Family Star movie review: Director Parasuram’s Telugu film with Vijay Deverakonda and Mrunal Thakur is an incoherent muddle

Vijay Deverakonda in ‘Family Star’
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Reaching the midpoint of ‘Family Star’, a Telugu production, the audience encounters a pivotal moment leading Vijay Deverakonda’s character, Govardhan, to a slow realization of the situation’s gravity. His reaction might echo the audience’s feeling throughout the movie’s viewing as they struggle to grasp the message director Parasuram Petla, with co-writer Vasu Varma, sought to deliver. Despite being the second team-up for Parasuram and Deverakonda after the success of Geetha Govindam, and featuring Mrunal Thakur in a prominent role, the film lacks the charm and entertainment one might expect.

As the title suggests, the story initially follows Govardhan, a quintessential middle-class hero juggling familial duties. Although he meticulously manages his meager finances and domestic responsibilities, including a sizeable household, Govardhan’s personality is not subdued; his resolve is evidenced in scenes like the #AiraneVanchalaEnti spectacle, meant to showcase the lead actor’s crossover appeal. These small moments are anticipated to culminate in a fulfilling family drama.

Family Star (Telugu)

Director: Parasuram Petla

Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Mrunal Thakur

Storyline: A family man’s routine is upended by the arrival of a new tenant

Yet, as the plot progresses, confusion mounts. Issues like Govardhan’s fraught relationship with his eldest brother receive only superficial resolution. Compounding this, the supporting characters, Govardhan’s other family members, are underdeveloped and forgettable.

The initial interactions between Govardhan’s family and their new tenant, Indu (played by Mrunal Thakur)—allegedly a college student—offer a glimpse of lightheartedness. Even so, the romantic angle isn’t fleshed out enough to captivate viewers.

Mrunal Thakur and Vijay Deverakonda in ‘Family Star’

Mrunal Thakur and Vijay Deverakonda in ‘Family Star’
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Transferring scenes to the United States, the storytelling becomes erratic, forsaking coherent plot for spectacle. Indu’s true identity as a CEO shadowing a regular man under the pretext of academic research comes off as implausible. The contrasts in social class, aspirations, and ego remain underexplored, leaving the audience with a disjointed series of events.

At intervals, Deverakonda’s portrayal of Govardhan’s brooding energy is leveraged to stress his off-screen persona—a relatable everyman with a touch of volatility. Yet, this aspect fails to resonate within the disjointed narrative framework.

Spanning two hours and thirty-five minutes, ‘Family Star’ touches on life in the middle-class, corporate recognition, and the concept of middle-class heroes, yet these themes come across as scattered thoughts rather than a solid plot.

The actors, confined by the muddled script, cannot elevate the film. Deverakonda brings his typical charm and vivacity, but his acting breadth remains untapped. Mrunal, following her role in Sita Ramam and Hi Nanna, faces an underdeveloped character, which results in a lackluster romantic subplot. Supporting actors, including Divyansha Kaushik and Rohini Hattangadi, are given little substance. Even Vennela Kishore, known for his comedic prowess, is left with a generic role.

Family Star ends up doing a disservice both to its family-drama aspirations and its potential for showcasing star performances. While the film aims to celebrate the unsung heroes in every household, this potential is buried within a film that becomes increasingly tedious and tests the viewer’s patience. Families seeking a cinematic experience are warranted something more engaging and cohesive.

Family Star is currently showing in theaters.

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