Star Cast: Ritu Varma, Vijay Devarakonda, Nandu, Guru Raj, Kedar Sankar, Anish Kuruvilla, Priyadarshi, Abhay and Padmaja.
Directed by Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam
Music Composed by Vivek Sagar
Cameraman by Nagesh Bannel
Art Work by Latha Naidu
Produced by Raj Kadukuri & Yash Rangineni
Censor Certificate: U & Runtime: 122 Minutes
The year 2016 gave us couple of promising small films [Terror, Kshanam (though inspired from Gone Baby Gone & Bunny Lake Missing)] which in turns were responsible to raise my expectations from Pelli Choopulu. Moreover its cast lead by Vijay, Ritu Varma, Anish Kuruvilla and Nandu was enough to excite offbeat cinegoer like myself to a large extent. In all a first time attempt by director Tharun Bhascker showed some great promise even without any noticeable promotions [except for showcasing too many premiere shows] before its release.
The story, Chitra [Ritu Varma] is a no nonsense girl from a middle class Hyderabad household. Focused and determined with pre-planned ambitions, her goals in life are well laid out by the time she completed her Masters. Prashanth [Vijay], on the other hand, has no real aim in life. As a graduate, he whiles away his life having merriment with his buds Abhay & Kaushik.
An inopportune Pelli Choopulu brings the two of them together on a riotous journey where they become partners in Food Truck business. The story follows them as their business through ups and downs. And while trying to find themselves, Chitra and Prashanth discover each other and realize that they are made for each other.
Though revolving around the same concept of opposites attract [A boy meets girl, misunderstands and then fall in love], but Pelli Choopulu uses the backdrop of an entirely new kind of business in which the lead pair running a Food Truck business [Loosely based on the True story of Spitfire BBQ owners Sid & Gauthami]. Now their back story adds new outlook to the project as it has never been used in a Telugu film before. However there is no doubt the writer have taken the inspiration for their basic plot from the Hindi film “Band Baaja Baaraat” and the lead characters from “Anand” & “Godavari”. But here they have only taken the base for their story from the above films and then have developed their own script on the basis of those inspired ideas, which truthfully displays what exactly we should mean by the world, inspired.
Coming to the film, it’s a decent journey throughout the first half of the film and post intermission the film drags, with few prolonged scenes. But the final moments set the things right in a fine way. Pelli Choopulu is enjoyable with many funny moments supported well by the Telangana lingo. Particularly I would like to mention the few sequences like Pellichoopulu in a closed room, Prashanth telling about his Passion to his father [Something similar was done in Lakshya (2004)], Kaushik explaining his time sense, “Thondara Enduku” scene, Bus Stop Prank Sequence, Anish’s “Frank ga matladukundam” and from that moment Tharun keeps giving you interesting moments till the Inteval, which really works.
Post interval movie takes a dip; from the first food truck deal to the over stretched conversation between the lead pair and lacks the much required emotional depth and feel. But director Tharun makes sure there are few fun moments in the middle like “Naa Chaavu Nenu Chastha” to keep you hooked till the end. However director could have worked a bit more on the Food truck business process, emotional depth between the lead characters and radio jockey episode.
Now what really worked in this somewhat clichéd film??
For me, first it’s the musical score which has already appreciated by the music lovers to a great extent. Especially youthfully vibrant “Ee Babu Gariki”, retro tuned “Raaluraga Poolamala” and “Aanandameyenu”. Even the background score complemented this feel good narra tive. Second the cinematographer for giving you the authentic and earthy feel which wins over in minutes. Third it’s the well written funny episodes, using the local slang. Four remains the lovable lead characters who are very close to the ones we might know in our real life. Five – even though movie made on a shoe string budget, it looks technically solid on screen.
On top of all this is the lead pair who impressively sticks to their given roles quite well. “Yevade Subrahmanyam” fame Vijay Devarakonda [Similar to Ranveer in Band Baaja Baaraat] is simply salient in his portrayal of a directionless young grad in the movie. He clearly gives you the reason, why he was chosen for this role. Even Ritu Varma [a mix of Kamalinee Mukherjee from Anand & Godavari] effortlessly slips into the body of a strong Hyderabad girl, who reacts with her brave boyish attitude and speaks with a heavy urban accent. Apart from the lead pair Abhay & Priyadarshi steal the show with their lingo and their light hearted moments. Watch out for the scene when Priyadarshi takes potshot at Anish Kuruvilla. It will leave you in splits. Nandu does a fine job even in his underwritten role of an ex-lover. Rest of characters, Anish Kuruvilla, Padmaja, Guru Raj and Sankar are fine their respective characters.
Withal, I would like to appreciate Suresh Babu for backing such a small project with new team as this is the only way to tap the new hidden talent among the youngsters. In all, Pelli Choopulu provides that light entertainment largely due to its nostalgic ambiance, good soundtrack and performances. But don’t look for any emotional depth or some prodigious plot line here, offering something extra than what was already there in its official trailer. Despite the fact, it’s still a simple, sweet one time watch, with praiseworthy technical effort and some funny sequences.
Survi Review: 2.5/5