Note: Originally written in July 2016
I'm generally not a sucker for romantic comedies, but when they get the tone, premise, mood, and characters right, it's not very hard to bowl me over. And rarely does Telugu cinema make a rom-com which feels so organic not only for the genre, but also as a general film in the first place. Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam's script for "Pellichoopulu" finds genuine characters in curious yet predictable situations and he pulls off all the notes perfectly. There's Vijay Devarakonda being almost offhandish yet with a good mix of wonder, weariness, and wit. He embodies the many uncertainties 'Prasanth' has with ease. Ritu Varma gets a cherishable 'Chitra' to play with and she delves into it with solemn dedication, her eyes doing the talking often remarkably. 'Chitra' gives good reason for feminists to celebrate amidst the parched female character landscape of Telugu cinema. Anish Kuruvilla and Gururaj Manepalli handle hefty characters with deft. Priyadarshi Pullikonda's sharp shooting wit is a riot to watch. Nagesh Banell's visuals are gorgeous yet never garish or outstanding and immerse one right into the narrative. So is Vivek Sagar's exuberant, rich, and innovative soundtrack that derives well from jazz, country, carnatic, and techno to add a wonderful flourish to the film's proceedings. The soundtrack and album never deviate the film's narrative and add so much to its smoothness. The album has songwriting from Shrestha, Rahul Ramakrishna, Shri, Nikhil Bhardwaj, and Ranjani Sivakumar that is a linguist's dream. The film's vital strength is how Tharun Bhascker captures all this excellence and distills it into one sincere endeavor that feels like a well written page from a sublime book. "Pellichoopulu" is a rare gem.
Check out more about the film at IMDB and Letterboxd.
Atlantic City says so much about two people in a relationship, without saying too much.
A comedy that is fun, while being just good cinema in the first place.