: Surya suffers from a rare genetic disorder which doesn't allow him to go out of his house during daytime. He ends up following in love with Sanjana, a TV anchor, and one fine day, he meets her in person. The rest of the story is about how Surya manages to impress Sanjana and what happens when he tells her about his genetic disorder.
: Surya vs Surya is based on an interesting premise, has a bunch of interesting characters, and a solid conflict which keeps the lead character on his toes. At one point, it does seem like all these aspects are good enough for yet another interesting film, starring Nikhil. However, halfway through the story, Karthik Ghattamaneni, the director, runs out of all ideas to keep the plot engaging and what happens next is a laborious exercise to salvage the film from being a big bore. To draw an analogy, the film is almost like a secret, which keeps you hooked for some time, but once you are told what it is, you are left scratching your head wondering if this is what got you so excited in the first place.
In the film, we are told that Surya (Nikhil) suffers from a genetic disorder, where his hemoglobin level is so low that if he steps out in the sun he'll die within 15 minutes. So, his mother, played by Madhoo, insists that he stay indoors till 6:30 PM every day and he spends all his life in isolation devoid of any friends. After he becomes an adult, Surya goes to a night college, where he befriends Erasam (Thanikella Bharani) and Aruna Sai (Satya). Soon, we come to know that Surya is in love with a TV anchor, Sanjana (Tridha); however, he has never met her in person. During one of his midnight escapades, he ends up meeting Sanjana, and with some encouragement from his friends, he musters the courage to take her out for dinner.
It's all seems perfect till this point in the film. The colours are rich and despite being shot in the night, cinematographer-and-director, Karthik brings alive the nightlife of Hyderabad. Whether it's the midnight jaunts to hog biryani or sip 'kulfi', you can't help but appreciate the colours and the vibrancy of the spots explored in the film. And being the new-age filmmaker that Karthik is, you can also see his urge to make the entire film to look cool - be it the editing pattern or the concept of the film itself. Among the actors, it is Thanikella Bharani and Satya who impress the most with their comic timing, and it wouldn't be wrong either to say that Thanikella Bharani had a blast while playing the role of an elderly man with a never-say-die-attitude. For Nikhil, it was the most interesting role in his career so far, but, in the film, he has the look of a man who's completely lost. As a result, we hardly get to see what's going through his mind. For some unfathomable reason, his expressions are limited to four or five variations at best. Newcomer Tridha has a good screen presence, but finds herself lost in the proceedings, especially in the second half, whereas Madhoo hams throughout the film.
Once all the interesting ideas evaporate into thin air, the director tries his best to tie all the loose ends and in the process, he takes the most convenient route possible. Yes, it's essentially a romantic film where the lead character, Surya is trying to overcome his lack of confidence. And once the conflict is established at the mid-point, the story begins to fall apart slowly in the second half. The entire segment featuring Nikhil and Mast Ali is so drab, that it makes you wish the proceedings are wrapped up quickly. Like Lord Ganesh comes to Surya's rescue in the film, he does to the audience too. The film is just 130 minutes long and has its share of some finely-crafted moments in the beginning. If only someone felt the need to make the film more gripping and have a better subplot to show Surya coming to terms with his future, probably Surya vs Surya would have been the film we were promised. Like the lead character itself, it feels like the script too is scared of taking on the sun. What a wasted opportunity!