: Harsha (Mahesh) the only son of billionaire Ravikanth (Jagapathi) gives up his inheritance to adopt his native village, Devarakota to help its impoverished citizens. But Sasi (Sampath), brother of a union minister, will not let it happen.
: You could say this movie is Mahesh Babu's Swades (the 2004 SRK film) albeit a little dumbed down. Or a Mirchi (the Prabhas film) rehashed. Yet there can be no denying that Srimanthudu achieves more than any big ticket Tollywood potboiler has in more in that last decade, for the simple reason that it is a drama made like one. In terms of sheer integrity of storytelling, it's reason enough to cheer to not have a Brahmanandam getting slapped for comic relief. Well Brahmanandam isn't part of the movie, but there is Ali and he doesn't have even one cheesy innuendo laden line. No cheesy punch dialogues either.
And the first half of the movie actually is part of the movie isn't a prelude to the interval bang but a gradual progression of the narrative flow. The protagonist Harsha is introduced with a song
... which sounds like Rama Rama, which establishes his character sketch. True to his name which means happiness, Harsha, choses to attend the Sriramanavami celebrations organized by the staff working at his billionaire father's factory, giving a family do a miss. When he retorts, "
pani chese valu kuda mana famile ne
," to his angry father, it's obvious, this guy doesn't feel at home in his home.
Harsha isn't sure of what he wants to do or be but he isn't interested in taking over the reins of his father's Rs 25,000 crore business empire. "
kuda nannu thochindi cheyaniyandi
, let me earn some respect," (let me do what I feel like) Harsha expounds to his dad. His purpose finds him through the love of his life, Charusheela, a student of MBA in rural development. In the process of wooing her, he stumbles upon his roots and finds himself.
So Harsha sets of on a journey of self-discovery to his native village, Devarakota, with his cycle in tow. Moved by the plight of its people who are exploited by the vicious henchman Sasi, our man decides to adopt the village and in the process discovers that his father too was like him. His journey from a rich man's son disinterested in his father's fortune to a village dweller unfolds a little too simplistically but its Mahesh's nuanced portrayal is what makes it engaging and perhaps will resonate with the sections of the audience who share a similar predicament.
The movie isn't without its flaws. Mahesh keeps seamlessly shifting gears to become this veritable hulk who can beat up 20 goons without breaking a sweat, for all her well-intentioned purposefulness, Shruti transforms into this object of desire in the dream song sequences, and you could argue about the solution the film offers as being too blah. But let's just say, there is more to like about the film than there is to diss.
Last but not the least, the music is easy on the ear and compliments of the mood of the film. Definitely worth a watch.