Family Star Movie Review: Falls Short on Originality and Brilliance

Family Star

Following the charismatic Arjun Reddy, director Parashuram Petla gracefully molded and refined Vijay Deverakonda’s persona in the delightful yet fleeting Geetha Govindam. With Family Star, he now unveils Deverakonda as a man of the middle class, burdened with familial duties, yet embodying a superhero who effortlessly bends steel rods to his will. Crafted as a potential blockbuster with the illustrious Dil Raju at the helm, the film occasionally sheds its middle-class trappings, revealing itself as the grand spectacle it was always destined to become. Even this would have sufficed for Telugu audiences had the film managed to enthrall. However, Petla leans towards style over substance, delivering a simplified narrative that often falls flat.

Vijay Deverakonda steps into the shoes of Govardhan, the quintessential Family Star, single-handedly ensuring his extended family stays afloat. He conjures up delicate dosas to stretch the family budget further. One of his older brothers grapples with past wounds while drowning his sorrows in alcohol, while the other struggles to establish his own business. Indu (Mrunal Thakur) enters their lives as a tenant, a postgraduate student at the Central University who gradually becomes a cherished part of their household, falling deeply in love with Govardhan along the way.

The narrative takes a dramatic turn when a shocking secret about Indu comes to light, fracturing their bond. Feeling deceived, Govardhan resolves to keep his distance at all costs. The story unfolds as circumstances force them to confront their differences and work together once more. While the film weaves the fabric of middle-class existence, its hero remains a standout figure. He dispatches villains with ease while his family looks on. Vijay Deverakonda injects sincerity into this seemingly implausible character, yet the script fails to fully utilize his talents. Mrunal Thakur dazzles on screen, her presence far more glamorous than in Sita Ramam. However, her character’s sketchy development offers limited room for her to shine. The central conflict between Deverakonda and Thakur feels contrived and unrealistic, relying on the actors to infuse life through bombastic and ego-driven dialogues in contrived scenarios.

Family Star boasts enchanting melodies by Gopi Sundar, complemented by Mohanan’s exceptional cinematography. Perhaps the film’s greatest shortcoming lies in Parashuram’s writing—its dated storyline lacks spark, and the dialogue lacks the flair of originality or brilliance.

Rohini Hattangadi imbues the Dadi character with endearing warmth despite the limited scope. Other actors, including Jagapathi Babu, perform their roles capably.