May 29, 2024

INDIA TAAZA KHABAR

SABSE BADA NEWS

SRIKANTH: A film not to be missed

5 min read

By

Sharada Iyer

Seldom does one come across a film that touches our soul and makes us smile, laugh, cry, get inspired and at the same time make our viewing experience thoroughly enjoyable and memorable! Actor Rajkummar Rao’s recent release Srikanth is one such heart-warming film and a must-watch for everyone. The film traces the incredible journey of the visually impaired industrialist Shrikanth Bolla, who was born blind to a farmer couple in a village in Andhra Pradesh, but goes on to establish Bollant Industries– a company which produces eco-friendly Kraft paper from recycled municipal waste with focus on sustainability. The film leaves us speechless.  

Rajkummar Rao with Srikanth Bolla

The journey of Srikanth when it unravels on screen is extraordinary in every which way, and the obstacles he faces at every step tears our heart and yet this boy goes ahead in life turning every challenge into an opportunity to carve a path never seen or heard before. He always dreams big and wants to do anything which people feel he cannot do. There is a beautiful dialogue which he says when he grows up- ‘Main sapne hi toh dekh sakta hoon aur woh main zaroor dekhoonga’ (Dreams are the only things I can see and I will definitely see them). A very interesting point indeed because an idea or a dream is after all nothing but a vision for which one does not necessarily need eyesight.

True to the tagline of the film which says- ‘Aa Raha Hai Sabki Aankhen Kholne’ (He is coming to open everybody’s eyes), the film is indeed an eye-opener as to what all a person can achieve through sheer will-power, dedication, perseverance, and a capacity to dream big and turn that dream into reality. It focuses on the irony that while people surrounding him who have eyesight can see only problems, he is so clear about his vision. Against everybody’s expectations, this blind boy charted his own destiny by carving his own path by not giving up at any step in life.

Born in 1992, he is named Srikanth by his father after his cricketing idol Srikanth, and feels that one day his son will play cricket like his idol. But minutes later when he comes to know that his precious child has been denied the gift of sight by The Almighty, his world comes crumbling down. One can feel their emotions in those scenes and the director has captured them so well that everyone in the audience can feel it. The actors who play his parents are so natural in their roles and their brilliance shines through in all the scenes.

The aged neighbours advice the young couple to dump the child but what do they decide and how do they go about their life with their little one? The narrative is engaging and moves ahead at a good pace and in no time, we become an intrinsic part of Srikanth’s journey emotionally and mentally and the roller-coaster ride takes us through a gamut of emotions and incidents. As I watched the film without reading anything about how the story unravels, I do not wish to spoil the fun for my readers as well. So I am not disclosing any details of the narrative. The movie must be seen in cinema halls not because there are any spectacular VFX or fight sequences but to applaud this man’s remarkable life.

The best part about the film is the superb acting by Rajkummar Rao. Known for his incredible talent right from his first film, he has been part of some superb films and given excellent performances. Here he captures the spirit of Srikanth Bolla so beautifully and owns the character so thoroughly that one could mistake him to be the real-life Srikanth himself and therein lies the actor’s genius. He has imbibed every nuance and every gesture of a blind person which makes his acting very believable. He carries the film on his shoulders and it is a delight to watch him play this role.

Lending him excellent support are two great artistes- Jyothika and Sharad Kelkar who lend him unflinching support and are also perfectly cast in their respective parts. Jyothika plays his teacher and Sharad the buisnessman who helps Srikanth by believing in him. Alaya F has only a brief role as his friend but she lights up the screen when she comes and fits the role. The actor Jameel Khan who plays President Abdul Kalam is also convincing. The dialogues are good and the old song ‘Papa kehte hain bada naam karega…’ keeps playing in the background. Hearing Udit Narayan’s melodious voice on big screen after ages transports us back to an era when film music was far more melodious and enjoyable than what it is today. Other songs are okay.

The director Tushar Hiranandani has done a commendable job. For the film, how much of the scenario shown has been dramatized and how much has been added or deleted from his real-life, we may not know but what shines through is the will-power of this man and that deserves an applause. The film also throws light on the shortcomings in the Indian education system at that time for blind students. In the end there are pictures showing the real-life and reel-life character together and it was a touching moment!

Like last year’s inspiring film 12th Fail, this too will depend on word-of-mouth publicity and for sure the box-office collections will keep increasing slowly but steadily.

A brief note:

The real-life Srikanth is only 32 years old today and has had the good fortune of meeting former Indian President A P J Abdul Kalam who was a major influence in his life. Once when the President had visited his school, he had been in the 9th standard and on being asked what he wanted to become in life, Srikanth unhesitatingly replied that he wanted to become India’s first visually challenged President and impressed with the boy’s confidence, Kalam Sir offers him words of encouragement.

In the end we are told that even though Srikanth is a successful businessman today, somewhere in the corner of his mind, he still nurtures that dream of becoming the President one day. For someone who has always dared to dream the impossible, there is every possibility of him achieving this too! But that would be material for another film probably titled Srikanth: Part2… For now do go and watch this film and be part of his exhilarating journey!

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