Movie: Paper Boy
Banner: Sampath Nandi Team Works, Prachitra Creations, BLN Cinema
Cast: Santosh Sobhan, Riya Suman, Tanya Hope, Bithiri Satti and Others
Written: Sampath Nandi
Cinematography: Soundar Rajan
Producers: Sampath Nandi, Ramulu, Venkat, Narasimha
Direction: Jaya Shankar
Release date: August 31, 2018
The name Paperboy is rather suggestive, by itself. From the word go, one can make out that it will be a Romeo-Juliet style film. But to make it feel different, director Sampath Nandi has added emotional, poetic and in parts classy touch to it.
However, no matter how hard he tries, the film is rather predictable. Also to give it a commercial touch, he has added a comedy track which works against the film.
So, let's see how the much-talked about film actually is...
For starters, the story is revealed in a diary. After reading it, one of the film's character tries to get the hero and heroine together. But the story is essentially a story between a paper boy and a super rich girl, meant to show that love happens irrespective of class barriers.
Santosh Sobhan puts in a good performance. Though it's his first film, he does well. On the contrary, heroine Riya Suman is not exactly on par with him. Though she gets Keerthi Reddy from Tholi Prema kind of presentation, her newness kills the romantic effect the writer had wanted to create.
Tanya Hope plays a small role, giving some hope to the characters. Annapurna puts in a natural performance and is her usual self.
For those who like Bittiri Satyam, there is one particular scene that highlights his performance. Scenes showing Vidyullekha Raman as a food lover are getting very routine and boring. And Paperboy too tries to get some laughs out of her.
Though it's a small film, the film has been made to get a rich feel. Cinematography is very good and the songs are well-shot. Two songs have been shot beautifully and kind of enchant you. The background score too is poetic.
Sampath Nandi shows he is a good writer. He also excels as a good dialogue writer. Some dialogues are a highlight of the film.
Sampath Nandi's writing
A film showing love story between a paper boy and rich girl is not your everyday love story. Usually, such subjects are tackled in Tamil where the directors treat them sans the fluff of a commercial drama. But in Telugu, directors add elements to suit the commercial format that sells here, instead of taking a realistic view.
Though the director seems to want to present a poetic version of his 'class-less' love story, the film does not exactly fall into this category. And just to please the audience, the paper boy is also a mechanical engineer who 'turns' a paperboy.
Instead of trying to add his touch, the director works on what has been provided to him in terms of content and this kind of leaves the film with an identity crisis of sorts.
It is neither a hard-hitting film on the lines of recently released Dhadak nor is it a mass-masala entertainer of '80s where autowalas too get to prance around with rich babes.
Where the film gets serious, Bittiri Satyam is used, killing the momentum instantly. Also, the director compromises in various scenes to make it appealing to audiences, which is where the film falls flat.
The scene where the hero's parents go to heroine's house or when heroine's brother's go to hero's house are intense and well presented.
Where you might end up hoping to watch a film like Marathi hit Sairat or the recent Dhadak in Hindi, Paperboy ends up being a pale version which fails to raise above everyday story-telling.
To add to all this, the love track itself feels very old school. At times, the audience feels like the hero and heroine are blindly following some lines they might have read in romantic novels or classics.
In all, Paperboy fails to touch your hearts. Despite having good scenes, it does not go full on in showing what it wants to say. So one ends up with the feeling of reading an old newspaper instead of fresh news.
Bottom line: Old paper boy!