Saleem Feku of Angrez fame, a panwala trapped in an island with the lead character Surya (Nikhil) in the night does an easy job in simplifying the film's content for a viewer. He calls the first half of his love tale, a Meetha Paan (Sweet) and the latter half, a Sada Paan (Regular/Ordinary). Some while later, Surya's mom labels his romance an 'Upma Love' in comparison to that of hers. In fact, they overdo their bit in giving the little applause that the movie doesn't deserve.
Surya Vs Surya, call it whatever, apparently dubbed as an 'intelligent-medical-dumbed down-romance' tries to elevate its slapstick interior with a scientific angle attached to it, reminding us yet again of a template that Karthikeya used better, where something so stereotypical was masked by another comfortable thread to lend it some weight.
For the ones unfamiliar, the film brings to the fore, an unusual 'one-in-a-crore' medical disorder that Surya suffers from, named Porphyria, responsible for ceasing the production of haemoglobin content in the body during daylight. The premise is catchy to begin with. Karthik Ghattamaneni, the first-time director is so obsessed with his little idea that, he introduces Surya's life to be 'Chikatimayam' for his inability to handle sunlight. He has Vitamin D-injections by the doctor. His mom (Madhoo) plants him a slap when he tries to enjoy his bit of rain during the day. He attends a notorious night-college at the behest of his mother. His girl (Tridha Chaudhary) gifts him sunglasses that's of no use to him. But, all the innovation ends right here.
The first hour paints a commercial coating to the film, where the lead tries every trick in the bag to woo his lady love, concealing the dark truth of his life. She happens to be a television anchor of a pointless-lottery show.The narrative,being snail-paced doesn't boast of any direction either. Post the interval, the film doesn't get any better or in fact, the lack of ideas show up.
While we search for a plot, we have the characters, a trio including Tanikella Bharani (as Arsam), Satya Akkala (Aruna Sai) inviting opportunities to have a bottle of beer, sip ice-golas and indulge in some late-night Hyderabad-tourism adventures. The ambitions don't end there. We get to a cemetery with some heavyweight philosphies. The love-track, as we see is neither entertaining nor true-to-life. The treatment of the tracks is altered with convenience. A painful mother-son track adds to the trouble. The characters, beyond the lead are loosely sketched. The little sympathy,we have for the director to tie-up loose ends in the pre-intermission portions is totally lost. This consistent emptiness hurts the film. Amidst all this, we have Surya dissembling an auto-rickshaw to design a boat and the director editing K3G in a decent sequence to portray time-delay. These ideas don't quite work minus a concrete core.
And even after all this, Karthik doesn't appear to be a lazy maker at all. He gives interesting shades to each of his characters, but easily is distracted. He still appears to be someone who's more at ease with his cinematography.In addition, he just didn't have enough sub-plots or even a cast to bring the plot together.
While it's Nikhil who seems to have arrived at a stage where he can carry a film, the likes of Tanikella Bharani, Madhoo and Shinde are denied of a proper opportunity to prove their worth. The female lead Tridha Chaudary ends up just being a pretty yet a blank face. The dialogue-heavy and soulless Surya Vs Surya, in contrast to its title, doesn't have enough 'light' to scale past its follies.