Sita movie review: Kajal Aggarwal tries her best to elevate a film that has no clue how boring it is
Kajal Aggarwal's Sita is plain annoying on so many levels and extremely self-absorbed with its setting.
To call Teja’s latest film, Sita, a modern adaptation of the Ramayana would be a grave crime. It’s nowhere related to the epic, because Teja finds plenty of ‘inspiration’ in Barry Levinson’s Rain Man, the 1988 Hollywood film starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman. In the Telugu version, the brothers of Rain Man are replaced by bava-maradalu, who are at odds with each other. No, wait. It’s a film by Teja. Nothing can be that simple. So, the bava in the on-screen Sita is as nice as Rama, who waits all his life for her, while the maradalu in her is often addressed as Soorpanaka because she shows no empathy. This twist to the characters, which are deemed too sacrosanct, might have seemed like a ballsy move, but Sita is anything but a bold film. It’s plain annoying on so many levels and it’s so self-absorbed with its setting that it doesn’t realise the train derailed a long time ago.
The film has Kajal Aggarwal playing Sita Mahalakshmi, a cut-throat businesswoman, who is quite ambitious. When one of her projects hits a roadblock, she seeks the help of a local MLA, Basavaraju (Sonu Sood). In turn, Basava proposes that instead of money, he would rather get married to Sita. When she turns him down, the two decide to enter a live-in relationship. There is, however, a twist in the tale. With all doors closing for Sita, she must find her Ram (Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas), who will rise up to Basavaraju’s sadistic behaviour.
The opening act of Sita is its best written segment and Aggarwal springs a big surprise with her performance. She nails the arrogance and attitude that her role demands and holds your attention instantly. When things go terribly wrong for her, she has a meltdown and once again, the actress does a fine job to show her frustration. Her screen presence and performance alone is like an island floating in a sea of stupidity. Perhaps, Teja focused way too much on building Sita’s characterisation and giving her a strong reason to live life her way, but the same can’t be said for either Ram or Basavaraju, the two other major characters in the film.
Ram (Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas) lives most part of his life in a monastery in Bhutan. This, we are told, shields him from the ugliness of the world. Because he’s deep in the jungles, far away from civilisation, his moral compass always tilts towards the good. We aren’t told anything else about him other than Ram being a good man and his obsession with taking care of Sita. He is too innocent at times, and never lies. But since there’s nothing that hooks us to his character emotionally, his innocence seems annoying. The film goes on and on about how plenty of other characters bend their knee when they see how nice he is.
If there’s anything that’s even more disappointing, it is how Teja normalises Basavaraju’s creepy behaviour. Throughout the film, the only motive of Basavaraju is to satiate his carnal desires and he’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants. If this wasn’t enough, Basavaraju’s role is sprayed with comedy and witty dialogues to mask his intentions. Sonu Sood might have evoked quite a few chuckles with his performance and dialogues, but the whole track is problematic.
It’s one thing to root for Sita and how she rises up against challenges, but she’s practically reduced to a sidekick to make way for Ram, so he can mesmerise everyone with his kindness. The roles for the supporting cast, especially that of Bithiri Sathi and Mannara Chopra, are poorly written and test your patience. The film too progresses on a similar note. It tries so hard to make you empathise with its characters that it gets tiresome. The less we talk about the climax, the better it is.
This is a film which sends its protagonist to Bhutan, just because a doctor advises his uncle to send him as far away from Hyderabad as possible. This is a film which finds comedy in its antagonist telling Sita that he doesn’t like sleeping with someone who doesn’t smile. This is a film which has no clue how boring it is. To put it simply, Sita is a film where you could say Kajal is 'whoa!', but everything else around her is 'uh-oh!'
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