a film more based on dialogues and conversations than commercial elements. It's a strict class film and features no action sequences. T
he beginning of the film is nice with the introduction of all the characters. The film takes off after the film Kummestha starts filming in Vijay's house. From here on in, entertainment takes center stage and Naresh provides unlimited entertainment looking for his big break. The film gets a tad serious towards in the pre interval and interval sequences and the 2nd half starts on a serious note.
The worst part of this movie has to be the flashback of the heroine. The subplot looks extremely forced and unconvincing to an extent and it has a very routine premise that most actresses would face in the film industry. Despite a serious flashback, Indraganti never allows for the film to get too serious or not suitable for a family audience. He nicely balances the tones and the film gets back to entertainment mode during the pre climax track.
I'm not lying when I saw Naresh is the highlight of this film. In fact, his performance might be worth your ticket alone. This type of film is one you'd either enjoy or find boring. If you're a fan of sweet romantic films, you'll like this movie. If you don't and your expecting some heroism from Sudheer Babu or some type of action, you'll get disappointed. The rejection scene in the 2nd half is maybe the best scene in the movie for the value it carries.
If you've ever been in a situation like this, you'll understand each and every dialogue and it kind of makes you cry a bit. But this film does more good than bad and it's a winner in the end.
Overall, Sammohanam is indeed an enchanting film. The film sucks you in with it's premise and wins you over with it's fairy-tale like plot and beautiful dialogues. Definitely check it out, it's worth a watch for the performances, music, and comedy.