Oct 7, 2008

Telugu Movie Chintakayala Ravi Review

Telugu Movie Chintakayala Ravi Review

Cast: Venkatesh, Anushka, Mamta Mohandas and Others.
Art: Chinna.
Choreography: Raju Sundaram.
Cinematography: K. Ravindra Babu.
Dialogues: Kona Venkat.
Editing: Sreekar Prasad.
Lyrics: Chandrabose.
Music: Vishal-Shekhar.
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Yogesh.
Producer: Nallamalapu Srinivas (Bujji).
Presenter: Baby Bhavya.
Banner: Lakshmi Narasimha Productions.
Release Date: 2nd October, 2008.

With the overseas market opening up really well for Telugu movies, Chintakayla Ravi is cashing in on that fact and tackling a very contemporary theme. It's a Venky movie from frame 1 and what you'd call a 'family entertainer'.

Venkatesh and AnushkaPlot Chintakayla Ravi is not a software engineer in the US as his mother and the rest of his village believe. He works as a bar-tender at a dance bar conveniently called Cyber Wave. When his wedding is fixed to Mamidikayla Lavanya, he is in a fix as to what to tell the girl. Before the wedding, however, the girl's friend Sunita enquires about Ravi and finds out the truth and the match is cancelled and his family, except his mother, heartbroken. Ravi wants to make amends, tell the truth, but protect his mother from the shock.

Story, Screenplay and Direction A little bit of When Harry Met Sally, some Mister Bean gags, a final HAHK hangover, a tune or two from Vishal-Shekar's Hindi flicks, Hum Tum…the movie is full of seen-before, old wine in nice new package déjà vu. The title is interesting, Venky's new look generates even more interest (like it or not) and the music is decent. There is actually nothing new in the screenplay, with a mother sentiment running throughout the movie and Laxmi carrying on her Murari act (Whew!). Still, the movie is watchable, and what more, with all that effort, entertaining.

The freshness comes solely from the Americans talking in English. From New York through K. Ravindra Babu's lens and Venkatesh in a Junior Bachchan hip-hop's borrowed garb. The actors, including Brahmanandam, Venumadhav, Srinivas Reddy, Ajay, Ali (same role as in Chirutha, why?), Sunil and others are used well. There are some cameos, of known and unknown actors where Venkatesh graciously steps aside so they can take center-stage, from NTR in a song, Venu's brief appearance and others at New York.

The story is more or less believable. The screenplay is infused with alternating subtle and gag-filled humor. The theme is very urbane in spite of the initial village setting. Prakash Raj as the narrator is pretty good. Even though the movie is predictable, you can watch till the last frame-it's team work, but Venkatesh really carries it off.

Mamta Mohandas and VenkateshPerformances Venkatesh is effortless as Ravi. The role is basically tailor-made for him. He's unafraid to do the fool/loser/nice guy roles all rolled into one and still manages to look suave. Anushka does a good job, better than a host of other roles and movies she's been appearing in lately. Mamta is average. Laxmi hams slightly and Chandra Mohan is overshadowed by the rest. The supporting cast have been used well.

Music and Dance Lot of repeated tunes from the duo's earlier compilations. Nonetheless, it's pretty hummable and except for the last Om Shanti Om rehash in the background, the music is nice.

Last Word Same old stuff in shiny package. Lot of borrowed bits and pieces and very predictable. In spite of that, surprisingly, enjoyable.