Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu’s Sarkaru Vaari Paata is a quintessential entertainer that caters to the masses. The film’s director Parasuram has packaged the film with light-hearted comedy scenes, punchy dialogues, enjoyable songs, and a social message. But the treatment is a tried and tested one.
Mahesh (Mahesh Babu) runs a financial company in the US but his childhood has not been a bed of roses. His dad and mom commit suicide after they can’t repay a loan amount from a government bank. As a young boy, Mahesh is overcome by this realisation that those who do not have debt are strong people and those who lend money and recover it are even more powerful.
Parasuram begins the film with an impactful flashback. Cut to the present, Mahesh is leading a colourful life in the US and has this obsessive trait of travelling anywhere in the world to get back his money.
Mahesh falls head over heels in love with Kalaavathi (Keerthy Suresh), who approaches him posing as an orthodox Indian woman who needs to clear a debt of 10,000$. But, she actually wants it for gambling. After Mahesh realises Kalaavathi’s real face, he wants his money back. However, Kalaavathi, a spoiled rich brat turns to her multi-millionaire dad Rajendranath (Samuthirakani) for help and drives Mahesh away.
Mahesh now travels all the way to Vizag from the US to get back his 10,000$ with interest! But, Mahesh shocks everyone when he tells the media that Rajendranath owes him ₹10,000 crore rupees. Can he get back his money from the powerful and notorious Rajendranath and what is this ₹10,000 crore debt angle? The second half of the film has the answers.
The first half of Sarkaru Vaari Paata is largely the engaging part of the film mainly due to the enjoyable, light-hearted romantic track between Mahesh Babu and Keerthy Suresh. Both look beautiful on the big screen and the chemistry between them brings the roof down. After the intermission, the movie moves into the all-too-familiar route of the powerful hero battling with an influential villain, playing the usual cat and mouse game.
In this commercial film, the director, Parasuram, has tried to weave in the message that banks can be ruthless when they have to collect EMIs from middle-class Indian citizens but seem to give a free hand to big, greedy industrialists. While Parasuram wins big in the first half (his previous romantic entertainer Geetha Govindam was enjoyable), the action-packed and message-driven second half is just passable. Most of the scenes post-intermission are predictable but thankfully, Mahesh’s mass screen presence and effortless comedy scenes keep us engaged.
Samuthirakani as Rajendranath is the usual egoistic Telugu villain, who repents in the climax for all the wrong he has done. He seems to be the new Prakash Raj for Tollywood. Besides Mahesh, Keerthy, and Samuthirakani, most of the other characters in the film are forgettable.
Thaman’s songs are thoroughly enjoyable, especially the melodious Kalaavathi and the foot-tapping Maheshaa, which creates a festival vibe in theatres. But the background score is not memorable at all. Madhie’s visuals look glossy, editing by Marthand K Venkatesh is adequate but the action choreography by Ram Lakshman is not up to the mark.
Overall, Sarkaru Vaari Paata is Mahesh Babu’s one-man show, he single-handedly carries off this tried-and-tested commercial entertainer on his broad shoulders.