2h 37m, ‘U/A’ Certified.
What Is the Film About?
Revanth (Naga Chaitanya) is a low caste village guy who comes to Hyderabad city to start a business. He runs a Zumba centre. Mounika (Sai Pallavi) is a rich girl from the same village, Armur. She has completed B.Tech and plans to get a job. However, she fails to get one after several trials.
How do Revanth and Mounika meet each other? How did they fall in love? The conflict they face and the resolution forms the basic plot of the Love Story.
Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi are the main leads in the movie. The entire film runs on their shoulders. Among the two, though, it is Naga Chaitanya who leads the way. It does not mean Sai Pallavi is less, but we have seen her do a similar bubbly and chirpy role with undercurrent emotions previously. When it comes to Naga Chaitanya, Love story is a total revelation.
Naga Chaitanya plays a lower class guy, a far cry from his rich kid parts. It is a grounded and well-rounded part. The Telangana accent (a lighter vein one) adds to the newness. On the other hand, Sai Pallavi is her usual self, exuding confidence and showing top-notch emotions. In short, Naga Chaitanya is the fresh package of Love Story and ends up delivering his best.
Sekhar Kammula directs Love Story. He is a senior director with a distinct style. The expectations for his films are naturally high. Love Story is right down his ally, both in its strengths and weaknesses.
In a way, Love Story is similar to Life Is Beautiful. Both were follow-ups to his career-best blockbusters movies, Fidaa and Happy Days, respectively. Not only that, there is undercurrent elements of the class divide in them, as well. Sekhar Kammula has only grown bolder and clearer since then, and it reflects in Love Story.
But, first things firsts, Love Story, as the title suggest, begins as a love story. The fun and chemistry are placed in the first half of the movie. It is mixed with Zumba classes and the romantic tensions between the lead pair.
While the idea is correct, Sekhar Kammula fails to get the chemistry right in Love Story. There are occasional glimpses of the ‘vintage’ directorial touch, but that happens too little and too far away. A lot is happening; so much is packed within the first half itself. It makes it looks exhaustive and bloated. The much-expected magic never occurs.
Still, the first half gives a passable feeling due to its lighter tone. The second half takes a complete u-turn to a serious mode. It is okay if one wishes to tackle the subject seriously. Many successful films did the same and came out on top. But, Sekhar Kammula fails to give a fresh take on the serious issue he chooses to address. It is another matter that the ‘subject’ itself is hardly anything new.
The lack of freshness and the entirely serious tone with weak writing makes the second half tiring. The compelling drama is missing. What Love Story needed was more scenes like the one in the burial ground towards the end. The lack of such fresh perspective and presentation on a done to death subject is where Love Story fumbles.
Consider this, such is the serious tone that when the film’s most famous song ‘Saranga Dariya’ comes on screen, it feels misplaced from another movie. The fact that it doesn’t even feel like relief should tell the extent to which things have gone north.
However, all things said and done, the theme it tackles is serious whether it’s new or not. That it is highlighted in a big star-studded affair deserves applause.
Finally, after all the melodrama and emotional upheaval, the film ends abruptly and on a predictable note. It feels as if the director himself has had enough and wants to get done with the proceedings.
Overall, Love Story is a well-intentioned movie with good casting. The screenplay, and writing, however, makes the narrative dry and dull. We end up with a passable watch, and that too is mainly for the talent involved on and off the screen.
Sai Pallavi and Others?
As Sekhar Kammula has stated at Love Story’s unplugged event, he has got known faces for supporting roles for the first time. So, we have names like Easwari Rao, Devayani, Rajeev Kanakala, and Uttej play vital roles in the movie.
Easwari Rao is reliable as ever and serves the purpose of playing the mother of the hero. Rajeev Kanakala is a surprise package playing a character that one would hate. Uttej is always a welcome presence on screen, and that too when he gets something significant to do. Sai Chand shines in the brief moments he gets to enact. And last but not least, Devayani gets her time towards the end. The rest of the cast has very little to do and don’t particularly impress.
Music and Other Departments?
Pawan Ch making his debut as music director is a mixed bag. While the ‘sound’ he has come up with is excellent, it is too dry and adds to the dryness of the script. It accentuates the never-ending feeling of the proceedings. The background score is satisfactory. The cinematography by Vijay C Kumar is good in parts. The editing by Marthand K Venkatesh should have been shaper. The entire film needs some trimming. The writing is not up to the past standards of Sekhar Kammula.
Lead Pair Performance
Passable First Half
Missing Electrifying Chemistry
Parts Of Second Half
The writing needs an overhaul entirely with a lot of editing. Too many scenes slacken the pace. It should be avoided, and better to the point sequences would have enhanced Love Story’s appeal than what it is currently.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
Love Story Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti
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