Film: Pelli Choopulu
Cast: Vijay Devarakonda, Ritu Varma
Director: Tharun Bhascker
At a time when the youth is driven by competitiveness and obsessed with career goals. At a time when engineers are launching their own startups, and progressive ideas are flowing thick and fast, how would today's youth react to the idea of an arranged marriage?
Filmmaker Tharun Bhascker masterfully touches upon this subject and more in his directorial debut Pelli Choopulu. Realistic and beautiful, this is a film you can watch with your family on a rainy Sunday afternoon or with your friends on a Monday morning or with your partner on a pleasant Wednesday evening. Tharun brought together a group of young, talented actors and has delivered a film that everybody (especially the youth) can relate to.
Prashanth (Vijay Devarakonda) is an unemployed, irresponsible engineering graduate who aspires to become a chef. Fed up of Prashanth's lifestyle and brashness, his father decides to get him married in the hope that it makes him more responsible. They set up an arranged 'Pelli Choopulu' (meet and greet with a prospective bride) with Chitra (Ritu Varma), an MBA grad who wants to go to Australia to study further but is forced by her father to look at prospective matches and get married. In a comedy-of-errors situation, Chitra and Prashanth are locked in a room for an hour, during which they open up to each other about their lives and their past.
How these two contrasting individuals react to their 'Pelli Choopulu' and set out to achieve their goals in life, forms the crux of the story.
Pelli Choopulu is one of the most realistic and relatable love stories that has been made in Tollywood in recent times. The casting is absolutely spot on, and each character plays their part to the 'T'. Music by Vivek Sagar is refreshing, and don't be surprised if you come out humming 'Ee Babu gariki' when you come out of the theatre. With a run-time of just two hours, the flow of the narrative is just perfect and you never get the feeling that the film is being dragged on unnecessarily.
One of the film's greatest success is the way director Tharun uses humour in it. The situational comedy is the best the industry has seen in recent times. There is no sense of exaggeration, and everything is perfectly in sync. Tharun also subtly touches upon subjects like encouraging girl child, and the dowry system -- issues which are largely prevalent even in the urban society.
Pelli Choopulu does get a bit predictable in the second half, but hey, which rom-com isn't predictable? What's more important is the way this film made and if this is what Tharun Bhascker does with his very first attempt, I'm interested to see what he brings us next. He is definitely a director to watch out for.
Ritu Varma is simply delightful as Chitra. The way she carries herself as a fiercely independent lady is a treat to watch. Gorgeous and elegant, Ritu makes the audience fall in love with her. Vijay Devarakonda is perfect as the care-free, erratic youngster. His monologues are one of the highlights of the film. Priyadarshi and Nandu provide brilliant support to the lead cast.
Pelli Choopulu is a film that will make you smile, to the extent that you embarrass yourself. It just goes to show that if you have talented actors, clear direction and a good script -- sky's the limit. A must watch!