After theatrical release on August 27, 2021, the Telugu film Sridevi Soda Center is streaming on Zee5. Due to COVID-19 restrictions back then, not everyone got a chance to watch the movie. The film is directed by Karuna Kumar and written by Nagendra Kasi; the film stars Sudheer Babu, Anandhi, Raghu Babu, Pavel Navageethan and Naresh. Mani Sharma has composed the music for the film.
The synopsis reads, “Suri Babu, a lightman, and Sridevi, a girl who runs a soda centre, decide to get married in spite of opposition from Sridevi’s family owing to their different castes.”
Zee 5’s Sridevi Soda Center Review Contains Mild Spoilers
The story revolves around two lovers – Soori (Sudheer Babu) and Sodaala Sridevi (Anandhi). Soori is a lightman, and Sridevi runs her family’s soda centre. Their first meet and greet is quite filmy, as we say in Hindi – pehle takraar phir pyaar (first fight then love). However, their love stories have many villains – their caste, goon Kasi (Pavel Navageethan) and Sridevi’s father Sanjeev (Naresh).
The caste issue in India has been prevalent for decades and has cost many lives. Unfortunately, even in today’s “modern” times, some privileged people judge or kill others for their religion and caste. It was after the 2016 Marathi film Sairat that such a topic got highlighted in mainstream cinema. Bollywood gave the audience Dhadak (2018), Sairat’s remake, and now Tollywood has made Sridevi Soda Center.
So has the film done a good job in highlighting such a crucial issue? Well, to some extent. The first half of Sudheer Babu and Anandhi starrer focuses on their characters, love story and fun. The second half gets intense with a disturbing climax. While you see the end coming, it just pains you because that’s the reality of our society.
Despite highlighting caste system issues, writer Nagendra Kasi and director Karuna Kumar have added some problematic scenes. In one scene, Soori complains that his father cooks bland food. His father tells him that if he wants to eat good food, he should get married. We are in 2021, and directors and writers still think a woman’s purpose is to be a wife who cooks for her husband! That scene had me raging, but I kept watching as I had to review the film.
Actor Sudheer Babu plays Soori Babu with all his heart like his character loves Sridevi. Anandhi is fierce as Soda Sridevi, and you wish to get to know her more. Despite being the leading lady, we don’t get a clear idea of her true personality. Pavel Navageethan plays Kasi, the bad guy we expect in such stories. Pavel has done a good job as Kasi, whom you wish to hit every time the villain opens his mouth.
Sridevi Soda Center Review: Final Thoughts
Overall, Sridevi Soda Center is a fair attempt to highlight the caste issues in India. The story has some flaws, some dialogues and the item song are problematic, the music is fun, and the action scenes are superb. The climax haunts you for a while as it’s not easy to witness something that truly happens in several families.
The film is now streaming on Zee 5.