Shyam Singha Roy is a 2021 Indian Telugu-language supernatural period romantic drama film directed by Rahul Sankrityan. The film stars Nani in a dual role with Sai Pallavi playing a prominent female lead role. This film Partly set in the backdrop of Kolkata in the 1970s, it is based on the theme of reincarnation. The film also stars with an ensemble supporting cast includes Krithi Shetty, Madonna Sebastian, Rahul Ravindran, Abhinav Gomatam, Jisshu Sengupta, Murali Sharma, Manish Wadhwa and others.
Vasu is an aspiring film director in Hyderabad. To impress a film producer, he starts making a short film and finds Keerthi, a psychology graduate to be the lead. After some resistance, Keerthi agrees to act in the film, and the shoot is completed within a few days. One day while shooting, some goons sexually harass Keerthi leading to Vasu fighting them. In that ongoing fight, a guy hits him on his head, which leads him to ear bleeding and starts suffering from a psychological disorder that temporarily manifest him into a different personality.
Impressed with the short film, the producer green-lights Vasu’s feature film. A year later, Vasu releases his film, Uniki, which turns out to be successful. Vasu is offered to remake the film in Hindi but during a press conference for the remake in Mumbai, Vasu is arrested on charges of copyright infringement. A notable publishing house based in Kolkata, SR Publications, alleges that Vasu copied their best-selling novel Astitva written by Shyam Singha Roy fifty years ago. In court, strong evidence is presented against Vasu, and Keerthi’s cousin Padmavathi takes up the case. Vasu pleads his innocence and after a successful polygraph test, the court releases him on unconditional bail and gives them 3 days to present their case. Upon Keerthi’s suggestion, Vasu undergoes clinical hypnosis with the help of Keerthi’s psychology professor, during which he reveals that he was Shyam Singha Roy in a past life and Rosie was his wife.
In West Bengal in 1969, Shyam Singha Roy is an influential social reformer and revolutionary writer with communist ideologies, who comes from a conservative family. As his family disapproves of his methods, he decides to leave but stumbles upon Maitreyi, a devadasi from Bangladesh who dances in the temple during the Navaratri. Despite being an atheist, Shyam visits the temple every night to see Maitreyi. One night, he asks her to sneak out of the temple with him and she reluctantly agrees. Shyam and Maitreyi fall for each other, and Shyam renames Maitreyi as Rosie. They decide to elope, however, on that night, the temple’s high priest Mahant, who sexually preys on devadasis, selects a young girl to sleep with, to which Rosie opposes. Mahant abuses Rosie in anger and disrespects her by urinating on her. Upon discovering this, an enraged Shyam attacks Mahant in the temple. He punishes him by severing off his penis and throwing him onto burning coal, killing him and removing the necklace on Rosie, implying discontinuing her duties as Devadasi.
Shyam and Rosie move to Calcutta where he starts working in a printing press. By 1977, Shyam becomes an accomplished yet controversial writer of his time. On Rosie’s suggestion, Shyam opens up a trust to rehabilitate devadasis. Shyam’s brother, Manoj, requests him to visit their village to see their ailing elder brother. However, upon their arrival, his two elder brothers send Manoj to bring tender coconuts, which turns out to be a ploy to murder Shyam for bringing disrepute to their family by killing Mahant at the temple and marrying Rosie, who is not of their caste. Manoj arrives but is unable to save Shyam, who dies in front of him. The two elder brothers are killed in an accident a few years later and Shyam’s nephews now run SR Publications, Singha Roy’s publishing house.
In the present, Vasu visits the printing press in Kolkata where Shyam worked. However, he is told that Shyam and Rosie died decades ago, Rosie having left to find Shyam. Padmavathi submits Vasu’s hypnosis report as evidence in the court that Shyam Singha Roy is reincarnated as Vasu. However, the prosecution lawyer objects, stating there is no scientific evidence of reincarnation. While the court is about to give its judgment, an 85-year-old Manoj visits the court and declares Vasu to be Shyam’s reincarnation. Upon being asked for proof, Manoj explains that Vasu adapted Shyam’s short story Varna as his short film Varnam, but that story was never published in the public domain. Manoj submits Shyam’s hand-written manuscript of the story as proof and withdraws the case as the chairman of SR Publications. Vasu is acquitted of all charges.
Manoj reveals to Vasu that Rosie is alive and waiting for him. Vasu then visits an aged Rosie, who now runs a dance school named after Shyam. Upon meeting Vasu, both have an emotional reunion and as per her wish, Rosie dies peacefully in his arms.
Directed by Rahul Sankrityan
Screenplay by Rahul Sankrityan
Story by Janga Satyadev
Produced by Venkat Boyanapalli
Starring Nani, Sai Pallavi, Krithi Shetty, Madonna Sebastian
Cinematography Sanu John Varghese
Edited by Naveen Nooli
Music by Mickey J. Meyer
Production Niharika Entertainment
Release date 24 December 2021
Running time 157 minutes