Movie Review: ‘Brahmotsavam’ Is One Big Family Drama You Must Skip
Mahesh Babu’s romance with Kajal Aggarwal hits all the right notes, though it has all been done  before. (Photo: YouTube Screengrab)
Mahesh Babu’s romance with Kajal Aggarwal hits all the right notes, though it has all been done before. (Photo: YouTube Screengrab)

Movie Review: ‘Brahmotsavam’ Is One Big Family Drama You Must Skip

Brahmotsavam is either one prolonged advertisement for Sheenlac paints, or someone’s labour of love abandoned just before it all came together.

I had to wait for 20 minutes outside the theatre, along with a sullen crowd mumbling in Telugu, while munching popcorn. Some server issue, something something.

I mention this, because there were times during the movie, when I felt I was better off waiting outside.

The father-son chemistry between Mahesh Babu and Sathyaraj will make you smile warmly inside, even if you don’t know the language.
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The two instances where the family splits into two groups, to conduct the wedding of Sita and Ram, oozes colloquial charm, nostalgia for tradition and familial bonhomie.

Mahesh Babu’s romance with Kajal Aggarwal hits all the right notes, though I felt I’ve seen it all before. And yet, the movie fails to take off.

It is pointless to judge a Telugu mass-masala family movie against pointers like logic, continuity, technique and other such criteria. Even Baahubali, for all of its grandeur, fails abysmally, when it comes to costumes.

My problem with Brahmotsavam is that it has no real characters. This is particularly telling because Tollywood trumps all, when it comes to creating a family of endearing characters. (Almost) all of the super-hit family movies of Tamil cinema are Telugu remakes.

Mahesh Babu still looks awesome, and somehow everything he does or says or doesn’t do or say on screen, looks good! He’s still got that boyish charm in his smile and you can believe he’s a twenty something when he walks smilingly towards the camera.

Thanks to the magic of star-power, no one including myself, realises that he’s been doing the same thing for over a decade now.

But a badly executed movie (aka Brahmotsavam) reminds me of this.

Mahesh Babu in <i>Brahmotsavam</i>. (Photo: YouTube Screengrab)
Mahesh Babu in Brahmotsavam. (Photo: YouTube Screengrab)

Revathi, who plays Sathyaraj’s wife, has barely a few lines and shares half the screen in Mahesh Babu’s climactic monologue, where even out of focus, and in the background, she delivers. Jayasudha, Saranya Ponnavan, Easwari Rao and Tulasi play the other matriarchs in the movie. Each of them is a powerhouse actor capable of holding a full length feature by themselves. So too, with Tanikella Bharani, Nasar and Naresh. None of them gets their due.

Srikanth Addala (direction, story) needs to take cues from one of the Avengers movies vis-à-vis assembling an ensemble.

Samantha Ruth Prabhu was endearing, despite the jarring lip sync flaws. But she appears magically in the second half, endears herself to the entire family, and makes Mahesh Babu fall in love with her all in a matter of minutes. She’s like someone’s sanskaari wet dream come to life.

The only two characters worth watching are Rao Ramesh and Kajal Aggarwal. Rao Ramesh’s burst of envious vitriol was a treat to watch and I was able to hate him all through the movie.

Kajal Aggarwal summed up my feelings perfectly with her break-up monologue where she says, ‘I see you’ve got a large family, but there’s no place for me in it.’

I expected more from the team that brought me Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu.

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