Film: Asta Chemma
Cast: Nani, Swathi, Bhargavi, Sreenivas, Hema, Tanikella Bharani, Jhansi etc
Music: Kalyani Malik
Camera: PG Vinda
Editing: Marthand K Venkatesh
Lyrics: Seeta Rama Sastry
Producer: Ram Mohan P
Story, Screenplay, Direction: Indraganti Mohan Krishna
Released On: 5th Sep 2008
Lavanya (Colors Swathi) is a hardcore Prince Mahesh Babu's fan who wishes to marry him. She dreams about him all the time. But she gets depressed hearing the news that he got married to Namratha. Her aunt (Jhansi) wishes to get her married to an NRI. Lavanya denies initially but later agrees to that on a condition that the groom should be with the name Mahesh. Aunt struggles a lot in search of a groom with name Mahesh but her efforts go in vain.
On the other hand Lavanya's neighbor Anand (Sreenivas) gets perturbed by the Mahesh Babu songs in louder voice from Lavanya's room. He understands the problems and decides to find a groom for her with name Mahesh and send her away from his neighborhood. In the process he finds a dancer in a pub with name Mahesh (Nani) and he makes friendship with him. He arranges a tryst for him with Lavanya and both fall in love. But after a while secret gets revealed that Mahesh's real name is Rambabu. On the other hand Anand falls in love with Varalakshmi (Bhargavi), the sister of Mahesh alias Rambabu in the village Lakkavaram.
What made Anand go all the way to Lakkavaram? What happens from then? How the twist comes to rest. That has to be watched on screen.
New guys Nani and Sreenivas tried their level best to show their mettle. Sreenivas fits for seasoned roles but Nani has got the scope to try for routine Telugu hero characters. Ease is seen in both of them.
And Colors Swathi is the heart of the film and she proved her level best. Her trade mark comedy in dialogue delivery brings laughs in theaters. Especially in the scene where she says the difference between the names Mahesh and Rambabu is hilarious. If tried well and if proper roles come for her she can be called 'Andhra Kajol' in near future.
New girl Bhargavi, although looked a bit stout, is in perfect sink with village girl's character.
Tanikella Bharani's presence is not felt big and the character is also not so powerful. Jhansi did well as serious aunt.
Coming to technical departments, music is ok and the following songs deserve a mention:
Aadinchi astachemma odinchavamma…
Composition and lyrical value is interesting and captivating. The voice rendered this song is also hitting. The line 'nijamga neggadamante-istamga odadam anthey' is like a quotable quote.
Hello antoo pilichi….
This song is purposefully taken in old style. The composition and words used for the lyrics are sounding 50 years old. It is good to do so as the song on Sreenivas and Bhargavi cannot appeal with a routine duet.
Cinematography by PG Vinda is good and he really proved his mettle in choosing right frames. Mohana Krishna's direction can be called laudable but the influences of other directors are seen on him.
Indraganti Mohana Krishna has come up with a comedy attempt this time. His earlier flicks Grahanam (off beat) and Maya Bazar (socio fantasy) are of a complete different genre and 'Asta Chemma' is apparently appealing NRI and multiplex audiences. There is no big drama in it. There are no emotions and no hysteria.
It's a petty theme but yet dealt in pretty manner. Yes, the affect of rhyming is influencing this review as well as the dialogues in the film are written in rhyming scheme and fun. The film is somewhere close to Sekhar Kammula's style and that could be the reason he has taken its overseas distribution. The film didn't miss the trend of present cinema. The applause in theatres is good, the theme with Mahesh Babu Factor is something appealing for larger crowds and that is the only saving grace. Effort is seen in penning the dialogues and sometimes the rhyming schemes and traditional appeal goes overdose.
The effort to show variety in every aspect is over flown. Right from the starting of the film to interval and the climax, the director didn't leave the idea to show something different. The first few minutes appear like a TV serial and boring. Initial 20 minutes of the film didn't gel well with the tempo but as soon as the character Mahesh enters the screen, interest booms up. And it goes smoothly till the end.
Music is ok and melodious. Lyrical value is also managed well in right tempo as required for this film. On a whole it is the film that appeals NRIs and multiplex crowds. Mahesh Babu factor proves to be the right element to publicize this film.
(SiraSri can be reached at email@example.com)