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Autonagar Surya: No ‘Sun’ Shine

Posted on the 27 June 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Autonagar Surya

Director: Deva Katta

Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Sai Kumar, Raghu Babu, Brahmanadam

Rating: **

Autonagar Surya wants to be a crowd-pulling teaser fiddling with emotion, revenge and entertainment. If it was the step father-loyalty conflict that was deliciously crafted in Prasthanam, Deva Katta in this outing depends on an orphaned milieu to construct the emotional base. The larger idea is the change of order and the overthrow of an anarchy. The resemblances are many. The effort is to give it a lavish and a commercially reachable exterior with a different cast and tweak the staging. The interior remains the same. There are no layers to the painted characters who are fed with dialogues to prove the director’s expertise at writing and not executing them. After all, it’s tough to expect more of him when he is in charge of an emotionless melodramatic backdrop with each frame being a confusion whether to cater to the story or play to the galleries.

The director with many of his references hinting at Shiva wants to make this a similar franchise for Naga Chaitanya’s career. Surya has a fascination for motors with an engineering degree that he completes in a jail. He is ahead of his times. The strained past is a distraction but he wants to move on with his ideas. He’s firm in standing up for the masses in the need of the hour. This is indicative that the lead character has a life beyond the system-saviour acts, which is at least path-breaking for a film belonging to this genre. The sad part is that the joy here remains temporary. His personal fascination is then a restrictive and an under-used sub-plot. He is so busy winning his lady love and defining the line between good and bad that he doesn’t find much time for his innovations later.

Deva Katta was pure when he thought of something on the lines of Prasthanam. Although the naivety in intertwining the cliches, emotion and commercial were worthy of a complaint, the character sketches were neat. There’s hardly a single interesting character that channelizes his aims in Autonagar Surya. He shows his amateurishness when he throws the advantage he gains with the premise. Meanwhile, what was he mocking around with an item number backed by the comedy track involving Brahmanandam and Raghu Babu here?

The lines with occasional mythological references and the convenient comparisons to lions, deer, foxes and dogs are all there but not a speckle of soul resides within them. The romance comes in as a free-package. She has always been there for her man and stays so throughout the film. She is a device to soothen the unnecessarily eerie equation between him and her father Sai Kumar. The tension however is never quite there. The littler cares are missing. The friends for a moment say that Surya is the sunshine of their lives if he’s a savior and when trouble sets in, they march together to curse him. Films are expected to leave a few aspects to your imagination. Autonagar Surya definitely does that but more so on the unfavorable side of the pendulum. Naga Chaitanya isn’t the man for emotional depth and so is the film, leaving you as confused and startled as the maker himself. The film is predominantly set in the early nineties and in a way, the time is right, for it shows how outdated and over-recycled, the result is.

Review by Srivathsan N. First published in Cinegoer.net

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