Gowtam Tinnanuri’s Malli Raava (2017) Movie Review
Star Cast: Sumanth Yarlagadda, Akanksha Singh, Annapurna, Abhinav Gomatam, Karthik Adusumili, Mirchi Kiran, Preity Asrani and Anithanadh
Music Composed by Shravan Bharadwaj
Directed by Gowtam Tinnanuri
Produced by Rahul Yadav
Lyrics by Krishna Kanth
Cinematography by Satish Mutyala
Editing by Satya Giduturi
Censor Certificate: U & Runtime: 128 Minutes
Every love story is laced with memories of the couple involved. The beauty of romance lies in making those memories as memorable as possible. Young director of the movie, Malli Raava, Gowtham understands this point with great clarity. He makes sure that we feel the emotions in those memories without trying to make it too dramatic and monotonous.
In a perfect world, this movie could have been easily rated among the best love stories in Telugu Cinema. The problem lies in his execution more than his screenplay. The three timeline and two perspective structure are pleasing and refreshing. As we discussed earlier, execution is the only hammering for this film.
In trying to make it more crowd friendly, director attempts at comedy that doesn’t entirely suit the narrative or the story. The greatest positive that works in favor of the movie is the honesty that director carries throughout the film. Here, we are not manipulated to feel the emotions, rather we are left with two characters that showcase what drove them to each other. Why they needed each other?
A young girl from an abusive household shies away from identifying the true love with many insecurities. Like a boomerang, that very characteristic of her decides to play a spoilsport in her life, but this time she is more assured as she starts believing in love. The journey of her moving away from love and watching her love of life leaving her with a smile. This might seem a spoiler believe me it is not. Romance lies in the beauty of its journey and not in its endpoint. Maybe we must say, this isn’t the end for both of them.
As we discussed before, we are in this romance for the pleasure of the emotional ride rather than just watching a boy meet a girl and fall in love. The timelines here are different and laced with maturities related to that time period. We are not spoon-fed or left wondering. We are just guided but the transition this guide takes rakes up the problem or no sure explanation things. Things are left to our imagination. The five-year pain of being in shadow doesn’t come out as it should in the protagonists’ case. Not even the lady is given complete character but still, there is a magic in this story.
That’s what leaves us yearning for more perfection. More detailing and less overkill with comedy that is old school. The director decided to make two timelines that are 1999 and 2017, more dramatic and serious while 2012, the crux is left with unwanted comedy that just hinders motion. As a writer, he could have tightened it up and we are not left with wondering can a 9th class boy have such strong feelings towards a girl? Isn’t the 2012, episode not just re-comvikiatin but a restart of this love story and 2017, a culmination of the present state and hope for future?
Director needed to identify this basic and his story would have been even well told as a film. The honesty with which he lets the emotion carry out and not tell you how to feel, that’s the major strength of this film. As a character Karthik is a happy go lucky who trusts love but shaken by it. As a character, Anjali is a person shaken by life who needs love to rebuild. This is a match made in heaven. That’s the reason they meet with rain showering blessings on them. Also, the second first meeting does happen as a more required step forward for their story than it is a step in the backward direction. The narrative might slip forward and backward from time to time but the story always moves towards the goal.
In the acting department, the film totally belongs to Sumanth, who makes a strong impact as an actor, particularly in the second half. He wins over the viewer first with his subtle acting and later with his skillful portrayal of a wanderer and vulnerable lover in the final hour of the film quite strongly. Aakanksha Singh (Badri ki Dulhania fame), on the other hand, looks gorgeous and amazingly confident in her debut performance on screen and could have made much more impact with better scenes written for her. Child actors Preity Asrani and Sathwik play their part quite impressively and effortlessly. Though sometimes they seem to be too casual in their approach, but that in turn becomes part of their characters as the film progresses. Abhinav Gomatam is good but hasn’t got much to do in it. Karthik Adusumili & software team were unable to put up any exceptional show whereas Mirchi Kiran acts fine in his funny side track of a silly manager. But the comedy looks a bit out of place in the first hour.
When we talk about a love story we prefer frames that look artistic to harshly set up angles. We want the cinematographer to be in sync with the story flow and enhance the narrative at every possible moment. While Satish’s work in the work looks simple, he uses a variety of concepts in framing for the youngsters and clearly brings out a difference in the timelines to involve us. He doesn’t try too much to create an impact and that makes all the difference here. Editing could have been better with editor Satya Giduturi pacing the movie and also, transitioning from one timeline to another smoothly while setting up. The film could have done without few scenes that are completely out of context had director and him sat on the cut again, it could have been avoided. Music from Shravan Bharadwaj is soothing to the ears and his base seems to be the young adult timeline and that part gets best tunes and better background score too.
With some flaws, the movie is still an enjoyable romance that lets us believe in storytelling than just pleasing an audience member. Many scenes and instances are used to establish what made them take a step back whenever they could move forward. After all this story is about the yearning of two souls for a union. It is a monologue with great insights which converts into a dialogue and an agreement by the end.