Sammohanam is a romantic comedy film starring Sudheer Babu and Aditi Rao Hydari in lead roles. Vivek Sagar composed the music for the film. Sivalenka Krishna Prasad produced it. Mohanakrishna Indraganti has written and directed the film. Sammohanam released wordwide on 15th June, 2018.
The story is inspired by 1999 British romantic comedy film, Notting Hill, starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Instead of calling it an inspiration, Sammohanam can be called as a Telugu adaptation of Notting Hill. The first half has been good while setting the tone of the film, but the story gets weaker in second half of the film. It is comical that they criticize Telugu film makers of copying scripts from English, Korean and French movies in a film that is a copy of an English movie.
Sammohanam is the story of a silver screen star who steps down into the life of a commoner. Vijay Kumar (Sudheer Babu) is a cartoonist waiting for his first illustrated children’s book to get published. Vijay loves art and literature but despises films and film stars. His father (Naresh) is a movie fanatic who rents his house for a 20 days shoot for a prominent role in the movie. Sameera (Aditi Rao Hydari), the female lead in the film, struggles to utter her dialogues and seeks the help of Vijay. He eventually falls for her but she couldn’t reciprocate the same. How Vijay resolved their misunderstandings form the rest of the story.
Majority of the film is conversational with a lot of dialogues and a little drama and action. The narration is sluggish at several parts of the film. Mohanakrishna Indraganti shoots majority of his films indoors and uses loud comedy. Sammohanam is no exception to it. He has developed a serious script for Gentleman but again made formulaic Ami Thumi. Sammohanam deserves to be a feel-good movie with emotions prioritized but he uses his regular formula and the film lacks seriousness.
Hari Teja narrating the backstory of Sameera is extremely disappointing and appears as if she is reading her lines out of script. It wouldn’t be any worse if the person sitting next to you in theatre reveals the suspense. The pacing of the film drops towards the climax. The major conflict of the film, that is, why Sameera avoids Vijay Kumar has been weak which is like a filler to end the film.
Sudheer Babu excels in his role and the scenes between him and Naresh are entertaining. He maintained the subtlety required for the film and his chemistry with Aditi Rao Hydari is very good. He is very natural in his character. Aditi Rao Hydari is good as a soft-hearted film star but she looks depressed throughout the film. She appears sad even when she is laughing which somehow fits the narrative. Her dubbing for the role is an asset to the film. Naresh is the unsung hero of the film and his performance is terrific. Pavitra Lokesh, Tanikella Bharani and Rahul Ramakrishna are good in their roles.
The direction could have been better. Mohanakrishna Indraganti handled Gentleman wonderfully, he could have given the same treatment for Sammohanam too but he didn’t. The film takes too long to establish characters and the second half follows the routine Telugu movie structure forced into the predefined plot. The film has evenly spaced comedy scenes so there is no scope for emotional turmoil. The dialogues are good at times but are too long to express too little during some scenes. Music by Vivek Sagar is very good with soothing and melodious songs. Cinematography is good and particularly the lighting in terrace and interval scenes is impressive. Art direction plays a key role in the film as majority of the film happens indoors. The background is dynamic within the same house for several scenes. Editing by Marthand K Venkatesh is good. Production values are good.
Sammohanam is not a regular commercial Telugu film. It is a romantic entertainer with comedy and subtle romance. It is recommended for the fans of romantic comedy films.