Nutshell Ramble

A comedy of errors which is less comedy and more errors.

OVERALL SCORE – 2/5

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Full Ramble

Sundaranga Jaana is a 2016 comedy directed by Ramesh Aravind, written by Maruti Desai and Ramesh Aravind and stars Ganesh, Shanvi Srivastava, Rangayana Raghu, Devraj and a host of other character actors. The film attempts to portray the issues a man, with a specific weakness, faces on a day-to-day basis.

Sundaranga Jaana is a film right up Ramesh Aravind’s alley but for some reason fails to engage the audience. The film has a few chuckle-worthy moments and fewer laugh out loud moments but where it fails is when it can’t keep up a consistent tone. The film’s main plot element is an interesting spin on a concept which has been previously used. The failure to make the concept shine can be attributed to the lackluster screenplay and character moments. The film commits a cardinal sin in my book with the lead actress. Equating women to children is something I will never be okay with and I will explain why I find that repulsive in an essay I’m currently working on.

The film fails to go all out with the material it has by adding contrived scenes one after the other. The emotions coming out of the scenes never carry through to the audience and this undermines some of the heavier moments which come up by the end of the film. Devraj has one of the most inconsistent characters in recent memory. His character introduction and motivations do not match the actions he finds himself doing throughout the film.

Ganesh tries his best throughout the film to appear endearing and sympathetic but the failure to translate that to the audience can be attributed to either the material letting him down or the material being let down by the actor. The basic argument which says One needs to view this as a film which doesn’t take itself too seriously is a valid one. It clearly does not. But any film needs something in it that an audience can connect to and this film throws out a line to the audience and just as quickly pulls it back. That makes it harder to form a genuine connection to the characters and the plot in general.

The film does, however, have some moments have inspired direction. The sound design, for example, is done much better than most films I’ve seen this year. It makes full use of the surround sound it is afforded and it is a treat for any audience member who has an ear for deft touches like that. There are a handful of creatively shot scenes and expertly edited moments of comedy. All that however cannot save a film which stumbles out of the starting gates. It draws a line in the sand with its rules and ends up being a victim of that constraint.

Ramesh Aravind is a gifted director. His earlier comedic work which Rama Shama Bhama and Satyavan Savitri are some of my personal favorites to re-watch. The range he had shown, while directing Uttama Villain, to elevate a sub-par script was commendable. This, however, is not his best work. It might be a slight slip in his directorial career but it still does make for a brisk, enjoyable film.

OVERALL SCORE – 2/5

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