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'Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju' Review: 'Pure' Love Story

Movie: Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju
Rating: 3/5
Banner:
CC Media and Entertainments Ltd
Cast: Sharwanand, Nithya Menon, Pavithra Lokesh, Surya, Nazar, Tejaswi and Others
Dialogues: Sai Madhav Burra
Music: Gopi Sunder
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswar Rao
Cinematography: Gnanasekar V S
Producer: K A Vallabha
Story, Screenplay and Direction: K Kranthi Madhav
Release Date: Feb 6th, 2015

Sharwanand kicked off his serious image and gave a hit in Run Raja Run. Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju is his first release after Run Raja Run. Naturally, audiences' expectations are bound to be high. So, let’s see if Sharwanand hits the bull’s eye yet again…

Story:
Ram or Rajaram (Sharwanand) is an aspiring athlete who dreams of winning the national medal one day. His mother (Pavithra) is a music teacher and supports his son. Into his life comes a burqa-clad girl Khanum or Nazreena (Nithya Menon), who is also his college-mate. Even as he trains for his championship, Ram tries his best to see the face behind the veil. Will he find out who she is? Will their love succeed despite their different religions? Will he win his championship? That forms the rest of the story.

Artistes’ Performances:
Sharwanand is as good as ever. He plays his part well and does complete justice to his role. He suits the character and almost lives his part. Unlike in Run Raja Run where he got a pretty cheerful character, in Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju, he once again gets back to doing serious roles.

But his body language and his lean physique suit that of an athlete and he is pretty convincing in the latter half of the film where he gets to play a more mature role.

Nithya Menon is her usual best. She is nice in the first half as the college girl who is in love. In the second half, her character ages and she carries it off pretty well. Though you cannot help but wonder if it is too early for her to play such heavy-duty characters.

Tejaswi Madivada as Mehak is the only other character who has considerable screen presence and the Ice Cream girl is an ideal choice as the Malaysian brought-up daughter of Nazreena.

Others like Nassar, Sana, Pavithra and others pull off their parts effortlessly.

Technical Excellence:
The music for the film has been provided by Gopi Sunder who in the past composed music for Bangalore Days. Since it is a love story, he tried to give a couple of soft melodies both of which are good. There is also the fairly popular number Marhaba which is picturised on Nithya Menon. 

Cinematography is decent. But the main drawback is the slow screenplay. After a point, you really wonder when and how the film is going to end. As for director Kranthi Madhav who had earlier made Onamalu, he tries to make a heart-wrenching love story to put across the message that true love can withstand all barriers.

Highlights:

  • Sharwanand
  • Nithya Menon
  • Direction

Drawbacks:

  • Very slow narration

Analysis:
It is Valentine's Day next week and when a film is promoted as a love story, then this the ideal time for the release. So, producer KS Rama Rao has timed the release of his film perfectly. That said, while the timing is perfect, they choose to tell a story that is a little out of fashion for today’s generation. At a time when people fall in instantly and fall out of love instantly, a story that spans over 15 years is bound to test one’s patience.

Also, with the success of Run Raja Run, audiences will come to the theatres hoping to see a mushy love story with a good dose of entertainment. Instead, Kranthi Madhav treats them to a love story that many from this generation may find hard to relate to.

The film starts off on a good note and you even have the hero achieving his goal early on. But then, the story has to have a twist and by the time interval happens, you are taken from Vizag to Malaysia.

Though you do understand religion can be a problem to hero and heroine’s love, the way Nassar’s (Fasil) character reacts after he gets to know of his daughter’s love story is a little surprising. To say the least, you don’t really expect him to do what he does and to add to this, what Nithya Menon does defies logic, at least to the younger audiences.

The film is vaguely reminiscent of films like Neerajanam, Abhinandana, etc. But that’s where the similarity ends as Malli Malli Idi Raani Roju barely has any entertaining characters except for the animated spikes that are in love with Sharwanand. They are probably the only relief in an otherwise serious film. But the director forgets all about them in the second half.

Like comedy track, the film also does not have any villain per se as the misunderstandings play the villain in hero, heroine’s lives. One must acknowledge that Kranthi Madhav does have the gumption to make a film without sticking to formula. But he does evoke unintentional comedy thanks to way he takes audiences patience for granted. Yet, the daughters in the second half and their characterization apart from Sharwand’s role have been handled really well by the director.

If the director could have maintained the initial pace and made the plot more entertaining while sticking to his basic story, it would have worked really well with today’s audiences. Instead he chooses to send across a message about pure love and that’s where he completely loses control. And Kranthi Madhav makes it really serious, more so during the second half which may not go well with all audiences.

Bottomline: Slow, Slow, Slow

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)     

Click here for Telugu review

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