With Vennela and Prasthanam, especially Prasthanam earned director Deva Katta a cult status among current breed of writer/directors. His ability to craft his characters and dialogues seem to change the way Telugu cinema is made. After Prasthanam in 2010, its been long waiting for his next film. That too with a star son and big production house like RR movie makers. The film ran in to few financial issues and have been differing with release dates from past 8 months, making the wait longer and desperate both for the maker and the audience. At last the film is out and everybody seem to have had their sigh of relief. Now the question is, is it worth the wait?
Film is set in the period between 1979-95. Major part of action starts at 1992 in Autonagar of Vijayawada. An auto body building center and hub for transport business in south India. Thematically film is about how corruption and mafia has crept in to labor and financial institutions in autonagar making lives of workers and businessmen difficult. And how a hero emerges out of this situation and fights back the system as an Individual. From angry young-man in 70s to till date, this theme is a sure-shot success in cinema. With Deva Katta kind of philosophy that is much inspired from Ayn Rand, this film should have been impressive.
However, sincerity of thought alone is not sufficient for a good film.Good story,intelligible narrative and well written characters are also important. That is where the film falters and Deva Katta as a writer/director fails. Setting up of story is decent in the first half. But when the actual story takes off in the second half, Deva Katta resorts to comedy rather than dealing with the story with conviction. In any story hero’s fight against villains cannot be foolish and buffoonish. Especially not in themes like this. Film end abruptly and leaves no empathy for the entire film.
Few episodes like Surya (Naga Chaitanya) explaining how mafia is ruling over Autonagar in the first half and Autonagar uprising against Indra (Jayaprakash Reddy) in the second half are the only sequences that bears Deva Katta’s mark and rest of the film will not bring him any respect.
Surya’s character for Naga Chaitanya is too heavy to pull off. Surya is powerfully written character desires maturity in acting and convincing body language. Naga Chaitanya has none. Deva Katta also fails Naga Chaitanya by writing too many dialogues for an actor who has bad diction. Samantha has nothing much to do in the film. Actors like Sai Kumar, Jayaprakash Reddy, Ajay, Ajay Ghosh play their part well. A special mention surely is needed for Nandu who plays Surya’s friend in the film for his screen presence and performance. Another note worthy actor in the film is Television serial fame Madhu (famously known as James on TV). He plays the villain in the film. He can hold good on par with any of the imported villains from Mumbai. May be even better.
Nothing special to write about the cinematography by Santosh Naroj. Anup Ruben’s music sounds stale and unimpressive. Gautam Raju could have saved the film by editing out at-least 40 minutes of the film.
With a big star and sufficient budget Deva Katta could have only stuck to his style and conviction rather than to fall pray to so called commercial formula. Its not a bad film. But surely not a well intended film with compromise written all over it. Its not just Deva Katta’s failure but stands as an example to all filmmakers with conviction who lose out on the same, when they hit a jackpot of “big film”. Autonagar Surya is a pardonable film if it is not made by Deva Katta. Now it remains an inexcusable film.
Cinetara Rating : 2.5/5