Banner: Annapurna Studios
Cast: Akhil Akkineni, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Jagapathi Babu, Ramya Krishna, Ajay, Satya Krishnan, Anish Kuruvilla, and others
Music: Anup Rubens
Cinematography: P S Vinod
Editing: Prawin Pudi
Action: Bob Brown
Producer: Akkineni Nagarjuna
Director: Vikram K Kumar
Release date: December 22, 2017
Akhil Akkineni’s second film has been in the news for a long time. The film caught everyone's attention when the interesting teaser came out.
Directed by Vikram Kumar, who is considered as one of the best directors of today’s times, ‘Hello’ has been the most-awaited film this season.
Let’s find out if it meets the expectations...
The film’s story is rather thin, but simple. As it was outlined in the trailer, an orphan Seenu becomes Avinash (Akhil) when Ramya Krishna and Jagapathi Babu adopt him.
Seenu meets a girl during his childhood and believes she’s the love of his life. Fifteen years pass, he is still waiting to meet her again.
Priya (Kalyani) enters his life by chance. She is the soul mate that he has been waiting for. But destiny has other plans. He doesn’t know Priya is the same 'Junnu' that he is looking for. Meanwhile, he loses his mobile phone which is key to get to Junnu aka Priya.
How do they unite?
Akhil Akkineni in his second film has shown some improvement as far as acting skills are concerned. But he has excelled in action stunts than in acting. The stunts are different from the regular Indian movies and Akhil has pulled it off brilliantly.
Newcomer Kalyani Priyadarshan, daughter of director Priyadarshan and actress Lissy, is likeable. She is good talent. We can’t believe this is her first film.
Ajay as the main villain is hardly seen in the movie. Ramya Krishna and Jagapathi Babu as parents are okay.
Vikram Kumar’s movies are always rich with technical values. P S Vinod has captured the frenetic action stunts brilliantly. He has made the entire film look gorgeous and beautiful.
Action stunts are completely novel as they are composed by Hollywood’s famous stunt master Bob Brown. The chases are of international standard.
Music by Anup is excellent. Dialogues are simple and neat. Film has high production values.
Lengthy Child Episode
After directing heart-touching “Manam” and the clever thriller “24”, director Vikram Kumar has come up with a romantic drama that has high doses of action.
Stories that happen in a day’s time (story point commencing in the morning and ending by night) are not new to Tollywood, but Vikram Kumar has made this convincingly. Although the basic plot happens in a single day, he goes for two flashbacks.
One flashback is about how Akhil, an orphan and Kalyani bond as friends in their childhood. The other flashback involves Akhil and Kalyani accidentally meeting again as adults and liking each other, but they are still are looking for their childhood soul mates.
Amidst this, there is an interesting angle of mobile-theft gang. Vikram Kumar is a master at weaving different threads seamlessly. He has brilliant talent to tell complex stories like ‘Manam’ and ‘24’ so effortlessly and fluently. No wonder that he has merged all three threads here in ‘Hello’.
In the first half, nothing much happens except revealing childhood episodes and how they got separated and how Akhil was adopted by Jagapathi Babu and Ramya Krishna.
The director makes the proceedings more interesting when he makes Priya (Kalyani) and Avinash (Akhil) meet again accidentally and as they start liking each other, the emotional aspect begins to erupt.
Although the entire mobile-theft episode turns out to be damp squib in the end, it definitely adds some novelty to this ‘Manasantha Nuvve’ kind of script.
Vikram Kumar has fascination towards road junctions, meeting points, and time-related themes. He has wholly or partly used all these elements in all of his movies so far. In “Hello” too, the children meet and part at a road junction.
The story happens in specific time period. Generally, movies with theme of destiny depend on tropes like – music bit, a rupee note or a mobile number or a letter, or a gift. In “Hello”, Vikram Kumar has used violin music bit and rupee note to make the lovers unite again.
Vikram Kumar’s brilliant touch is seen in the handling of the scene where Jagapathi Babu and Ramya Krishna ache to get called as mommy and daddy by Akhil than aunt and uncle.
His brilliance is also seen in screenplay writing. Although ‘Hello’ is not on par with his previous best films – ‘Ishq’ and ‘Manam’, it definitely makes an interesting and likeable watch.
For Akhil, this is definitely a re-launch movie. He has scored as hero in this movie. For Kalyani Priyadarshan too, it is a good launch.
On the downside, there is no proper logic for Akhil risking everything to get log history of his call data. Some scenes are overstretched and there is an overdose of sugary emotions.
Overall, ‘Hello’ will be liked for its classy appeal, colourful visuals, new kind of stunts and neat emotions. The film will cater to overseas and A class centers.
Bottom-line: Classy Love Story