Sammohanam movie Review
A cartoonist, who detests films and movie stars, finds himself in an awkward situation when he falls in love with a film actress. On the surface, the storyline of Indraganti Mohana Krishna's 'Sammohanam' is as stereotypical as love stories go. A guy who hates cinema meets a superstar and falls for her. Despite being a big star, the woman’s real side is shown, sans make-up and starry airs. And our hero has complete access to her. Just when you think a romance is brewing, it all comes crashing down. But in Sammohanam, the lines between reality and fantasy are often blurred - and much like the lead pair's romance, a promising entertainer comes crashing down.
Vijay (Sudheer Babu) is a cartoonist who sketches for children’s books. He looks down upon cinema and thinks it’s a fake world with fake people in it, and constantly argues with his father (Naresh), whose lifelong dream is to act in films. As fate would have it, shooting for a major film takes place in their house. The lead actress Sameera (Aditi Rao Hydari) is one of the biggest superstars in the industry, but she has a weakness - she can’t speak Telugu. Sameera requests Vijay to help coach her in Telugu, and by the time the shoot is complete, he falls for her. But falling in love with a superstar isn't always easy, and Vijay soon realises that he may not be getting the happy ending he had dreamt of.
Interestingly, despite the characterisation of the two, Vijay comes across as the egoistic man who thinks it's beneath him to talk to people from the cinema and a guy who can't take no for an answer, while the superstar Sameera is shown as a simple, vulnerable woman with no starry airs at all.
Picture this, one of the biggest stars of the industry is shooting the protagonists' house. The guy, who looks at film stars with disdain, mocks her for her dialogue delivery in Telugu. Instead of being upset, she invites him into her caravan and requests him to teach her Telugu. She then stays back at their house to eat his mother's food, goes on bike rides with him, without caring about being recognised (In fairness, she does put on a hoodie, but it obviously doesn't work). When the shooting is done and the unit moves from Vijay's house to an outdoor location in the himalayas, our hero manages to travel by himself all the way to the exact shoot location to meet the crew (despite not being in touch with any of them). From there on, it just gets farcical.
But the real problem with 'Sammohanam' lies in its predictability. Right from the first scene when Sameera invites Vijay into her caravan and she gets a troubled phone call, you know something is brewing which we will only come to know later. And when the story behind that is finally revealed, it's underwhelming (to put it mildly).
But in a film full of cliches, Sammohanam has its moments of magic. Actor Naresh, who plays Sudheer Babu's father, steals the show with his fabulous comic timing. In fact, every scene that he is a part up is hilarious and he single-handedly makes this a watchable film. As does Pavithra Lokesh as Vijay's mother, who lights up the screen with a terrific performance. Sudheer Babu is understated yet effective, but it's Aditi who surprises with an impressive start to her Telugu career. But when you have such good performances (ably supported by the ever reliable Tanikella Bharani and the extremely witty Rahul Ramakrishna), you can't help but feel let down by a story, which is insipid and uninspiring.
The flashes of brilliance are overshadowed by a predictable storyline and by the time the climax is over, the only feeling you're left with is one of disappointment.