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Samudram - A review
J Pulla Rao
Sri Balaji Art Creations
Jeevi Rating: 4/5
Jeevi Rating
4/5 (Four on a scale of five)
Jagapathi Babu, Saakshi Sivanand, Tanikella Bharani, Sri Hari, Prakash Raj, Sivaji Raja and Ravi Teja.
Photography: Bhupathi
Music: Sashi Preetam
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Krishna Vamsi
Theatrical Release Date
22nd October 1999
Story Line
This film is about an innocent person called Sagar, who is implicated and framed for a murder done by somebody else. Being a normal and common man, how Sagar would react and what will happen? (Source: An Interview with Krishna Vamsi)

Sagar (Jagapathi Babu) is a fun loving guy. His family consists of a mother, a sister and cute kids in his gully. Enter the bumping babe Rajya Laxmi! (Saakshi Sivanand). She bumps into Sagar with a cycle first. Later on she graduates to a kinetic Honda. Then to a Honda Car. As the bumping vehicle of Rajya Laxmi gets promoted, the love between Sagar and Saakshi blossoms. One fine day Rajya Laxmi rolls onto Sagar by calling him a 'Boppas Kai'. Then the family of Sagar meets the family of Rajya Laxmi to fix up the match. Sagar's sister too gets engaged to a guy.

There is a parallel story running along with the Sagar's love story. Chepala Krishna (Tanikella Bharani) is a noted smuggler in Vizag. Chepala Nani (Ravi Teja) is his younger brother. Both of them rule the rowdy world in the steel city. Chepala Krishna has an ambition of a life time. He wants to become an MLA.

Krishnam Raju (Sivaji Raja) is the S.I. Of police for that area. Enter the C.I. of police Sri Hari!! (Sri Hari) He is the most dreaded and honest Police Officer. With the help of Krishnam Raju he gets to know about all the criminals in that area and Chepala Krishna tops the most wanted criminals list.

When Chepala Krishna is about to file his nominations for the post of an MLA, he gets arrested by Sri Hari. Sri Hari makes sure that Chepala Krishna would not go to assembly by booking him as a rowdy sheeter. Since Chepala Krishna has a criminal case against him, he cannot contest in the elections.

One fine day a stranger tips off Sri Hari that Chepala Nani is doing smuggling at a particular place. Sri Hari spots Nani and starts chasing him with the help of Krishnam Raju. Sister of Sagar marriage arrangements are going in a full swing. Sagar goes to bazaar to buy something. As the chase gang (Nani, Sri Hari and Krishnam Raju) enters a gully, Nani shoots Sri Hari with a country revolver. From the back side Krishnam Raju finishes Sri Hari with his police revolver. Sagar enters the scene and try to rescue Sri Hari only to get caught and implicated in the murder case of Sri Hari by Krishnam Raju.

Chepala Krishna takes all the precautions to make sure that Sagar is sentenced for his life. All this story is shown as a flash back in the first half as the dejected Sagar, sitting in a cell, ponders about his good old days.


Nukaraju (Prakash Raj) is a humble constable, who is transferred to the Chepala Krishna's area. He is an avid admirer of late Sri Hari. Sagar's mother gets hospitalized when she resists Chepala Nani who tried to rape the sister of Sagar. Nukaraju is on the duty to accompany Sagar to the hospital to visit Sagar's mom. There Sagar gives Nukaraju a slip and escapes from the hospital.

We have three targets (Chepala Krishna, Chepala Nani and Krishnam Raju) for Sagar. It's certain that Sagar, being a hero in the film, would take revenge! If you want to know how Sagar proves his innocence and gets exonerated from the implicated case, you must watch this hard hitting exhilarating film on a tinsel screen with DTS effect.


