BOTTOM LINE: Telugu Cinema’s Worst Offering in Many Years
|Platform: ZEE5||Genre: Drama|
Skin and swear: Contains many on-screen moments where the protagonists kiss each other, minimal swear, hardly any skin show
What Is the Story About?
Ram is a wayward youngster who’s yet to find a purpose to his life. He hasn’t landed at a job even after completing his Masters many years ago. He has many debts to clear, but his world revolves around his friends. One of his older friend’s sister Amrutha is due to arrive in Australia for her further studies. Amrutha strikes an instant connect with Ram – their equation transforms into a full-fledged romance, days into their first meeting. Amrutharamam, named after its lead characters, is a reflection of the many highs and lows of their relationship. Do the two flawed people have it in them to tide over the rough weather?
Ram Mittakanti is an extremely poor choice to shoulder an emotion-heavy role – he neither has the flatteringly good looks that the heroine keeps gushing about nor the acting chops to give the performance any sort of depth. The characterisation is so poor that no good actor could have saved this either. Amitha Ranganath is only marginally better – the director makes her go on a sob-fest that she never recovers from. Most of the other actors too are new faces, possibly NRIs of Telugu origin in Australia – their accent is ridiculously funny. Noticing a Malayali actor speaking (poorly pronounced) Telugu dialogues with a vengeance and rare confidence, you wonder if the film needed many more gems like him who could have made this an unintentionally funny ride at least.
Amrutharamam is the first (and very likely the worst) among the many Telugu films that are to have a direct OTT release – in this case, it’s a relief because theatre-going audiences certainly deserved better. It’s hard to imagine how the writer-director Surender would have pitched the story to its actors/producers before its filming. In the name of romance, the film turns out to be a terrible insult to the genre. Never has romance looked so meaningless, pointless in Telugu cinema in recent times. The acting is amateurish, there’s no meaning to the relationship between the protagonists and there’s zilch emotion – it feels like the cast and crew were on a holiday in Australia and had made a poor effort to film something in their free time.
It’s love at first sight for the girl, sparks fly between the protagonists within a week and it takes only a few days for them to take a room together. Love feels like a formula – the reactions are robotic and mechanical. The girl barely goes to University and the guy doesn’t do a job. It’s preposterous that a story could be conceived around two such clueless people with the director trying to register an impression as if he were mounting an epic tale, only second to Geethanjali. The director may have wanted to suggest that everything else is of secondary importance in comparison to an experience like love, but it’s baffling how the film doesn’t at all care for authenticity in the backdrop or the detailing.
There’s a constant emphasis that the girl is not as beautiful as other women around Ram and that she has a heart of gold. Amrutha’s character is extremely frustrating – she has no purpose to her existence beyond the male protagonist and constantly keeps a vigil on his phone, the women he meets and interacts with. This is a couple that’s not even a month into its relationship. One wonders what she saw in a purposeless guy who doesn’t know what he wants and disregards all opinions coming his way. The regular references to his machismo and masculine charm are indulgent.
Everything in the film happens so easily – be it making love, finding a loan, bagging a job, the separation and the ultimate reconciliation. Amrutharamam is a film set in auto-tune mode. The female protagonist’s brother endorses their love as if they were a Laila-Majnu equivalent of this generation. Can anything get worse? Yes, precisely the climax. If you had found the depiction of love in the 70s and 80s Telugu films to be overdramatic, we bet you would change your opinion after watching this film – it’s the most irrational ending a Telugu filmmaker has conceived in many years, emotionally and logically. Had you met the lead characters of the film in real life, you would have very likely suggested them an appointment with a psychiatrist.
Music and Other Departments?
N S Prasu’s music is the only element of respite for the viewer who suffers a lot over the two hours. The melodious, breezy numbers feel therapeutic for the soul, especially when the rest of the film is filled with such madness. The backdrops through the film feel repetitive but Santosh Shanamoni works hard to lend some meaning to the frames and the surreal quality that the film was hoping for. The editing is a disaster – there are continuity issues, many obvious logical loopholes. The directionless writing though is significantly responsible for the turbulence in the film – you never know what it’s trying to convey, the execution doesn’t fare any better too.
N S Prasu’s music
Did I Enjoy It?
Not at all
Will You Recommend It?
Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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