Aravindha Sametha movie cast: Jr NTR, Pooja Hegde, Naga Babu, Jagapati Babu
Aravindha Sametha movie director: Trivikram Srinivas
Aravindha Sametha movie rating: 3 stars
During a promotional event for Aravindha Sametha, actor Jr NTR said that he waited for 12 years to work with director Trivikram Srinivas. And finally the actor-director duo started working together on the film, and when it was still in production, Tarak lost his father Nandamuri Harikrishna in a road accident. “I so wish he were alive to watch Aravindha Sametha,” Jr NTR rued feeling emotionally overwhelmed. It is a tragic coincidence that this movie begins with the death of the hero’s father. We could only imagine how emotionally taxing it would be for Tarak watching certain scenes in his movie in the light of his unfortunate loss.
A few minutes into the movie, Veera Raghava (Jr NTR) arrives in a train at his native, where violence has become a way of life. The train is stopped far away from the station anticipating an attack on him from the rival group-led by Obaa (Jagapati Babu). Obaa is consumed by blind rage and vengeance against Veera’s father Narappa Reddy (Naga Babu). The rivalry between the two gangs began about 30 years ago over a gamble gone sour. The source of the bottomless vengeance that has cost lives for at least three generations is Rs 5. Obaa was short of Rs 5 to settle the money he lost in the gamble. His playmate runs his mouth and gets beheaded. The incident leads to a series of killings and the enmity grows stronger as Obaa and Narappa slaughter each other’s father.
Veera’s convoy is waylaid by Obaa’s men, who begin to butcher Narappa’s gang. Before Veera could understand what’s happening, his father gets shot in the face and immediately dies. A shocked Veera comes back to senses when he gets stabbed in the back. In the heat of the moment, he takes a broken sickle and begins to slay his rivals. The place turns into a slaughterhouse with the pilling body count.
Trivikram doubles down on the violence in the opening fight scene. Bombs explode, boulders fly, windshields shatter and blood spurts from wounded body parts. And the bloodbath ends with the death of a significant character. ‘Now, what?’ is the question that first comes to the mind. Obviously, the film slips into a deep mourning.
Veera goes away from his village in a personal quest to find answers for his questions. He could see that there is no point in violence, but he can’t help it. His first response to any problem is to roll up his sleeves and fight. He begins to change when Aravindha (Pooja Hegde) tells him that anybody can start a war but only a brave person can put an end to it. “Be humble, what will you lose?,” she asks him making him reevaluate his life.
Aravindha is Pooja’s plum role that allows her to capitalize on her strengths. She is instantly likable, cheeky and repeatedly shows she is more than just a pretty face by helping Veera’s transformation. Jagapati Babu outshines others by bringing his own element to an unremorseful villain that loathes anyone that challenges the status-quo. Even his own son (played by Naveen Chandra) is not allowed to move forward. Even as he appears only in a few scenes, Naveen manages to make an impression, thanks to Trivikram’s efforts to add more depth to each scene.
Tarak plays his role with a notable maturity that is gained through many films over the course of 18 years. He gives a strong performance when he breaks down following the death of his father.
The best stretch of Trivikram’s writing comes towards the climax. He strips Veera of his power to kill and puts him in a very difficult situation. The hero is rendered helpless as he is forced to choose between peace and violence in a life or death situation.
The problem with Aravindha Sametha, however, is it gets too preachy and heavy-handed. Especially, before the film cuts to the end credits, where Trivikram explains a social experiment conducted by Veera to further stress on the value of life. Even as I have my reservations, I was happy with Trivikram’s ending for playing up the hero’s vulnerability and making him feel helpless. Veera, as a character puts it, is just a torchbearer of an idea. But, he alone cannot be the solution for all the problems.