Movie: Paper Boy
Director: Jaya Shankar
Cast: Santosh Shobhan, Riya Suman, Tanya Hope
Rich girl, poor boy: this is probably the oldest concept in the book and yet somehow finds relevance in the current scenario. Based on just that is the movie Paper Boy. Ironically however, even this workable trope feels outdated and lacklustre for simple reasons in this film.
Megha (Tanya Hope) who finds out that she doesn’t have too long to live due to a fatal disease, believes that she was born for a purpose. She chances upon Ravi (Santosh Shobhan), a paper boy’s diary and as she reads it starts his love story. Ravi falls in love with Dharani (Riya Suman) after finding that she shares similar ideologies as him through the books that they pick up in the colony’s library. They meet, friendship happens, and over a serious of tedious montages and monologues, love happens.
They break up due to Ravi’s hurt pride when Dharani lies to her friends that he is a software engineer. While that constitutes the first half, the second half has its own set of conflicts and resolutions until Megha interferes to change their lives. The film leaves you with a lot of questions. Why did they break up the first time? How exactly did the “misunderstanding” get resolved? What was Dharani’s noble “intention” behind lying to her friends about Ravi, upon realising which he goes running to Kerala to apologise to her? Why did Ravi take such a horrifyingly extreme decision? But it looks like logic is something that was meant to get washed away in all the heavy emotion.
Those emotions however were sincere. You would cheer for the impossible love to be fulfilled but would also understand the reality that is evident. The pair do share a few sweet moments that would really make you smile, but the rest is pretty much a melodramatic blur.
Paper Boy is old-fashioned to say the least. Proof of that was the force-fitted comedy track of Bithiri Sathi which has absolutely no relevance to the story. The film needed a boost of updation. And updated does not mean dropping obsolete references of cab services, e-papers and apps.
It means doing away with needless fat jokes at the cost of artistes like Vidyu Raman. Speaking of artistes, Santosh, Riya and even the supporting cast performed well in a few intense scenes. But it almost seemed like nothing more was asked of them. Paper Boy is indeed a simple and sweet love story albeit burdened by the so-called commercial elements. If only it was as honest as it was played out to be...