Srikanth Movie Review

The biopic unfolds on July 13, 1992, with the birth of Srikanth (Rajkummar Rao) to Damodar Bolla (Srinivas Beesetty) and Venkatamma Bolla (Anusha Nuthula) in Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh. While Damodar experiences the typical joy of a new father and names his son after his favourite cricketer, Krishnamachari Srikkanth, his elation turns to despair upon learning that Srikanth is blind. Faced with pressure from neighbours and relatives to end their child’s life, Srikanth’s parents grapple with a harrowing decision but in the end decide to keep the baby. Srikanth grows up to be a brilliant child. He clears his 10th exams with a place on the merit list and wants to study further in the science stream. Due to rules which existed then, he’s denied a seat because of his handicap. He then takes the education system to court and gets a favourable verdict. Later, frustrated by the Indian education system, he decides to study abroad and is given a full scholarship by MIT, Boston. Afterwards, instead of staying back in America, he decides to come back to India and become an entrepreneur. He’s helped in this by his teacher Devika (Jyothika), a kind hearted investor Ravi Mantha (Sharad Kelkar) and his sweetheart Veera Swathi (Alaya F).

No man is an island. And however self-made we may proclaim ourselves to be, we’re all products of circumstances and the kindness of those around us. Coming out of the screening, the following questions are sure to arise in the mind of the viewers: What if Srikanth’s father had succumbed to the advice of those urging him to end his blind child’s life? What if ‘Devika teacher’, a pivotal figure,hadn’t crossed his path? What if he hadn’t pursued entrepreneurship and discovered a supportive ally in Ravi Mantha? Most crucially, what if President Abdul Kalam hadn’t extended his trust and support to a young boy with aspirations of becoming India’s first visually impaired President?

Srikanth Bolla, a real life blind entrepreneur, didn’t let his circumstances get to him. And he was lucky enough to meet good people who genuinely cared for him. Srikanth is an aspiring portrayal of his life. The film is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and the human spirit, lovingly put together by director Tushar Hiranandani. The film beautifully captures Srikanth’s journey from adversity to triumph, showcasing the impact of key moments and individuals in shaping his destiny. From his early struggles with societal prejudices to his eventual realisation of his dreams, each scene is imbued with emotional resonance. The screenplay deftly navigates themes of resilience, determination, and the power of belief, leaving a lasting impact on the audience. And it isn’t as if the director has only shown Srikanth’s good side. His struggle with his negativity, with pride and arrogance is shown as well. It’s a portrait in full, warts and all.

Rajkummar Rao’s portrayal of Srikanth Bolla is nothing short of mesmerising. He delves deep into the psyche of his character, effortlessly capturing the internal struggles and triumphs of Srikanth’s journey. From the moments of indignation to the endearing quality of self-deprecating humour, Rao’s performance is on point. His essaying of the adult Srikanth is particularly captivating, though the depiction of his teenage years may lack a touch of conviction because of the age gap of the actor with his character and the lack of computerised deaging. Jyothika’s portrayal of Devika, Srikanth’s mentor, is imbued with warmth and strength. Her presence grounds the narrative, highlighting the importance of guidance and support in one’s journey. Alaya F, as Swathi, adds a touch of tenderness to the story, though her character could have benefited from more depth. Sharad Kelkar delivers a solid performance as Ravi Mantha, embodying the quiet strength and understanding of a true friend and mentor.

In conclusion, Srikanth is a poignant and inspiring tale brought to life by director Tushar Hiranandani’s directorial acumen and the writing prowess of Jagdeep Siddhu and Sumit Purohit. With stellar performances from the cast, particularly Rajkummar Rao’s powerful portrayal of the titular character, the film is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit against all odds.