The strength of Premalo Padithe lies in the climax: Here suspense is neatly unravelled and a love story develops into an immortal affair. This is a film where two underdogs are at the receiving end of circumstances. The villains of the piece comprise of an alliance of police-politician-capitalist troika, at the other end of the spectrum are Venu (Sri) and Jyothi (Urmila Mahantha), two poverty-stricken youngsters. Their lives are shattered by the actions of a lecherous Intermediate student, who doesn't know that they exist on earth.
Venu works for an idli-maker, eats and sleeps by the roadside. There is Jyothi, who is a domestic servant in an upscale gated community household. An orphan, Venu sees in Jyothi, a soft-spoken, shy girl, a mother. He soon falls in love with her.
Even as he trembles at the thought of talking to her, there is an unsavoury story unfolding somewhere and the daughter of Jyothi's owner is at the centre of this story. Aarthi (Manisha Yadav) has been befriended by Nitesh (Mithun Murali), a spoilt rich son. After initial reluctance, Aarthi falls into Nitesh's trap and before she realizes, she has gone on an outing with him. When she comes to know of his true colours, she tries hard to get rid of him. But that is not to be easy.
Herein lies the crux of the story. The climax is about how an action of Nitish triggers a set of incidents that are a hard-hitting commentary on the depravity and inhumanity in our society (remember the climax is a real-life incident) and that are a moving portrayal of sacrifice and eternal love.
Venu expresses a lot without uttering much. The director manages to build a chemistry between the girl and the boy although they don't talk throughout. In the end, the only sentence he says to her is, "Yennalu aina nee kosam nenu untanu". In contrast with the pure and innocent world of Venu and Jyothi is that of Nitesh and Aarthi. Aarthi is not floozy, but she is, like an ordinary middle-class girl, attracted to the charms of costly gadgets and expensive treats. Nitesh represents the crooked mindset of uncultured youngsters.
Everything said, Premalo Padithe is not very entertaining, although it is aesthetic. That its nativity is un-Telugu is to state the obvious. Yes, the director does deal the story with honesty and conviction, but the film cannot be sustained by an exalting climax alone.
The four young actors do justice to their roles in their own way, with Sri emerging as the best one. Urmila's innocent and homely look is a plus, while Manisha has the right body language to carry her role. Mithun sounds every bit a soft villain.
Technically, the film's cinematography by Vijay Milton is good, while Prasanna's BG is convincing. The title song featuring Suresh Kondeti is inappropriate (much like the title) and the makers would do well to remove it urgently.
The climax, for all its complexity and beauty, may not haunt you like the climax of Premisthe. Watch the film without expectations and you may like it depending on your sensibilities.
Released on: 4th May, 2012