Subramanyam For Sale has almost every cliché from ‘Telugu family-oriented’ commercial films. The ones you see in only 10-20 Telugu films. Every year.
- A ‘*something* star’ tag hero.
- A palatial house with a joint family. And family ‘values’.
- A big wedding. With song. With the population of a small island.
- Flashy and bright clothes. (Note to self: Bring sunglasses next time).
- Dance numbers. Including one where the heroine dances in a saree. At the Grand Canyon. (Who says cinema doesn’t take Indian culture abroad?)
- References (always plural) to Pawan Kalyan and Chiranjeevi.
- Brahmanandam. (The most omnipresent ‘Telugu thing’ after Gongura Pachadi.)
And despite this, Subramanyam For Sale is an enjoyable watch. Credit goes to director Harish Shankar, who packages the over-familiar so intelligently, that there’s no claustrophobia, no deja-vu. At all.
Seetha (Regina) escapes to the USA from her arranged marriage in India. Subramanyam (Sai Dharam Tej) is a happy-go-lucky guy who puts himself ‘on sale’. He’s ready to do any job for money. Anything legal, that is. What happens when these two meet is the plot of Subramanyam For Sale.
Now, certain things are only possible in Telugu cinema.
Like, an actor with two films in his kitty being introduced as ‘Supreme Hero’.
Sai Dharam Tej has yet to cover some ground in terms of heroic supremacy, but if this film is anything to go by, it’s not as ludicrous as it sounds. The actor has marvellous screen presence. And all the necessary skills when it comes to performance, stunts, and dance. He has everything he needs to become a commercially bankable actor in the future. He is a live wire, reminiscent of Tollywood’s Ranveer Singh.
Regina is well-liked in Tollywood, and for a reason. With every film, she seems to raise the bar for her performance. She packs a stylish punch in scene after scene, and effortlessly nails the charged emotional sequences.
In fact, the biggest highlight of the film is the sparkling chemistry between the two leads.
It’s that, more than anything else, which creates a sustained lively mood in the film.
Unfortunately, the remaining cast plays redundant over-familiar roles. Suman as the strong willed Pedda Naana, Ajay as the hot headed villain who can do nothing right, Brahmanandam as the omnipresent comic relief, Tejaswi Madivada as the heroine’s sister. Nothing new there. Songs spring up at the right time. And the rehashed version of ‘Guvva Gorinkatho’ (from Chiranjeevi’s Khaidi No 786) is catchy enough, that you find yourself humming it you will find yourself humming on your way out of the movie. (And it’s set in the aforementioned Grand Canyon scene.)
The makers of Subramanyam For Sale have woven a familiar theme. Stitched together the stock characters, dance numbers, and action sequences into a thick blanket. And somehow, instead of feeling stuffy, it comforts the audience. They overlook the clichés, because at the end, there’s a warm and happy feeling. Subramanyam For Sale is like one of those retail sale shops where you know the shop will loot you by selling old stock. But you end up walking out of the store with huge shopping bags. And a sheepish guilt-ridden smile.
The Subramanyam For Sale Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.