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'Chandamama Kathalu' Review: An Effort Gone Awry

Film: Chandamama Kathalu
Rating: 2.5/5  
Banner:
Working Dream Productions  
Cast: Naresh, Amani, Manchu lakshmi, Kishore, Chaitanya Krishna, Krishnudu, Richa Panai, Shamili and others  
Music: Mickey J Meyer 
Cinematographer: Suresh R
Story, Direction: Praveen Sattar 
Producer: B Chankya
Release Date: April 25th, 2014

This film which has eight stories weaved into it is directed by Praveen Sattaru. Known to tackle routine stories differently, his small budget film LBW was quite entertaining. Even when making a love story, he is known to try new twits to make it gripping. Let’s check out how his latest project has shaped up!

Story:
Usually, such genre films are frequently tackled in world cinema and Hollywood. So, Praveen makes an effort to give it local touch and tells a bunch of stories through the writings of a writer.

The story starts with a writer. As he writes his stories, we get to see how his characters develop and go about their lives on screen. There is a beggar who dreams of owning a house; then there is the story of young love birds who get separated and bump into each other during their 50s. Another story shows a teenage couple who are forced to marry due to pressure from their village elders. A young man who tries to make it big by resorting to illegal means, a woman who discards her lover to settle in the US, a model who has seen the highs and lows of life and is at crossroads about her future – all form his characters.

Even as one gets engrossed in their stories, there is another track involving the writer and his daughter and how he struggles to safeguard her.

Artistes’ Performance:
Since it is a bouquet of stories, all characters get equal prominence. Manchu Lakshmi as the model is convincing. But the director failed to give her a meaty role by showing the mental agony of the model. So, she gets little scope to improvise.

Naresh and Aamani as the aged couple put in decent performances. Krishnudu is his usual self. Kishore as the writer has put in a good performance. On the other hand, Chaitanya Krishna skillfully manages to show the transformation in his character.

In short, none of them get roles that will be etched in the memories of the audience for long. But all of them have tried their best to look convincing and have put in sincere performances.

Technical Expertise:
Mickey J Meyer’s music evokes déjà vu. Both the songs and the background score remind one of his earlier works. In fact, the audience is able to figure out Mickey’s numbers even before seeing his name in the credits. It’s time Mickey pulled up his socks as this means he has become way too predictable.

Both the editor and cinematographer have done good work.

Despite having sub-plots, the director has taken care to keep the length short. This works in favour of the film. But he fails to explain certain crucial scenes making the story a little confusing at places.

Coming to director Praveen, he did try his best to make a ‘different’ film for the Telugu audience. But he does not succeed in making a memorable, path-breaking film. Though the genre has potential, director does not seem to have put in enough effort on the script. Since he has chosen to tell stories that are very close to real life characters, he should have given more depth to them. As the film progresses, the audience no longer care about where the stories are headed. This is a huge failure for Praveen.

Highlights:

  • Concept

Drawbacks:

  • Execution

Analysis:
If one were to draw parallels, then one is reminded of Krish’s film Vedam while watching Chandamama Kathalu. Both the films tend to trace different stories that converge at some point. But unfortunately, that’s where the similarities end.

While Vedam had some beautifully etched characters that touched your hearts, this film fails to strike a chord with the audience. Where the characters in Vedam remained with the audience long after they left the theatres, one tends to dissociate with the characters in Chandamama Kathalu. Though Praveen touches upon some contemporary angles, he fails bring them alive on screen. When the writer fails in the end, one has no empathy. The audience merely feels that a character like his was bound to lose.  

Though it is a little unbelievable, the beggar’s story ends with some intensity. All the other stories are tame, progress randomly and end abruptly.

Instead of tackling eight stories, the director should have reduced the number and concentrated on fewer stories.

In short, Chandamama Kathalu does not offer you a slice of life. And since that was the director’s primary objective, he fails badly in his efforts. Also, the climax is unconvincing and is not in sync with the rest of the story.

Bottomline: Unconvincing tales!

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

Click here for Telugu review

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Tags: Amani Chandamama Kathalu Chandamama Kathalu Review Chandamama Kathalu Telugu review Manchu Lakshmi Naresh Praveen Sattar