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Review: Rajkummar Rao hits the bull's eye with his eponymous role in 'Srikanth'- a well-crafted tale of glory

'Srikanth' is a beautifully narrated story of a Srikanth Bolla, but not the one you know as a remarkable visually-impaired entrepreneur but the one who made it here because he wanted to show the world that 'Sri-can'.

Srikanth review
Srikanth Review

Filmmaker Tushar Hiranandani has managed to hit a bull's eye with his previous works -both biopics, 'Saand Ki Aankh' and then the path-breaking show 'Scam 1992'. Well, he is still heading strong with the same genre and this time, he comes with the story of Srikanth Bolla, a visually impaired entrepreneur whose story is much more than inspiring. Playing the role of Jr. Bolla in the film 'Srikanth' is Rajkummar Rao, again a name who can seldom make things go wrong. Having had the chance to watch this film, here's what I feel about it.

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Source: Screengrab from Srikanth trailer - Youtube

The ingredients to create a good biopic are usually limited because you have to work under a framework, use the tropes following a known story and keep the characters rooted to their originality. Still, if done rightly, we can get a good product that feels valid for Srikanth. While we have heard about the man, we don't know his journey, and what's shown here is a step-to-step journey in the making, breaking and re-builing of Srikanth Bolla. The run-time may feel a bit problematic, with some loopholes here and there, but the essence of the story remains fresh throughout, making you feel for the character as well as the story. From Srikanth Bolla's birth in a small village in South India as the first sequence to his parents' reluctance to admit that he is blind and will survive in this world to the quick realization of still bringing him up, tells a lot about the unfolding of this inspiring tale. 

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Source: Screengrab from Srikanth trailer - Youtube

Slowly and steadily, as things unfold with Sri, he keeps climbing the ladder of success with a few hurdles here and there, making you feel that his story is too good to be true. With Jyothika as his teacher, who stands tall in his journey throughout, it feels like Srikanth can do just anything and everything, and while it's all sugary, it's shown with precision and conviction. Small chapters of his life like the speech in his blind school, the court case to let visually impaired students pursue science, the dialogue with the judge and the college's principal, the whole airport sequence as he sets to take off for MIT, where he engages in a banter with the flight officer, makes Srikanth the hero of his life metaphorically and literally. 

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Source: Screengrab from Srikanth trailer - Youtube

The second half of the film takes a more entrepreneurial turn, introducing real conflicts and breaking the walls of the 'fairytale' story. Challenges enter, and Srikanth meets his alter ego—the so-called villain of the film. The 'aatma nirbhar' side of Srikanth is evoked as he comes back from the States and wishes to start a business of his own where he can offer job opportunities to other people with disabilities. Joining hands with Sri is Ravi Mantha (Sharad Kelkar) who together embark on a visionary project with Bollant Industries. This is actually the poignant part of the film when Srikanth feels successful but insecure. Voices like 'tum bhagwan ho' 'tum humare hero ho' 'tum chaho toh kya nahi kar sakte' plays in Srikanth's head and here he meets his alter ego. Not to forget, there is a romantic angle between Swati (Alaya F) and Srikanth, which I feel is an unnecessary ingredient in this story, but it doesn't really mess up the overall product.

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Source: Screengrab from Srikanth trailer - Youtube

Rajkummar Rao's portrayal of Srikanth is commendable. It's not easy to depict a visually impaired person, but Raj does it with sheer elegance and grace. Keeping his eyes closed yet moving with a vision so strong requires a lot, and Raj brings that to the script. Whether in emotional scenes or moments of wit where he cracks a joke, you feel the person, the emotion, and his journey. Rajkummar Rao just keeps adding feathers to his cap, and with this role he yet again proves his mettle. 

In his climactic speech, Srikanth Bolla emphasizes that it's not solely him or his efforts that brought him to where he is, but the collective support of individuals like Devika, Swati, and Ravi. This sentiment resonates deeply throughout the story, particularly with Jyothika and Sharad, who provide the platform for Rajkummar to shine. Playing the role of Devika, Jyothika infuses the narrative with warmth and affection. Her portrayal is characterized by kindness, grace, and above all, authenticity. Sharad Kelkar, portraying Ravi Mantha, epitomizes the ideal business partner one yearns for. His performance exudes resilience and patience, delivered with a gentle yet precise touch. Alaya, in her portrayal of Swati, embodies bubbliness, friendship, and admiration with finesse.

The casting and role of Srikanth's parents is yet another smart move by the makers. Neither do they glamorize them even though Srikanth has a sparkly life out there, nor do they take away the spotlight from them completely by offering them the necessary screen presence with utmost authenticity. 

The Verdict

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Source: Screengrab from Srikanth trailer - Youtube

So witness the magical and inspiring journey of Srikanth Bolla in theatres, which is presented beautifully, highlighting the poignant chapters of his life, his rise, his fall, and most importantly, his visionary world. 

Rating

****(4/5) stars

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Sharad Kelkar Thumbnail

Sharad Kelkar

Rajkummar Rao Thumbnail

Rajkummar Rao

Alaya Furniturewalla Thumbnail

Alaya Furniturewalla

Jyotika Thumbnail

Jyotika

Srikanth - Aa Raha Hai Sabki Aankhein Kholne poster

Srikanth - Aa Raha Hai Sabki Aankhein Kholne

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