Entertaining from the time of 'Tholi Prema' till 'Ullasamga Utsahamga', director Karunakaran has always tried to make the audience smile. With 'Darling', he has not disappointed viewers who are looking out ways to relax this summer.
Talking about summer, 'Darling' is a summer treat for movie buffs and Prabhas fans in particular. Lets get to point now:
A piece of the story:
Looks like Karunakaran has not come out of his 'Ulasamga Utsahamga' hangover, he has deployed the same formula of childhood friends as lovers even in 'Darling'. The director has also tried to preach friendship in this movie effectively. He starts of with a narration saying friendship starts at any time of a person's life. Saying that, he introduces a couple of college friends who meet once in 5 or 10 years. The gang of friends comprising of veteran Tamil actor Prabhu, seasoned artists Chandra Mohan and Ahuthi Prasad, comedians Dharmavarappu and M.S. Narayana and a few others.
So whenever the friends meet up after a long time, they have a celebration. Their families bond with each other as well, giving the opportunity for Prabhu's son Prabhas(also his name in the movie) to like Ahuthi Prasad's daughter, Nandhini (Kajal). As growth and development happens, Vishwanath (Ahuthi Prasad) moves to Switzerland and Prabhu stays back in Hyderbad practicing law that means the young love birds are separated.
Meanwhile Prabhas grows up to be the handsome hunk we know. He is introduced in the usual clichéd way with a small fight and a song that starts of with hip-hop dance steps and would you believe it - middle of the road! That is supposedly a farewell party as he completes his college studies. That's a weird farewell party! Dancing on top of buses and cars!
Well here's a small twist, Shraddha Das as his junior in college is madly in love with Prabhas. But remember our hero's in love with his lady who's far away in Switzerland. The honest hero affirms he doesn't love her and upon rejection Shraddha attempts to suicide. Here is introduced Mukesh Rishi as Shraddha's father who is a wild villain but soft at heart. As his daughter has been rejected he tries to confront Prabhas, a guy with both muscle and brain. Mukesh Rishi kidnaps Prabhas' friends in exchange for a meeting with him.
Upon confrontation, Prabhas reveals his love for Nandhini who lives in Switzerland. Though he hasn't met her after turning an adult he cooks up a story that takes us to Switzerland.
Here is introduced the heroine. A keen observer would realize every Karunakaran film has the heroine introduced in a white dress and this one is no exception. Kajal wears a white angel dress and drives a two wheeler in the picturesque Switzerland. Seeing her Prabhas falls for her (as told in his cooked up story). What happens in Switzerland is for you to watch!
Back home, listening to this crap, Mukesh Rishi, the soft man at heart lets go Prabhas and his friends, who leave to Araku for a reunion organized by his father's friends. Here all his father's friends and their families assemble. So, does Prabhas finally get to meet his childhood love? Does Kajal reciprocate? Do the families accept? This is what forms the screenplay in the latter half of the movie!
Though the answer for all questions sounds predictable, director Karunakaran has included enough and more twists for the audience in preventing them to predict the next scene. Special Appreciation to the director for making the screenplay interesting.
The turn on's
With a 'not-so-great' story, director Karunakaran has written a pleasing screenplay. Most of the time, you'll wear a smile watching the uncomplicated screenplay. G V Prakash's music is pleasing as well with the cinematography by Andrew receiving major attention. Andrew has captured the scenes in Switzerland and Araku so beautifully. Even the art department deserves a word of praise. The biggest turn on of the movie is the dialogues that make you giggle often.
Peter Haines as the director of the stunt scenes has made Prabhas look totally invincible. Fight sequences in Thailand (actually part of Prabhas' story in Switzerland but shot in Thaliand, please no arguments!) deserve praise as the stunt men have done a great job.
The actors, of course need a word of mention. Prabhas has evolved as a matured actor. His expressions in the movie are hilarious and the director has got the best out of him. Veteran actors Prabhu, Chandra Mohan and others have done their jobs effortlessly. Mukesh Rishi, the usually fierce villain in faction movies has been comically dealt with. Kajal is cute as ever and perhaps has to improve on her crying!
Yesteryear actress Thulasi as Prabhas' mother has done a good job with her broken English that'll make you laugh. Actors as Prabhas' friends are hilarious with Srinivas Reddy and others. All in all, all actors have done their job to perfection under the guidance of Karunakaran.
The turn offs
'Darling' is a mixed bag of entertainment and what a regular film watcher would say 'commercial' movie. Editing could have been handled well and lapse in the screenplay can be spotted. The director could have made the scenes in Switzerland, more interesting, not that it wasn't good but a better handling could have made the movie, spotless.
GV's music seems to be influenced by his uncle A R Rahman, background music has a tinge of Rahman in it! A great turn off in the movie is a stunt scene in the climax where Prabhas jumps on the bonnet of a running car and the car stops! Phew! if your okay with it, then we are okay as well!
In Toto, the movie is a family entertainer. Not much of violence, nothing vulgar! Sentiments, action and comedy equate the formula of this movie. A complete time pass, this movie is marked as a pass in Karunakaran's report card.
Released on: 23rd April, 2010