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Sasirekha Parinayam January 11, 2009

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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I just couldn’t get myself to not see this film after I saw the trailer. The enduring image of Genelia, fully dressed in her wedding attire and jewellery rising from the river was too hard to resist (and no bikinis can top that).

A bride on the run. The guy who helps her along the way. And the love that blossoms. Sasirekha Parinayam is a bit more than that but I wouldn’t want to give away some of the surprise elements.

Like his recent ventures, writer-director Krishna Vamsi’s latest is another watchable film. The plot is quite simple (it is a road movie like Jab We Met but isn’t anything like that film). The humor is appealing. The music (Mani Sarma) is good. The performances are impressive. The film doesn’t bore you for the most part. And it also has a message.

KV tackles another social issue this time. The lack of importance given to the bride’s feelings/opinions in arranged marriages (of course, that may not always be the case). KV tries to remind the audience about the responsibilities of a married woman in the Indian society and how the transition might scare a young girl, especially if she isn’t given a choice. But this is only a part of the film that is otherwise looking to entertain.

I was initially worried about watching another KV film with a joint family in it. However, my apprehensions were soon removed. The film revolves around Genelia’s Sasirekha and Tarun’s Anand. Sasirekha is the bubbly type of girl that Genelia has played often in the recent past. Despite that, she still gets the scope to perform (the scene where she is drunk and the one in the Auto instantly come to mind) and she shines once again. Tarun makes a good foil but he is overshadowed by Genelia. Nevertheless, this is a good comeback for him. Ahuti Prasad plays a role reminiscent of his part in Chandamama and I am still thoroughly amused by the accent and dialogue delivery.

Despite everything, the film still fell a little short of my expectations. I have come to expect a lot from KV but he probably has simpler goals. So, there isn’t anything particularly novel in the film. Except for one smart misdirection, it is quite predictable. Also post-interval, there isn’t much to really hold your interest because you know the what and the how doesn’t matter all that much. Nevertheless, the film is an entertaining commercial venture. Don’t expect too much from this one because it is a Krishna Vamsi film and you should find it an enjoyable experience.

Kotha Bangaru Lokam October 30, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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“Dil” Raju does it again. A largely hypeless film before its release it’s now having everyone rave about it. Once you watch it comparisons to Bommarillu are inevitable and for a change the filmmakers don’t have to be worried about that. Kotha Bangaru Lokam holds its own extremely well and will surely be remembered as yet another great entertainer from Raju’s stable.

To put it very crudely it could called Bommarillu for Teens for here too the underlying thread is about parents well-intentioned hopes and aspirations for their offspring and how they might conflict with the latter’s own desires. Unlike Bommarillu which definitely had a more complex conflict to resolve while fairly trying to represent each side, KBL’s content is much more straightforward – for here we have two students still studying Intermediate at a residential college who fall in love and as expected do not find favor with their parents. We have seen a lot of films where the protagonists are studing in a junior college (In recent years Teja’s films are the ones which might come to your mind first. I am sure if and when he watches this he’ll kill himself out of embarrassment). Coming back to the point, this is really the film where I’ve seen a rather realistic (compared to other films) portrayal of students and their life in a residential college. For once, all the actors really look and act their intended age and especially the gang of girls is hilarious. I also liked the way Balu (Varun Sandesh) and Swapna (Shweta Prasad) eventually fall in love. It might seem stupid when you see this in another movie but because of the setting it gels perfectly.

The film is beautifully shot (especially the song picturizations) – the best in recent times and Mickey J Meyer’s music works wonders. Varun Sandesh and Shweta Prasad do a nice job. Especially Sandesh’s styling to suit the look of an Intermediate student deserves mention. Prakash Raj and Jayasudha can sleepwalk through roles like these and it’s always a pleasure to watch them. There are a lot of new faces also who do well for themselves. Debutant Director Srikanth Addala (who is also credited for the story, screenplay and dialogues) makes a brilliant debut. The film is almost three hours long but you never feel the length as it is so unusually gripping for a theme like this. No doubt I had a great time watching this.

Chandamama August 26, 2008

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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Writer-director Krishna Vamsi’s Chandamama is a family-friendly comedy. Compared to his past successes in a similar genre, Ninne Pelladatha and Murari, this is a lower budget comedy without big stars. The non-serious comic plot of this film reminds you of Jandhyala’s comedies (though the execution is typical Krishna Vamsi).

Mahalakshmi is the daughter of village elder Ranga Rao. Her marriage is fixed with Dora Babu. However, she is not entirely happy with it as she is separated from her boyfriend due to a misunderstanding. When he enters the picture and the misunderstanding is cleared, the chaos begins. The youngsters try to settle matters without hurting their elders, which results in lies, manipulation, confusion and a lot of funny moments.

There is nothing novel in terms of the plot or the characterization or even the way in which KV directs this film. But he does succeed in using certain things like the village environment and the joint family. Yes, we have seen this before and he has done it before but we don’t get to see it very often and it is quite a relief from the flying goons and blood spattering.

KV also makes sure that the casting provides freshness. He doesn’t use actors like Chalapati Rao or Chandra Mohan who have been used time and again in such family films. And it works. Ahuti Prasad gets the best role and he pulls it off with aplomb. KV also extracts decent performances from the youngsters. Kajal Agarwal (Lakshmi Kalyanam, Pourudu) and Navdeep (Modati Cinema, Premante Inthe) deliver improved performances. I liked Sindhu Menon (the most experienced of the lot) in the role of the bubbly girl (which, some will undoubtedly hate). Siva Balaji (Arya) completes the quartet and he is likable as the kind-hearted village boy. Radha Kumari always makes a nice grandmother. K M Radhakrishnan’s soundtrack doesn’t match his best work or Krishna Vamsi’s earlier films but it isn’t bad and his background score is good.

Though KV may or may not have intended it, the film serves as a good example of a situation where a person feels the need to lie due to societal restrictions, pressures and/or similar considerations. A rational individual might say that there is no need to lie at all as the truth might actually make things simpler but a lot of people would still prefer to lie.

There is a certain energy in the film and it breezes along without its faults bothering you too much. This isn’t a great movie but if you’ve liked Krishna Vamsi’s previous films in this genre, you wouldn’t mind watching this one. I certainly didn’t.

P.S. If anyone knows why this one was titled Chandamama, please let me know.