Critic’s Rating : 3.0 / 5
Sammathame Movie Review : Kiran Abbavaram shines in this rom-com with a message
Review: Gopinath Reddy’s Sammathame is nothing like the usual rom-coms when it comes to the bare bones. There’s your typical Tollywood hero who believes in strong-arming his lover to suit his wants and a typical girl-next-door who tells white lies to make her life easier. But a well-intentioned film like this that aims to turn a tried and tested trope on its head needed a little more heft and maybe less hurried discourse fit in the end.
It’s often said that love is unconditional but it seems like Krishna (Kiran Abbavaram) has never heard of the saying because his love is anything but that. He has a check-list of things he runs through in hopes of achieving his biggest goal in life – to get married. He even meets Saanvi (Chandini Chowdary) along this journey, a pampered, independent woman who is not looking to settle down really. She is anything but the paddathigala ammai he’s looking for. After their traditional meet-cute results in a not-so-traditional outcome, the two cross paths again and fall in love. But what happens when Krishna believes he needs to change this Satyabhama into a Radha in order to get married?
Krishna is every girl’s nightmare come true in a way. On the surface he might fit the prototype of what filmy boyfriends are – looks boy-next-door cute, will stand up for you and most importantly, wants to spend the rest of his life with you. In reality though, as the film progresses, you realise how suffocating these kind of people are, constantly moral policing you and judging you on aspects they sometimes don’t follow themselves, just because they have an idea of the person they want you to be. Saanvi can’t dress or behave as she likes, have friends of the opposite sex, and basically do anything he doesn’t deem is appropriate.
80s, 90s, and even some early 2000s cinema were filled with ‘heroes’ and ‘love stories’ like these. However, Gopinath turns it all on its head, ensuring Krishna is called out, self-aware and centring the story on this behaviour precisely. Where once upon a time men like these were (and sometimes still are) celebrated in cinema, our ‘hero’ gets the reality check he needs. The issue lies in the fact that for most of the film none of this happens.
Most of the film does play out like a 90s love story gone wrong and you’re struggling to know why Saanvi is even putting up with it. Some of the scenes even drag on. And when Krishna is finally brought to task, it’s done in a conversation or two, making it seem too little too late. The film might have been light-hearted but the conversations brought up at the end of the film maybe deserved a little more time. There also needed a little more accountability on Krishna’s part.
Kiran Abbavaram and Chandini Chowdary are adorable together. They play Krishna and Saanvi well – a couple who’re more than compatible physically if not mentally. While by the end of the film you still don’t understand what even draws them together, you do hope these two hopefully have a better future. Kiran in particular does such a good job, after a point you can’t help but feel exasperated whenever Krishna comes on-screen. Chandini fits well in her role as Saanvi. Sekhar Chandra’s music is a hit and miss, while few songs work, the BGM and rest of the songs don’t really impress. Sateesh Reddy’s cinematography also doesn’t have much to offer.
Give this film a watch this weekend if you’re Sammathame with a relatable, popcorn entertainer that is flawed and works the way it’s supposed to by the end.