Rajkummar Rao Shines In Well-Made Biopic ‘Srikanth’

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Rajkummar Rao Shines In Well-Made Biopic ‘Srikanth’

| Updated: May 9, 2024 10:30

The film, also starring Jyothika and Alaya F, is being released this Friday

Biopics are not easy to make. Often, they turn into eulogies. But ‘Srikanth’ based on the life of visually impaired industrialist Srikanth Bolla is an exception. It is understated, honest and realistic.  

Directed by Tushar Hiranandani, the film tells the story of Srikanth Bolla from Machilipatnam. Srikanth (played by Rajkummar Rao) is visually impaired from birth. Srikanth does not believe in giving up.  

The film highlights the way society isn’t structured to accommodate people with disabilities. For instance, Srikanth is a brilliant student but doesn’t get the chance to pick ‘science’ as a stream. This prompts him and his teacher and guide (played by Jyothika) to take on the system. Something as simple as accessing textbooks in Braille doesn’t come easy. 

Larger struggle

Srikanth’s challenges are presented as both a personal struggle and a small victory in a war against a less than inclusive system. A balance is maintained in making Srikanth and his teacher’s fight inspirational and realistic.

The depiction of people with disabilities has not been great in Indian cinema. But Rajkummar Rao’s portrayal of Srikanth Bolla breaks this trend. He doesn’t rely on exaggerated  stereotypes. His nuanced and restrained performance is one of the best aspects of the film.

The relationship between teacher and student is another endearing aspect.  A teacher is expected to be a guide, mentor and perhaps a shoulder to lean on. The performances of Jyothika and Sharad Kelkar (Kelkar plays Srikanth’s business partner Ravi) are commendable. 

The movie also briefly touches upon Srikanth’s relationship with Swathi (Alaya F), a woman who approaches him on social media because she is fascinated by his life’s story. 

The first half is definitely the superior of the two. The second half drags in places. Nevertheless, the film avoids the pitfall of presenting Srikanth as a hero incapable of making errors in judgement. Neither does the film look at Srikanth’s story with sympathy – there is just understanding.

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