A still of the film Ammamagari Illu.
Movie: Ammamagari Illu
Cast: Naga Shourya, Shamili, Rao Ramesh, Suman, Sumitra, Chalapathi Rao
Director: Sundar Surya
Rating: 2 stars
Come summer holidays, the first place that comes to mind is going to maternal grandmother’s house, goofing around with cousins at their place, sleeping together on the terrace watching the moon, hearing those bedtime stories by grandmother, evening walks with grandfather, eating our favourite food until the stomach bloats, enjoying the unconditional love of grandparents. Such is the warmth of grandmother’s house. Is Ammammagari illu a movie with the aforementioned elements? Is it about walking down the memory lane, going back to those school summer holidays? Before you get excited and nostalgic and book your tickets, do read on…
Of course, the movie starts off with grandmother’s house in Pittapuram and joy of summer holidays and family get-together until the children fight out for property. Sita Mahalakshmi (Sumithra) and her husband played by Chalapthi Rao deny splitting the assets, fearing disorientation and breakup of the family. They have three sons and two daughters. In a heated up discussion Rao Ramesh, eldest son (who proposes the idea of split in property) slaps Suman, who is the eldest son-in-law of the family. The family is divided and the grandfather dies with pain in heart. The grandmother, who is depressed due to the on going issues, hopes for a day, where the whole family unites. Veering to the present, after 20 years, the grandmother decides to invite everyone to distribute the property. Naga Shourya (Santosh) plans to make use of this opportunity to erase the differences and bring everyone together. Shamili (Sita) is Santosh’s cousin who is constantly resenting him for no good reason. Well, in the later part, these cousins fall in love. Neverthless, going back to family drama, Rao Ramesh and his brothers are hell bent on getting the property but the registration gets stalled. How they get the registration done and how Santosh succeeds in the reunion makes the rest of the movie.
Have you ever accidentally watched a vernacular soap opera with your mom or heard of the story from your mom? This was just a condensed version of a mega serial. Sexist dialogues, illogical sentiments and melodrama, misplaced enthusiasm, misleading stereotypes overpower the movie. The third son marries an American girl, who is always shown eating pizzas. Bro! Americans don’t eat pizzas everyday.
The music is reasonably good and so is the cinematography. One can predict the storyline within 15 minutes of the film.
Had this movie released in the 1980s or 90s, it would have struck a chord with the audience but an amateur ‘Hum Saath Saath Hai’ kind of scenes in 2018 is not convincing. The narration goes off the track and the humour in the movie is negligible. If a movie like this fails to evoke laughter, tears or make you nostalgic, it is important to ponder on investing those precious Rs 150 on the ticket.
Bottom line: Walk in without much expectations and do not expect any new story.
— Purnima Sriram