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Prayanam June 1, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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You fall in love with a girl you see at an airport and make up your mind to make her fall in love with you before she catches a plane to go and get married to her fiance. Would such a thing work in real life? Well, in all probability not but the bigger question – Does Chandrasekhar Yeleti’s Prayanam work? Hmm…intermittently.

After trying his hand not so successfully at making a regular Tollywood actioner, Yeleti does a U-turn to make a full fledged comic romance with quite an interesting premise. But apart from the basic plot there is hardly anything in the screenplay that holds your attention. The onus here is more on the individual performers to get their act right and this is where the film scores much better. Manoj has always been considered a fine actor despite not having a single hit till date; and here he succeeds once again in a completely different role from his previous ventures. He is quite charming as the smitten loverboy especially because this is a part you generally do not expect a regular hero to play (with the exception of Siddharth I think – but even his films manage to slip in a fight scene or two).

The female lead Harika is absolutely bland bearing a single facial expression throughout. No matter what the situation, her reaction (which is complete non-reaction) is always the same. The pick of the lot is Kalpika who arguably steals every scene she is featured in. To quote Anupam Kher from a forgettable film – She is just “too qweet”. Going by the scenes in the first half, I was actually expecting a parallel romantic thread to brew between her and Tamim (another great find), but nothing exciting like that happens and disappointingly both their screen times are largely reduced in the second half. Janardhan also shines especially in the “Ugra Naram – man with muscle” story narration episode with Brahmanandam. The latter has ample footage but isn’t given a well etched role like the others.

So, should you take this Prayanam? My answer would be a resounding yes if I have to compare this with some other recent “blockbusters”. However, as a film coming from Chandrasekhar Yeleti this isn’t quite up to the mark but then again everday I encounter life size hoardings of upcoming potential blockbusters like Pista, Ride, Current, Aa Okkadu, Naa Style Veru and what not – which makes me feel I was extremely lucky to watch Prayanam.