Jagapathi Babu:
Jagapathi is given a role that demands lot of emoting. He has to show his vulnerability (that of a naive citizen of India) and an unstoppable machoism (when he is set to take revenge over the villains) for this role of Sagar. He did 100% justice to his role.
Saakshi Sivanand: She is used as glamour doll in this film. She did add glitter and gloss to the love part of this film.
Tanikella Bharani: This is a role that is never done before by any other artist so far. All the expressions by him do have a hard hitting impact over the audience whatever the form he choose to express, either by blabbering or by mutely emoting.
Sri Hari: Sri Hari seems to be going strength to strength from film to film. After watching him in this role, one cannot imagine any other actor doing the same role with the same impact. His dialogue delivery and the voice modulation is simply superb.
Prakash Raj: Prakash Raj, best known for evil minded roles, is given a role of a humble and innocent constable. He did his act with such a precision that the viewers have two feelings at a time watching him doing a few scenes. At one end we would be laughing at his innocence and at the other end we would be crying for his kindheartedness. Its not an easy task to evoke two contradictory emotions in the hearts of viewers at the same time by doing a synchronizing act between the rapid dialogue delivery and the dynamic change of facial expressions.
Sivaji Raja: Sivaji Raja dons a role, which he would have never done otherwise. He did a role of a materialistic SI of police. We have a preconceived image of a cine evil cop, who never fears to do evil acts. But this role is something different. When Sivaji raja shoots Sri Hari, he shivers like a leaf with fear.
Ravi Teja: This time, Ravi Teja dons the role of villain for a change. But this character has some softness attached to it. His dialogue delivery is very spontaneous and is a treat our ears.

Direction and Screenplay: Each and every shot in this film is meticulously executed. All the scenes leave an impact on the viewers. Shot making is very good. But story telling seems to have gone a little out of hand in the second half. Screenplay is excellent. But the editing in the second half has a few shortcomings. As a symbolism 'samudram' is shown lot of times in between scenes. Even though the 'samudram' is shown in-between various scenes in this film, each time the same samudram reflect the moods and the emotions of of those particular scenes. Characterization is done with utmost care.

Photography: S K Bhupathi, the regular camera man for Krishna Vamsi, did some spectacular work for this film. Camera movement in this film is very different from the regular stuff.

Music: Sashi Preetam paired up with Krishna Vamsi after Gulabi. Very good songs coupled with excellent DTs re-recording enriches the quality of this film.

Songs: Songs are too good to watch on the silver screen. The exotic 'Laila O', the extraordinary 'Sonie Sonie', the euphoric 'Hoop Hoop', the exuberant 'Muddula Muthyame' and the ebullient 'Deo Deo' ..... all these songs have a right blend of music, choreography, photography, lyrics and the creativity of the director. A performance worth mentioning is that of sensuous Raasi in 'Muddula Muthyame'.

Producer: Producers seems to have given a free hand to Krishna Vamsi in this film making. This film looks real glossy with rich technical values. A brave rewarding effort by the producers, indeed.
First half of the film is excellent and would appeal to all the sections of people. Second half is not as good as the first half. Though this film looks very real, there are a few glitches in the second half which we do not expect from a director of krishna Vamsi caliber. When Sagar escapes from the police custody, he would be traveling in Tata safari with gay abandon. There would be no police to catch him. The obnoxious villain Chepala Krisha would be fearing about Sagar (who is supposed to be a guy-next-door sort of character) and seeking solace in a hideout. There is no suspense in the film reserved for the climax. The concept of an implicated hero escaping from the custody and taking revenge on the villain is an oft repeated theme in telugu films (Gang Leader to name one). Telugu viewers got used to nail biting climax (with lot of suspense) these days. In this film the climax is revealed much before the end of the film when Sagar escapes from the custody. One highlight of this film is the climax that is set on the backdrop of a Vizag jatara (a la Calcutta's Durgapooja in Choodalani Undi, Mumbai's Ganesh Immersion in Satya). One more positive aspect of this film is that there is only one person dies in the entire film (Sri Hari, that is). A best recommended film for those all movie buffs who want to experience the nuances of shot making. We have to wait and see how the telugu viewers script the box office future of this hard hitting sensible film.
As we come out of the theater after watching 'Samudram', we have a daunting question unanswered in our mind. Why did saakshi calls Jagapathi 'Boppas Kai'?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>End of Samudram Review
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