It takes you sometime to get over the resemblances that Yevade Subramanyam quite intentionally shares with the sub-plot of Hrithik Roshan’s in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It also invites an element of Kalki Kochlein from the same film too, with a cardboard-like materialistic fiancé, who keeps uttering that she doesn’t want anything but the best in her life. The kind of a girl, who wants the society to rave about the picture-perfect couple they are.
Just as in the Hindi film, every second word Subramanyam utters has got to do with equities, takeovers, turnovers and market shares. The path that the narrative adopts to portray his transition from an occasionally smiling robot to a human who appreciates humanly sentiments, little selfless and selfish pleasures is extremely leisurely, at least, in accordance with the conventional standards of a Telugu film.
In such films, you significantly have two types of characters. The one who knows the deeper meanings of life and another, who feels all such talk is a mere waste of time, when money’s around. When you see Krishnam Raju as Ramayya, there’s this familiarity of an old-wise neighbour. He loves what he does despite the losses and his inability to pay his employees.
Immediately, when you switch onto Rishi, the only colourful dimension attached to Subramanyam’s past, he’s with all the youthful vibrant charm wearing childhood nostalgia, wavering priorities but is a worthy contender of being a future Ramayya. Even if he has a status-conscious boss and his daughter around, you know Subramanyam isn’t bothered to look for answers. He’s lost and the maker, Nag Ashwin puts the obvious out in quick time.
The pictures of the school days that the two spend show you enough of who becomes what. One, the traditional rule-fiddler, the rebel, as good as Dulquer Salmaan in Bangalore Days and the other, you’ve know him enough now. The night adventure plans and the long-cherished Doodh Kashi dream belong to Rishi and Subramanyam has a daily schedule, dreaming to be the next Ambani, who once his father says, the average middle class family can never aspire to be.
Yevade Subramanyam opens you to such dreams. The most humanly of these characters happen to be Anandi, literally day-dreaming. She’s without parents and her support system includes the fish in her aquarium, an elderly friend, a grandma-like figure besides a Butterfly park, innately describing her inner-self. The manner in which the three meet with personalities poles apart is a joke to actually start with. But, the film’s surreal space makes you forget all about the coincidences.
In a sequence, the film alerts you to react for the sake of a fellow human with so much restraint. This is a pure contrast to another Nani film entirely fleshed around citizen responsibility, Jenda Pai Kapiraju, which nearly warns, begs and dramatises the issue unnecessarily. With Nag Ashwin though, here’s an indication of how sparingly and effectively, he integrates these moments into the story. He does this with a calm assurance.
In adherence to the dreamy treatment of the film, you are surprised to see the Lagaan actor Rajesh Vivek (also in films like Whats Your Raashe,Swades) around. Presuming that, there isn’t any means of transport likened to what you see here, say the helicopter without a door, you realise they’re living a dream. The cleansing of Subramanyam’s part, very literally is on process now. The journey, as a matter of fact is an unexpected one too. There’s materialism giving way to human touches. There’s faith. There’s helplessness paving way to brotherhood. There’s a sage giving them directions. There’s a heartfelt desire to fulfill an incomplete wish. There are turmoils, but no longer big. The dream is now a reality.
Vijay Devarakonda, for the very reason that he gets the liveliest of parts in the film, is the truest mirror of Yevade Subramanyam’s philosophies. Not for once, you’re surprised to know that the sensibilities of the maker, a former assistant to Sekhar Kammula, stay true to that of his master. The snapshots of the pani-puri’s, the thread of the slums being displaced to accommodate a duplex apartment, the concerns to be a better human are enough to remind you the grounded nature of the effort. The elderly faces, Pratap Pothen, Shavukaru Janaki, Nassar and Krishnam Raju in their small roles act doting guardians to the quality, the film tries to sustain and also consistently succeeds.
With Nani meanwhile, you sense an ease. The progression of his part is convenient. There’s a sense of trust in his eyes that takes Subramanyam through. The music score is just like the focus of the film, little things that show the bigger picture. As the movie ends, you just hope that Malavika isn’t made the predominantly bubbly girl in her upcoming films. Till then, Yevade Subramanyam is enough an achievement to brag, not only for her, but the team altogether.