Having seen films that reflect true-to-life thinking of average girls in YVM and RLS did not do so well as was expected, one began to feel that there is no incentive for penning love stories inspired from life. Forget a melancholic film like Andala Rakshasi, even Mem Vayasuku Vaccham, which was full of realistic dialogues and scenes, was not thoroughly lapped up. It is difficult to say why an audience enjoys a romance or dislikes another romance.
Priyatama Neevachata Kushalama is yet another film that captures two characters that reflect the thinking of an average-minded girl and a high-minded lover-boy. There is place for another girl, the chirpy and assertive type, who thinks that even girls have a right to woo boys.
As it opens, we see Varun (Varun Sandesh) and Preethi (Haasika) planning to elope. Even as Varun heaves a sigh of relief after being in a Hyderabad bound bus, we see him beaten up by fellow passengers for mistaking an unknown girl for his lover and 'teasing' her. As he is banged heavily in a police station, the now missing Preethi's father (Rao Ramesh) angrily makes an entry and bashes up Varun with a vengeance. Setting the tone for what seems to us a high-voltage, eventful romance-action-drama (which we eventually learn is not), Varun retorts to the angry father, "Mee ammayi ki emaina jarigithe, nene ninnu champestha."
Few days later, the glum-looking Varun is seriously pursued by another girl (Komal Jha as Kundana). It doesn't take us much time to realize that the guy comes with an emotional baggage (we don't quite understand whether it is present or flashback until Ramesh walks in a scene to painfully say, "Naa chinna kooturu chanipoyindi" and Varun looks at him with a matching serious expression). Prodded by his mother and Ramesh himself, the beleaguered guy reciprocates love to Kundana.
Even as the screenplay keeps us guessing about what might have caused Varun to be possessive about Kundana, who now wants to move to US on a job, the first half ends with a scene where he dolefully remarks that girls don't like guys who love them sincerely.
Director Trinadha Rao Nakkina has made the film rather amateurishly, though the big twist of the story and the emotional angle make for the weakness. Love stories need not always have only perfect, saintly boy and girl. For the new age director (but not necessarily avant garde), stories can be woven around characters that we bump into in day to day life. Even though for every Nithya of YVM there are a hundred Preethis abounding in the real world, slice-of-life characters are rare to come by and especially so in Telugu cinema. For once, a Maruthi, a Nakkina are offering us some respite.
Just as in his previous film (Mem Vayasuku Vaccham), Nakkina's this film too has a new life beckoning for the hero in distress. If the Muslim girl in MVV is caught between what her heart is saying and what her circumstances want her to do, this film has at its centre a girl whose thinking holds a crystal-clear mirror to many girls of her age.
For all the strength of the subject, the film falls flat in holding our attention continuously. The songs come across as lengthy and they seem to hamper the pace. Even the situations (especially those involving Kundana and Varun) are so badly written that the only reason why you will want to sit through the first half is because of the suspense element.
After Maruthi hit the jackpot with Ee Rojullo, there has been a mad itch among many directors to play to the gallery. This dialogue writer (Udaya Bhagavatula) is not a dab hand at penning cuss words, neither is Nakkina not adept enough at stooping to low levels.
Varun Sandesh has an innocent charm and the role of a person who can "love and only love" is apt for him. Haasika is good in the role of a pampered girl while Komal Jha, though looks less apt in a female lead's role, manages to pull it off. Rao Ramesh, Subalekha Sudhakar and others fit the bill.
Verdict: Reflecting the thinking of ordinary girls and not that of rare lovers, and the large-heartedness of a true lover boy, this film scrapes through because of the story. A good one-time watch.
Released on: 23rd March, 2013