Film: Narthanasala; Director: Srinivas Chakravarthy; Cast: Naga Shourya, Shivaji Raja, Yamini Bhaskar, Sathyam Rajesh.
Touted to be a ‘predictable hit’, the makers of ‘Narthanasala (2018)’ attempted to narrate a loosely-knit romance-comedy story that is neither compelling nor entertaining.
Unlike his previous outings such as ‘Chalo’, ‘Ammamgarillu’ and ‘Kanam’, Naga Shourya here plays a gay and a hardcore feminist, who is out to protect and empower women.
In his journey to be a good guy and protect women, Shourya imparts training to women in martial arts as part of self-defence as well as dance. Every now and then, he tries to save women from eve-teasers and becomes a hero among the girls. He is entrusted to save a girl who has been emotionally abused by her boyfriend (Sathyam Rajesh). After a few sordid experiences and injustice meted out to her, the girl decides to renounce her life and serve people by becoming a nun. However, after being rescued from the clutches of the abused relationship, she falls for Shourya. Subsequently, our hero’s father (Shivaji Raja) takes the marriage proposal with her uncle Jayaprakash Reddy.
But the story has a twist here, Jayaprakash mistakenly assumes that Shourya is in love with his daughter (Yamini Bhaskar). Now, all hell breaks loose when Reddy comes to know that the hero is in love with his niece and not daughter. To avoid further skirmishes, Shourya presents himself as gay after being rejected by Reddy but only to land in another trouble with Reddy’s son (Ajay). Ajay, who is also gay, tries to shelter Shourya and dreams of marrying him. This is the rest of the story.
With screen-writing that often borders on boredom and unrealistic scenes, the story has nothing to convey as sluggish screenplay and routine dialogues make the audience impatient. Shourya tries his best to give life to his role. Viva Raghav appears good as a supporting character for the hero, with good timing.
For second lead actress Yamini Bhaskar, there is not much screen space for her in the movie as her role is limited. Although the visuals and locations in the songs are attractive with cinematography, they appear to be out of sync with the story. Adopting the title of NT Rama Rao’s mythological classic – ‘Narthanasala’, the current flick fails to strike a chord by any standards.
Other characters include Rocket Raghava, Sudha, Gemini Suresh, Uttej, Padma Jayanthi, Tirupathi Prakash and others.