Sai Dharam Tej can get on your nerves. We never thought we’d be so uncomfortable watching an average Joe blow his own trumpet, so ridiculously. This after all was a Tollywood masala film. We were expecting over-the-top narratives with senseless songs and inexplicably shoddy performances. Instead we got a rather watchable entertainer.

Subramanyam for Sale, starts at a very slow pace. The speed quickens and the plot thickens as we get closer to the interval. A previously unbearable Subramanyam (Sai Dharam Tej) slowly morphs into a likable character, his only flaw being his annoying habit of breaking into ill-timed song and dance sequences, with extremely embarrassed people sharing the same frame. Why is Tollywood still doing song-and-dance sequences in busy ‘foreign’ urban locations? I guess, we’ll never truly know.

The narrative shifts between the USA and India, and while the story is entertaining, its probability in real life is lower than zero. Brahmanamdam is thrown in for a badly maintained comic role, while Regina Cassandra looks pretty all through the film. This film and the narrative revolves around Regina’s character, yet she isn’t the center of the film. Another unexplained directorial choice.

Harish Shankar manages to bring together the story towards the end, making it a pleasing watch. Only problem is that most people will give up even before the plot reaches there.

The music isn’t particularly hummable or catchy and you’re left disinterested halfway through most songs. Technically, save a few strange edits, the film manages to get the story going.

P.S. Regina, please choose better roles.

By L Romal Singh