Paper Boy Review
'Paper Boy', starring Santosh Shoban and Riya Suman, hit the screens this Friday. Here is our review of the rom-com.
Ravi (Santosh Shoban) is a hard-working paperboy who believes in the dignity of labour. He is a high-thinking avid reader.
When Dharani (Riya Suman), the daughter of a rich man, sees in him a lover of literature whose "ideology" is the same as hers, she starts having feelings for him. She likes the fact that he is a self-made man.
Love blossoms. But then, problems do crop up and the class differences are not as irrelevant as they would have liked. Somewhere in Mumbai, Megha's (Tanya Hope) days are numbered as she has a terminal illness.
Written by Sampath Nandi, the film has some incisive lines. The conversations are fairly gripping between different characters. For all the ill-etched characters of those comedians (Mahesh Vitta, Bittiri Satti and Vidyullekha Raman), the lines spoken by the important ones are touching, by and large.
Many shots are aesthetic, thanks to the vision of director Jayashankarr and the cinematographic talent of Soundar Rajan. The frames are bathed in white and colours. The flowers in the garden at the girl's home, the lanes where the lead pair share lighter moments, the Alleppey moments in Kerala - they are all enjoyable as a visual experience.
The pace of the story is also fairly competent. The hero's dialogues during the interval, the lines spoken by two sentimental characters (we don't want to reveal their identity) to the hero and his family, the way the hero's thinking is portrayed are all interestingly done.
This is also a rare film where the heroine and a few other female characters (including the one played by Tanya Hope) find their place in the story. They speak some solid lines, too.
Also, the portrayal of the class difference is devoid of cliches. Annapurnamma's superiority complex is natural.
For a newcomer, Shoban has done a really measured job. While there are issues with his voice, he is very confident and has a pleasant screen presence. With the right roles and luck favouring him, he could go a long way. Riya Suman is restrained; her smile comes with a certain cuteness. The lead pair strikes an instant chemistry, especially in the Kerala portions. The kiss of love is romantic and emotional. The girl's parents, the boy's parents, Posani Krishna Murali and others are OK.
For all its hits, the film finds itself trapped in a comfort zone. Convenient scenes abound. Why does the rich girl's car break down in our films, and the hero is just around to help her out right there? Why is that there are no good guys in rich families, so much so that, rich girls find goodness only in the poor guys?
The interval bang has a certain soul. But this goes missing later on. Kerala tourism sets in. And life is colourful once again.
The climax is emotional yes, but it's also slightly contrived. Even in these actually dark portions, the lead pair looks glamorous, almost ramp walk-ready. Most Tollywood filmmakers are incapable of pulling off depressing mood in the right way. This comes as second nature to Tamil directors.
Bheems has done a good job with both songs and BGM. Soundar Rajan's cinematography is an asset. Editing and artwork are worthy.
'Paper Boy' has an emotional value of its own. Sensible dialogues, measured performances and strong technical content are its merits. On the flip side, the film could have done without some unrealistic scenes. The climax could have been soulful.