Movie: Malli Raava
Banner: Swadharm Entertainment
Cast: Sumanth, Aakanksha Singh, Annapurna, Abhinav, Mirchi Kiran, Appaji Ambarisha, Satwik, Preethi Asrani, Amaan and others
Music: Shravan Bharadwaj
Cinematography: Satish Mutyala
Producer: Rahul Yadav Nakka
Story, dialogues, screenplay and direction: Gowtam Tinnanuri
Release date: Dec 08, 2017
The film stars Sumanth of films like Godavari fame in the lead, who has lost his form totally and his recent trials to bounce back as a hero have also failed. Yet, his “Malli Raava” has generated buzz thanks to positive word-of-mouth reviews from the pre-release previews.
Let’s find out its merits and demerits.
Karthik (Sumanth) works in a software company in Hyderabad. He gets visa to leave to America. Around the same time, he sees the wedding card of his former lover Anjali (Aakanksha) with an NRI guy. Then the story moves back to 2012 when Anjali, his childhood love, re-enters his life. They fall in love, plan to get married.
On the day of marriage, she says she cannot marry him and leaves to the US. He doesn’t ask her the reason.
Now in 2017, she returns to Hyderabad to meet him. From here on, the story unfolds slowly tracing what happened during their school days in 1999 and why she left him on the day of marriage in 2012.
Other than the bearded look, there isn’t much difference in Sumanth’s avatar or acting. He is plain okay.
New find Aakanksha Singh is good looking, has expressive eyes. She impresses in her debut. Among other cast members, child artistes and veteran actress Annapurna are good.
Major highlight of the movie is Shravan Bharadwaj’s songs. They are melodious and constantly appear as bit songs in the background.
Satish Mutyala has captured Rajoulu locations well. Other than this his camerawork is functional. Editor has shown mark in cutting the back and forth sequences but his work is bad in creating the pace. Such a dead pace.
Love stories work only when they are made with fresh approach or when the lead pair has an amazing chemistry. New director Gowtam Tinnanuri has picked up a story that is slightly different.
The love story has three different timelines -- 1999, 2012 and 2017. The year 1999 is when hero and heroine fall in love for the first time when they are in 9th standard.
In 2012, they fall in love all over again when they are matured enough. Still, they part ways. But the repercussions of events that happened in 1999 and 2012 are experienced by them in current time. This is the crux of the love story. On paper, this sounds so good. But the execution has faltered.
During this 2 hour 8 minute movie, the real reason why the lovers parted ways is revealed just before the climax. Till then, we get to see lengthy, slow and clichéd sequences of school romance, office jokes.
The first half occupies one hour runtime and we get to see nearly 30 minutes of school romance. Thankfully, the movie holds in the second half.
The chemistry between hero and heroine, their old-style romance is touching. This is the story of two genuine people; this love is more about feelings, not about desires. The love and longing is conveyed well in the second half better than in the first half.
The film is supposed to be the love story of Sumanth and Aakanksha but we hardly see romantic scenes between them. What we get to see is whenever she is trying to talk to him, somebody distracts, or some call disturbs them or bamma (grandmother) gets a stroke.
Despite all the issues and boring first half, the final sequences are impressive. Since it has soothing music, it works.
All in all, this love story is not for all. Youngsters and guys with too-romantic mind can enjoy it, but for others this it is not gripping enough.
Bottom-line: Love and Looonging