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Director Parasuram Petla’s desperation to glorify middle-classness results in a wayward mess, writes Srivathsan Nadadhur


Govardhan, a civil engineer, is the lifeline of his ‘giant’ middle-class family,  standing up for them, come what may. He has a new tenant in his household – an anthropology student Indu, who wins the trust and affection of Govardhan’s family soon. Indu and Govardhan fall in love eventually, but when the latter realises the true intent behind their intimacy, their equation takes an ugly turn.

Family Star Review :

What if a 20s-something youngster, an embodiment of so-called ‘middle-class values’ who carries the weight of his family on his ‘broad’ shoulders, falls in love? The Family Star seeks to elevate ‘middle-classness’ to stratospheric heights with the vibrancy of a modern-day romance. It’s an oxymoron of a film that wants to be simple and lavish at once, built on an inexplicably ridiculous premise.

A miserly, rigid Govardhan is a doting uncle to his nieces and nephews, a pillar of a ‘brother-in-law’ who ‘protects’ the women in the house and a responsible son who keeps a tab on his mother’s health. He doesn’t view familial responsibilities as a burden, whacks small-time goons for pocket money, is a hit with women and resists their advances. ‘Middle class saint’ could be a phrase to describe him.

Family Star Review

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The Family Star’s entertainment value is largely derived from Govardhan’s orthodoxy. While it’s colourful for a start, Parasuram repeatedly uses it as a trump card to camouflage a wafer-thin plot. Not a single character beyond Govardhan is offered any scope to stand out – only our man solves the problems. As long as the film glorifies middle-class sacrifices cinematically, it is at least tolerable.

As Govardhan’s love track with the ‘nosy’ neighbour takes a decisive turn, the film starts falling apart like a pack of cards. The plot-turns get obnoxious over time and the film completely disintegrates as it shifts to the US. Sample this for comedy – Govardhan bathes in his company’s office, sleeps at the reception for comfort and doesn’t mind turning a gigolo to pay bills back home.

The protagonists keep growing in and out of love and it’s tiring to invest in characters that change conveniently as per the whims and fancies of the writer. Action sequences find their way into the film pointlessly to assert that Govardhan is the protector of mankind. The makers take audiences for a ride, presuming good-looking actors, well-lit frames and scenic locales could salvage such mindlessness.

With its 160-minute duration, the film shoots itself twice in the foot. The climax is needlessly stretched with an overlong action sequence and meaningless verbal banter. Could someone explain why would a hero carry a car full of his romantic interest’s thesis books to proclaim his love? It looks like Parasuram gave up on the film mid-way and was too blinded by his indulgence to make any amends.

Surprisingly, even amidst the chaos, there’s a degree of consistency in Vijay Deverakonda’s performance, but how can his potential be of any help if he chooses films like World Famous Lover, Liger, Kushi or Family Star? Mrunal Thakur can do little to rise above the mess, happy being the quintessential Telugu heroine who has to look cute, dance well and earn a paid holiday to the US.

Veterans like Jagapathi Babu, Rohini Hattangidi and Achyuth Kumar are criminally wasted and the other supporting actors – Vasuki, Abinaya and Ravi Prakash – have little or no significance in the story. Vennela Kishore’s presence fails to evoke any laughter.  The generally dependable Gopi Sundar comes a cropper with the unimaginative album, except for a hummable Nandanandanaa.


This summer, you’d do well without watching ‘The’ Family Star, unless you want a bunch of privileged hypocrites delivering a sermon on middle-class values.

Rating: 1.5/5

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