Nestled below the lofty Annapurna studios is an area called ‘Krishna Nagar’. Many a struggler in the film industry come to this area to find many of their ilk. A few succeed and a lot many are disappointed in their quest to gain a foothold in the Telugu film industry.
Opportunity and despair follow people living here. If the chance to shoot in Annapurna Studios is a dream many want to fulfil, the line of pawn broker shops on the main road tell you a tale of what people do to sustain themselves in face of dwindling hope and opportunities.
Armed with a smart phone, internet access and a google account, many people, with stars in their eyes, begin with short films these days. It doesn’t guarantee anything. It at least ensures that you have a presence. It probably is the ‘okka chance’ that people crave for.
So, Tharun Bhascker started out with a youtube channel, making a brilliant video called Highderabad. He followed that up with a short film called Anukokunda; incidentally his heroine in this movie, Ritu Varma, gained fame from the short film.
Slice of life movies are seldom made in Telugu Film Industry as the movie makers think that only established names ensure business. Though the strike rate of blockbusters is minimal, the producers continue to believe in the stars. Sometimes, out of the blue, a big production house/producer decides to back a ‘small film’ and reaps benefit out of it.
What’s new in #PelliChoopulu?
For starters, it’s one of those movies, in Telugu, which has a hashtag in its title. And then, it’s one of those few movies where the characters aren’t pretentious. They are like you, me and the people we see in everyday life.
Every single person who stars in the movie has a contribution to make to the movie, in one way or the other. Actors who provide comic relief are not there to just do that; they are involved in the journey of the protagonists.
Vijay Devarakonda is an actor who is growing with every role that he enacts. In Yevade Subramanyam, he had an author backed role for whatever time he was on the screen. He doesn’t exactly play second fiddle here, but the story isn’t entirely running based on him. He delivers and how? Though the actions of his character are questionable, his understanding of human emotions is superb and he brings that part of the character out very well. The role was a banana skin for him and credit to him that he didn’t topple himself. In what can be a glowing tribute to him as an actor, it’s in his presence that most of the other actors bring the best out of themselves in this movie.
Ritu Varma had a small role in the movie with which Vijay Devarakonda made an impact. There she didn’t have enough screen time to bring out the good actress in her. In this movie, she does and performs her role with aplomb. Of all the characters in the movie, it’s her role that the director delves deep into and she performs the varied emotions her character has to portray with ease. Her character graph in the movie is quite similar to that of Kamalinee Mukherjee in Anand, but full marks to her that her acting chops made the role a good one and will be remembered in the days to come.
Apart from the protagonists, the people with good roles are Priyadarshi, Abhay and Kedar Shankara. The first two play the male protagonist’s friends and the latter plays his father. A special mention must be made of Priyadarshi as he brings the roof down with his comical interludes. The perfect Telangana accent adds to the role. The dead pan expression when he delivers those one-liners is amazing. Kedar Shankara, the man who plays Vijay’s father in the movie is also responsible for a lot of laughs. Every father-son scene in the movie is brilliant; Vijay and Kedar play excellent foils to each other.
The fact that sync sound (no dubbing, Dialogue delivery at the spot) was used adds feathers to all the actors caps.
Tharun Bhascker needs to be commended because he didn’t resort to silly humour. There were more than a few instances where he could’ve inserted entendre and generated more laughter, but he didn’t go that way. In the process, he gives us a movie which deviates from the type and yet generates laughter. There was a time when Sekhar Kammula was hailed as the next K Vishwanath. Tharun would do well to not fall in the trappings of the inevitable comparisons that would follow with Sekhar Kammula. He does a good job of picking a story from the real life – the Spitfire Bbq food truck couple exist in Bangalore. He proceeds to give his own touches to the movie, in the process making it delightful. His second movie will be waited with bated breath as people would want to know if he lives up to the promise of the first movie. Many haven’t, but you can count on him as anyone who has seen the videos of Vinoothna Geetha will tell you.
Whether you live in Krishna Nagar or dabble with short films, the thing one needs to keep in mind is the fact that if one works hard, they will be smart enough to spot the opportunity knocking at their door. One just hopes that they don’t squander it.
Verdict : #Pellichoopulu is a must watch.
Image courtesy: idlebrain.com