In a romance based film, all viewers expect is an emotional story between two well round up characters that work towards a goal, that is, immersing you in their story. Either you connect with them or be their guest who should know certain details to understand them and hopefully live through your memories too. Malli Raava starring Sumanth Yarlagadda and Akanksha Singh has such freshness to it.
Plot : Karthik (Sumanth) and his parents are waiting at a registrar office, for Anjali (Akanksha Singh). She arrives late and discloses to an expectant Karthik that she is not willing to go through with the marriage. Fast forward to five years and we see, a visibly unhappy Karthik getting ready for a Visa Interview. His friend, Dumbo and his wife, try to hide that Anjali is getting married to another person.
Disturbed by the memories he ends up at a park reminiscing his past with her. Both Anjali and Karthik meet when they are 14 and fall in love at that tender age. After that they again continue their love story after 12 years and due to her backing out they break up again. So, can they meet now? What is the real reason behind her not being able to accept his love? If they both decide to meet again, will the past bridge their union or will it be an obstacle? Watch the movie to find out ..
Performances : Sumanth Yarlagadda has a great sense of ease when it comes to capturing a pained person’s perspective. May be an inherent quality or life imparted lessons, he does seem to completely transformed himself whenever he wants, if he is really into the character. After Satyam, Prema Katha, Yuvakudu and Godavari, this is his heartfelt portrayal of a character. He excelled as Karthik.
Akanksha Singh is a value addition to Telugu screen. She looks good, didn’t many problems to lip sync and also, showed varied emotions. Being a serial actress might have helped her to perform with maturity even though it is her first Telugu Feature Film. It is her competent performance after Sumabth’s that makes the movie work.
Preeti Asrani and Satwik, the child portrayers of the principal characters lines up to the emotions that the more matured elders are performing with ease. Their tender love story and portrayal is the back bone of the movie and they excelled. All others including senior actors like Annapuramma are adequate in their roles.
Technicalities : Satish Mutthyala who handled the camera for this film used the right back ground lighting and set the ambiance well enough to let us involve into the emotions that the lead characters are portraying. He could have easily tried to overpower the screen in the name of concepts or cinematic expressions to carry the feel but cleverly uses the concepts to bring out the tender love story with better feels.
Music by Shravan Bharadwaj is good to the ears. He gives a soothing melodious score to keep the emotions real and not let his music overpower the scenes. But here and there, he did slip from the mark and that could have been avoided. On the whole, he does give a good score that enhances the narration of this love story.
Satya, the editor could have paced the movie better by not over burdening the first hour with some unnecessary scenes. Screenplay lessons or popular films might say that use comedy to ease out the heavy duty sequences but where it is not really necessary or not working, you can avoid them. It would have been better had makers planned the cut, well enough.
Writer-director, Gowtham took his time to establish the characters and then tried to bring in the conflict point so that we can understand their problem better. His idea to mix the three time periods that this couple’s love story unfold is appreciable but in the first hour he tried to jump too much that doesn’t really suit the story he had in his hands. The moment you seem to be in sync with the tender person, you are shown a matured side and then come to the present. Had this graduation is used seamlessly like he did in the pre-climax and climax portions the movie could have stood out easily.
Also, few parts look forced and few parts look completely natural progression. Had the team of the movie concentrated a bit more on the edit, they could have avoided such output. We need to appreciate the writer for bringing out the trust and communication gap issues that this on-again and off-again couple go through over the long timeline. Some more maturity in finding the balance in the first hour, the magic would have been real.
Analysis : The greatest pleasure of watching a romance is to relive our own past romances or memories of other friends or family members. If we can see ourselves in characters or find a connection like a friend who can understand them, the movie stays with us. Malli Raava has such qualities but due to few missteps in the first hour, the film remains a good and well made romantic film than being a lasting one.
Still for a first time director and production house, this film is a revelation and the talent on display is undeniably good. If the director can work on ironing out few flaws, he could give us even better films. Sumanth and Akanksha song with the two child actors carry us through their memory lane to the land of romance with one way ticket to enjoy the rollar coaster ride.
Rating : 3/5