1h 53m, ‘U/A’ Certified.
What Is the Film About?
Rahul (Prince) is a typical lower-middle-class guy who has nothing going for him. His girlfriend breaks up with him, and his father is angry. It is all because he wants to go to the US and make money.
Rahul’s world comes crashing when nothing works for him after going to the US, as well. In an unexpected situation, Rahul meets Riya Varma (Neha Krishna), and his life takes an unexpected turn afterwards. What happens to Rahul and his ambition to earn enough money is the movie’s overall plot.
Rahul’s character offers three different shades to Prince as a performer. He is fine as the typical youth and average guy struggling with the kind of work given to him in the US. It is right done the alley for him. The issues crop up where there is a dramatic twist to the part. Prince tries hard to be subtle, but he lacks the conviction and intensity to pull it off. It could have been more convincingly done.
The American Dream is a catchy title for the Telugu youth, and so is the subject. It is instantly relatable to a vast majority. Director Dr Vighnesh Kaushik, therefore, has the right content in his hand to make an engaging drama. However, he has other plans.
The first hour of the movie deals with the struggles of youth who plans to go to the US with the sole purpose of earning. He believes going to the US will solve all his problems without knowing the reality and blindly trusting his friend.
The entire stretch where Rahul’s dream come crashing, his helplessness and frustration make The American Dream and relatable drama, even if it is predictable. A few movies have shown it in the past, more like a comedy.
However, things take an unexpected drastic turn after a point. Initially, one goes with the flow, but the whole narrative changes into a thriller as more of the plot is revealed. The shift in tone, and subsequently, the handling of the portions leave a lot to be desired.
The earlier dramatic portions were similarly handled, but the identifiable emotions related to the drama took care of the issue. But, when it takes the thriller twist, the same problems become so glaringly obvious and give an impression of amateur filmmaking.
The final half an hour stretch ends with a twist. It is fine on paper, but the way it’s executed clumsily makes it look illogical. The whole thing should have had more detail. Some sequences are too far-fetched to believe. Had the same thing been done with more clarity and no rush, The American Dream would have achieved its goal.
Overall, The American Dream is a movie with two different halves. One is complete drama, whereas the other is a thriller. Parts of it might appeal to a few, but overall it fails to create the right impact. Give it is a try if you want to watch something different, but have very low expectations.
Neha Krishna playing the female lead is okay in typical romantic portions that don’t require her to act. She is also passable in a few emotional moments where she feels bad about a mistake committed in the past. However, she falls flat in the crucial thriller parts. Subhaleka Sudhakar does his usual serious and grim-looking parent routine and is fine. The rest of the actors are newcomers with no experience, and it shows.
Music and Other Departments?
The entire movie feels like an extended short film. It is acceptable considering the low budget, the resources as long as the story (content) is strong. But, when it is weak, they become apparent, like The American Dream. The music by Abhinay TJ is the better of the lot among the technical departments. The cinematography is terrible in Indian portions (Abhiraj Nair), while it is comparatively better in the US segment (done by Adam Chapman). The editing Sasank Vupputuri should have been better in the final hour.
Simple Relatable Story (At The Start)
The Thriller Setup
Acting In Crucial Scenes
Introducing the thriller element earlier without the misleading beginning would be a first. The second option could be a back and forth narrative, keeping the revelation of suspense in mind.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
The American Dream Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti