Family Star: VD's efforts go in vain due to insipid plot

Young actor Vijay Devarakonda tried to salvage a poorly etched family drama but it goes in vain. He plays a middle-class guy who has to take care of the families of his two brothers and their children and turns a miser due to budgetary constraints. He also shuns girls since they are reluctant to accept his family along with him. Meanwhile, a pretty girl (Mrunal Thakur), who is doing her Ph.D., lands as a tenant in hero’s penthouse and slowly gets closer to family members and kids. He also likes her since she likes his family. However, the love story between the duo fails to take off since Vijay Devarakonda and Mrunal Thakur lack on-screen chemistry and much worse are lifeless duets between the love birds. Vijay had good chemistry with Rashmika and Samantha in ‘Geeta Govindam’ and ‘Kushi’ respectively which is completely missing in this love story blended with family drama.

Hence, the film has to rely on the bonding between the hero and his drunkard brother and his issues. He resolves petty issues of children as well. No doubt, Vijay carries the families’ responsibilities with ease on his shoulders in the film, but will he be able to draw crowds to theatres, that looks quite doubtful. The decision of Vijay Devarakonda to mellow down after ‘Arjun Reddy’ is slowly taking its toll on his career and he has to another role with more energy and aggression to win back his fans. The director mixing action with family drama goes for a toss since it looks more contrived than realistic.

The film starts with Mrunal Thakur on her marriage day narrating the story of a middle guy (Vijay Devarakonda) who missed out on him. Vijay is shown as a responsible family man and also a miser who asks money for petrol to drop a pretty girl at college. He also flexes his muscles and beats up thugs when they usurp the land of his friendly uncle. He falls in love with Mrunal but all hell breaks loose when he gets to see a book in which Mrunal has demeaned him and his family to submit a thesis on middle-class lives. He slaps her and walks out. Later, he is forced to work under her for a project in the US. Will they reunite or not?

After average grosser ‘Kushi’, Vijay again showcases his softer side as an emotional man but also beats up thugs when needed. He did a good job as a simple guy who jumps over vans to get onions at discounted rates and talks about rising vegetable prices. He performs well but the script fails him again. Mrunal Thakur plays a PHD student with ease but scores high as a CEO of a company with her attitude and gait. Rohini Hattangandi impresses the hero’s grandma, while Vennela Kishore and Prabhas Srinu are just ok.

Director Parasuram deserves kudos for showing that the common guy who takes care of his family is a real ‘superhero’ and not someone who smashes down thugs. His intentions are laudable in this new society, but his dreary screenplay and preachy dialogues dilute his theme and good intent goes awry.

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