Family Star review: Vijay Deverakonda, Mrunal Thakur’s family drama tests your patience - Hindustan Times

Family Star review: Vijay Deverakonda, Mrunal Thakur’s family drama tests your patience

ByNeeshita Nyayapati
Apr 05, 2024 02:24 PM IST

Family Star review: Parasuram Petla’s Vijay Deverakonda, Mrunal Thakur-starrer defies logic in a plot that’s already wafer-thin.

Family Star review: When it was announced that Vijay Deverakonda was teaming up with director Parasuram Petla for the second time, many hoped they would recreate the magic of Geetha Govindam (2018). That film had its own issues, but Family Star struggles to make a mark or even entertain. The Vijay Deverakonda and Mrunal Thakur-starrer tests your patience, with things only going downhill as the film progresses. (Also Read: Vijay Deverakonda calls his father his Family Star; shares unseen old pictures: ‘You are my strength, my hero’)

Family Star review: Mrunal Thakur and Vijay Deverakonda in a still from the film
Family Star review: Mrunal Thakur and Vijay Deverakonda in a still from the film

Family Star story

Govardhan Rao (Vijay) carries a lot of responsibilities on his shoulders. He might have two older brothers (Raja Chembolu, Ravi Prakash) and a grandmother (Rohini Hattangadi) but he takes it upon himself to run the family, despite being the youngest. He is careful with the family’s finances, constantly reiterating how many kashtalu (problems) he has. When Indu (Mrunal) rents a portion of his home, she changes his life in more ways than one.

Family Star review

The plot of Family Star is so wafer-thin; you can see through it like one of the CGI dosas Govardhan makes for his nieces and nephews early on in the film. But even within the realm of what it is, Parasuram’s film defies logic, making it difficult to sit through. Even worse, it almost feels like Family Star was written by someone who doesn’t know what living a middle-class life is like, making the whole attempt feel caricaturish.

Lacks soul

The biggest issue Family Star suffers from is a lack of emotional depth. Everything in the film feels superficial. You don’t feel anything for the lead characters, let alone the supporting ones, with no proper explanation for their motivations.

The supposedly responsible Govardhan often lets out his inner man-child, yet you never understand why those around him put up with any of it. Indu also hides something from Govardhan, but the big reveals (yes, plural) involving her character, come across as plain silly. And the less said about the friction between Govardhan and one of his brothers, the better.

The chemistry

While the core point of Family Star is Govardhan’s pursuit of giving his family a better life, a lot of the film also hinges on his love for Indu and vice-versa. And yet, Vijay and Mrunal hardly have any chemistry, except in a few scenes. That’s not their fault though because Parasuram doesn’t give them space to breathe or a chance to flourish. 

He instead chooses to focus on scenes that are meant to be funny, but the jokes don’t really land. There’s an unnecessary scene where Govardhan is mistaken for a prostitute which is played for gags, but all it does is make you cringe. So does his behaviour at the work place. This is why it’s ironic that the infamous ‘iron ee vanchala enti’ (do I need to bend the iron) fight scene unintentionally make you laugh.

Vijay and Mrunal

The only thing Family Star has going for it is Vijay and Mrunal’s performances. Have we seen better performances from Vijay? Sure. But he’s earnest in playing Govardhan. So much so, that the character’s idiosyncrasies get on your nerves because he plays them so well. He stands out in the film's few emotional scenes, where his character is allowed to feel the hurt, instead of just anger. 

Mrunal looks stunning as Indu and tries to give her best, but her lip-sync is so off in the film, that it distracts you from her performance. She gets an emotional monologue at the end, but all you can see is how the words don’t match her lip movement.

In conclusion

Family Star could’ve been a simple, earnest film about a man taking up the responsibility of a massive family and finding love. We could’ve also gotten a film where the protagonist is content with his circumstances till he’s forced to face reality. Instead, you get a film that feels stretched, filled with ridiculous plot points and speeches that make you feel like you're in a time warp. Overall, it’s a shame that Vijay, Mrunal and a cast featuring names like Rohini, Jagapathi Babu, Vasuki and Abhinaya were wasted in a film as middling as this one.

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