The film Snehithudu raised the curiosity and expectations of the audiences as it was a remake of the hit Hindi film 3 Idiots. Shankar who is well known in Telugu for his blockbuster films like Sivaji, Robo etc. was the other special draw for the film. Let us see how Snehithudu has turned out finally.
The entire story revolves around the hero Panachabotla Sarangapani (Vijay). He joins engineering college. There he makes friends with Nikhil (Jeeva) and Venkat (Shriram). The college Principal Sathya Raj is very strict. He believes in just mark and percentages. He churns out engineering students like products in a factory.
Pani is a practical man. He believes that education is useless if it does not serve purpose and make one happy. So he preaches to everyone that one should always follow their hearts and do what is close to their heart. The principal is called Virus by the students. There is another guy in the college Srinu who is called silencer for his habit of farting all the time. He is a bookworm and is all the time mugging up and his only goal is to come first - by hook or crook.
Pani's down to earth nature and his forward looking thought endear him slowly to the other students in the college. Pani is a brilliant mind and he keeps inventing things. Pani falls in love with Riya (Ileana), daughter of the college principal. She too reciprocates his love. Ofcourse there is a small twist to the love story as Ileana is engaged to another and she almost gets married to him.
Pani helps Venkat to pursue his dream of becoming a wild life photographer. He also instills confidence in Nikhil so that he can have faith in his abilities and stand on his own feet. They part ways after completing their engineering.
They meet again after a gap of 10 years. There is a surprise in store for Nikhil, Venkat, Ileana and the other guy when they go to meet Pani. The film finally ends on a happy note with Pani and Riya uniting in the climax.
Vijay plays the role essayed by Aamir Khan in 3 Idiots. For most parts the style and mannerism of Vijay resembles that of Aamir Khan. It may not be deliberate but it seem that Vijay has imitated Aamir Khan a bit too much. Jeeva does a good job as a guy from a poor family who is low in self confidence. Sriram is good as Venkat.
Sathya Raj does a good job as the strict college principal. Ileana is there to add glamour. She sizzles in a couple of songs. She however does not look her best. She exposes liberally and the front benchers get some value for money. Director and actor SJ Suryah appears in a special role as the original Panachabotla Sarangapani. The others do their bit to add to the story.
Snehithudu is a film that runs on a strong screenplay. The film has many shades - comedy, tragedy, emotions, sentiment, duets and other things. The film goes back and forth as it is told mostly in flashback style. The music is okay. The production values are good. The overall impact is positive. The film runs for a full three hours and it is pretty long by today's standards.
Director Shankar stays faithful to the original 3 Idiots. Therefore for those who have watched the Hindi film, there is nothing new or novel in the Telugu film. For others the film with its neat presentation is a good time pass entertainer with a little underlying message for parents as well as children.