‘Pelli SandaD’ movie review: Done and dusted old school romance

With a wafer-thin plot and an outdated storyline, ‘Pelli SandaD’ has little going for it

Twenty-five years since director K Raghavendra Rao’s Pelli Sandhadi (1996) rocked the box office, Gowri Ronanki wields the megaphone to pay a musical tribute to that film with the veteran director making his acting debut along with debutant Roshan Srikanth and Sree Leela in the lead roles. You can’t miss the trademark scenes of fruits and flowers thrown at the heroine’s navel, this time with water sprinklers as well. There the similarity ends, though it is still old wine in a new bottle.Pelli SandhaD

  • Cast: Roshan, Sree Leela
  • Direction: Gowri Ronanki
  • Music: M M Keeravani

Filmmaker Maya (Shivani Rajashekar) aspires to make a biopic on Dhyanchand awardee and veteran basketball player Vasishta (Raghavendra Rao). She even threatens suicide if her dream isn’t fulfilled and sends her father (Rajendra Prasad) to speak to Vasishta. Never mind why she can’t approach Vasishta herself. Both the men go for a long walk when Vasishta narrates his story. What emerges is only a love story and nothing about the sport.

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In the flashback, young Vasista (Roshan) meets Sahasra (Sree Leela) at a wedding and it is love at first sight for both. However, their relationship bears the brunt of a decision taken by Sahasra’s sister as Sahasra promises her father (Prakash Raj) that she will marry a man of his choice and not bring ignominy to the family, like her sister. Her father sets up her alliance with her dimwit cousin (Vennela Kishore). Can Vasista stop the wedding?

There are no highs and lows even as the hero is blinded by the chalk powder thrown by the opponent team in a penultimate match. Nearly set to lose the match, he suddenly washes his face with water and goes on to save the team. Utterly predictable climax.

There’s not much to recommend in this silly and outdated move, neither an engaging story nor interesting narration. Does the director presume that a wafer-thin plot with an archaic screenplay will draw audiences of today to the theatre? There are umpteen juvenile jokes and over-the-top acting by an ensemble cast that also includes Rao Ramesh, Shakalaka Shankar, Pragathi, Hema and Raghu Babu.

The roles of Prakash Raj and Rao Ramesh suffer due to a poorly written script. Roshan and Sree Leela look fresh and effervescent but struggle to strike chemistry. Given a good story, they are sure to shine.

It is a Manmohan Desai style of ending with a battle between the divine and the evil where a young, small-built Roshan has a showdown with big-bodied men amidst spears, colour and a Hanuman idol. The film can be touted as a costly showreel for Roshan and Sree Leela.

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