If one has to coin a punchline for the latest mongreal film in the town, it is this: Rape Katha Chitram. 'Prema Katha Chitram' is a kind of a story which a Trivikram Srinivas would not give a try even if he was assured that it will have a 100-days run at the BO. There is a bit of Maruthi, a bit of P Vasu, a bit of action - the last one so amateurish that one would feel that he might actually be watching a Sandalwood film.
But the negatives have been cleverly glossed over by Maruthi, whose wit and craft should make even a Puri Jagannadh green with envy. He takes up a curiously crazy idea and turns it into a 130-minutes-long film with a disarming panache. Kudos to Maruthi and his director, Prabhakara Reddy, for pulling wool over our eyes and making us feel good about it!
Imagine a film in which the pre-title gruesomeness is made to be forgotten entirely with the entry of a damsel-dude duo in distress coversing about suicide. Nanditha and Sudheer Babu are seemingly depressed, and they have the company of Praveen (he plays the character who speaks the highest number of words), who also wants to die.
After indulging in two adventures, they along with Giri head to a palatial guest house. Occasional ominous signs are writ large on this unsuspecting comedy film, until it becomes obvious that the tagline - Fun, Fear, Romance - is not for nothing.
What haunts the guest house? Is it more than meets the eye about Nandita? Answers to these questions are known towards the end.
Nothing reveals the superficiality of the idea behind the film more than the double entendres spoken by one or more male characters every time before and after the evil spirit's visit. The scene in which the much-blasphemed Draupadi disrobing episode becomes crude, the tastelessness comes to the fore for everyone to see. What so far seemed genuinely ominous, starts to look like a travesty.
It is Maruthi-meets-P Vasu for sure. It is not difficult to see the secret behind Maruthi's prolificacy. He took up one idea (obviously, it has got to do with physical romance), made the idea his life, he allowed it to seep into every nerve of his. And one day he birthed a horror-filled (presumably under the influence of the films he had watched) story based on sexual perversion or male bestiality.
Frankly, PKC deserves to be watched for its sheer entertainment. The comedy is enjoyable, the dialogues are hilarious, the first half finishes on a high note. The sensuous song which comes before the kiss-before-you-die moment is a testament to Maruthi's grip on the craft. Giri's eagerness to die is funny, his suspicions about the other three is neat humour at its best.
Maruthi's dialogue come with a dose of dirt, but he has largely stayed true to the story. The reluctance of Nanditha to kiss the person whom she loves and the reluctance which Sudheer shows to kiss an unsuspecting girl, are examples of mature writing. For a writer of his knack, it is surprising that he and his director did not take care to inject enough of heroism in the climax when it was a sine qua non.
Speaking of performances, Nanditha looks much more confident from the time she debuted in Naaku Neeku Dash Dash last year. She shines through a well-written role, she scares and with her juvenile charm (helped by the right dubbed voice) makes a thorough impact. Sudheer's come across as a character artiste's role, easily overshadowed by Praveen. All the same, he shows promise, though not as much as he showed in 'SMS.' Praveen is a good actor who understands the seriousness that he must exude even while seeming light-veined. Giri is another plus.
Technically, Reddy's cinematography works fine. JB's music is enjoyable.
Verdict: It is a crazy idea that has been glossed over with immense craft. The film is a laugh riot. Even if you don't like one part of the film, you will like the rest of it, for it is a mongreal film with the sole purpose of dishing out entertainment and entertainment alone.