C/o Kancharapalem review: As real as it gets
A 42-year-old divorcee who loves her subordinate, a 49-year-old unmarried man. A young boy who has a crush on his classmate. A hired goon who loves a fiercely independent woman. A wine shop worker who loves a sex worker. Set amidst these disparate stories, C/o Kancharapalem slowly weaves its way around you. Radha is an Oriya woman who gets posted to a government office in Kancharapalem village. She begins to have a liking for 49-year-old Raju, an attender.
In the government school in the village, upon learning that Sunita’s favourite shade is ‘Rani’ colour, Sundaram wears the shirt to the school, much to the amusement of his classmates. Geddam, who works in a wine shop, loves Saleema, a sex worker. Despite her revealing her profession, he remains sincere to her. Bhargavi loves Joseph, who works for a good-natured ‘dada’ who manages a gymnasium.
The entire movie is based in Kancharapalem, in a pre-Internet, feature-phone era. Revolving around the love stories of these eight characters, the slow-paced narrative might initially make you judge this low budget movie as an eminently forgettable one. Only during the last five minutes of the movie, the twist hits you like a sledgehammer. Another aspect in the storyline is its realistic portrayal of events. A Muslim girl in love with a Hindu guy, a Brahmin girl with a Christian boy – these two instances have something in common – that of their relatives opposing the marriage.
The movie also points out that the goodness in individuals is equal to divinity, and takes a dig at idol worship. The folk tunes in the saga are worth pondering. What works for C/o Kancharapalem is its rustic setting and storyline. What goes against it is the length. At 150-odd minutes, the film seems a tad too long. Had the narrative and sequences moved at a faster pace, it might have been an engrossing watch. Still, owing to the strength of the characters and storyline, C/o Kancharapalem is a one-time watch.