Anand – Manchi Coffee Lanti Cinema December 6, 2006Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
I loved Dollar Dreams and felt that Sekhar Kammula had great potential. I was desperately waiting for him to make another film. It took him a long time to get finance for this film (partly from NFDC) and more time for it to get to the theatres. And it succeeded greatly opposite Chiranjeevi’s Shankar Dada MBBS nonetheless. It paved the way for good low budget films or multiplex cinema in telugu.
Though the film is titled Anand, it is really the story of Rupa and how Anand influences her life. Rupa’s parents die in an accident caused by Anand’s father, when she is still a young girl. Anand’s family helps Rupa anonymously and Rupa grows up into an independent girl, who can take care of herself. She decides to get married to a North Indian colleague from her office. This is where Anand sees her for the first time. Due to some conflicts, the marriage does not take place. Anand who is now taken by her decides to try his luck and see if she could be the life partner that he is looking for.
Anand has a very simple story but what makes it beautiful is Shekhar Kammula’s screenplay. The beauty of Sekhar Kammula’s films is the feeling of watching something very real as if it is happening in your house or your neighborhood. The locations, the characters and the dialogue contribute to this feeling. The dialogue in particular veers away from the standard filmi style to include words, phrases and style from normal everyday conversations. His movies have a great identification factor for the middle class. In addition to his writing skills, Sekhar’s directorial skills are admirable. His attention to detail is very noticeable. Simple things like sitting on the porch and drinking coffee in the morning provide the viewers with ample identification. Apart from that his films have real characters unlike many telugu films where the characterization is unrealistic (for commercial purposes) or even more like caricatures. This is what makes people hold his films close to their hearts.
Raja suits the role of Anand perfectly (Sekhar apparently wanted Pawan Kalyan for this role but a big star would have brought his image with him and spoilt the film) and does a neat job but the movie belongs to Kamalinee Mukherjee (a Bengali girl who acted in Revathi’s Phir Milenge prior to this). Kammula creates a very strong character for her to play. The movie revolves around her and Kamalinee is superb. Another person that creates a strong impression is Satya Krishnan (Dollar Dreams, Bommarillu). Her forcefulness and her strong voice are unforgettable. Assistant director and executive producer Anish Kuruvilla, who has got quite a paunch since his Dollar Dreams days, also plays a cameo. Chandana (also seen in one scene in Dollar Dreams), who plays Rupa’s mother-in-law from her aborted marriage, is excellent as the scary Attagaru. Baby Bakita is very cute. Like Dollar Dreams, it seems that this movie also has a few of Kammula’s friends playing cameos.
KM Radha Krishnan’s melodious musical score to Veturi’s meaningful lyrics is another key component in the success of this movie. If you have been exposed to classical music, some of his tunes will feel very familiar. The Yamuna Theeram/Yadalo Gaanam songs reminds me of some songs that I have really loved in the past. I don’t know which Raaga it is based on but it is surely one of my favorite Raagas. His background score is also equally good and has a couple of themes that I love. There is also a bit song in the movie that some might find weird but I really enjoyed that one. Around the time that this movie happened, Radha Krishnan also scored for another forgotten low budget film called Megham that has three very good songs. Those who liked these songs might want to check those too.
I have seen this film tens of times and it never bores me. The director’s cut of this movie adds more scenes that Sekhar had to delete due to time constraints. Once you love this movie, you definitely want to see those scenes. Being in a foreign land, I can say that more than entertainment, what Sekhar’s films (including Dollar Dreams and the recent Godavari) provide me with is the reminiscence of home and a feeling of almost being there for that brief duration.