Movie Review: C/o Kancharapalem
Karthik, Mohan Bhagat, Subbarao, Vijaya Praveena, Radha, Praneetha Patnaik and Others
Director - Maha Venkatesh
Producer - Paruchuri Vijaya Praveena
Banner - Suresh Productions Pvt. Ltd.
Music - Sweekar Agasthi
You must've heard a lot about C/o Kancharapalem already if you are an ardent follower of social media. Yes, it is the very film that our celebrities are going gaga about. Kancharapalem and its director Maha deserve every bit of the accolades. It is a cinematic gem.
What is it about?
Raju is a clerk in a Government office. He is 49 years old and still not married. He becomes the butt of the jokes in his town for not getting married. People go on to brand him as a gay. Radha, a widow comes as an officer to Raju's office. Raju shares a nice bond with Radha who bats for equality. She asks Raju to sit and eat with officer cadre people. Radha slowly gets attracted to Raju, but he is skeptical to take the relation forward. In three other subplots, Sundaram a school kid is head over heels for his class mate Sunitha. Joseph, a street rowdy falls for Bhargavi, a feisty Brahmin girl. Geddam, who works in a liquor shop, falls in love with a prostitute.
Every actor is so natural. None of them are trained or have any experience behind them. They simply followed the instructions of the director and did whatever he asked them to do. Subbarao as Raju is superb. So is the kid Keshava. Mohan Bhagat and Karthik Ratnam are also aptly cast. Praneetha is very impressive as Bhargavi. Vijaya Praveena, who is also the producer of the film has played the bold character of a prostitute to the T.
Venkatesh Maha's script appears simple but has many layers to it. Seamless direction with superb attention to detail is the work of an expert. In spite of having no previous experience as director, Maha handled the film with great command. There isn't one wrong note in his direction all through. The subtle mix of humor and emotions is a joy to watch.
Music gelled well with the theme. Selective use of background music turned out to be a great asset. There is a perfect balance of sound and silence. Cinematography is terrific. They have shot the film with digital cameras, but didn't miss details and depth. Production design also is wonderful. Free flowing colloquial dialogue is another highlight. Producer should be commended for supporting the ideas of director. Suresh Productions and Rana also deserves the praise for bringing this to wider audience.
Drags here and there
C/o Kancharapalem title or its artistic poster designs wouldn't give away what's in store. This little gem packs a lot of surprises that it will immerse you in its narrative and make you root for its (non) actors. It will make you laugh, make you cry and make you clap with its sheer brilliance. This is cinema at its very best. Director Maha and his team have pulled off something exceptional that cannot be described in words.
The story is set somewhere in Kancharapalem a town like area in Visakhapatnam. The lower middle class setup, the characters, the dialect, the milieu will give us an entirely different feel from regular movies. All the four love stories are presented in a realistic way that it feels like we are watching them from our balcony. There is so much beneath the drama that meets the eye. Director questions the religious beliefs and misogynistic attitude in some of the telling scenes in the film.
Though the theme is an emotional and the approach is philosophical, director narrated it in a humorous way. There are many laugh-out-loud moments in the film that keeps you invested in the journey of all the characters. Director Maha creates humor even during the tense situations. Watch out for the scene where 49 yr old Raju elopes with his middle aged girlfriend. Raju's chitchat with friends, his budding friendship with Radha and people's over obsession with his bachelorhood have been dealt in a funny way.
While all other three stories don't end in the desired way, Raju's romance raises valid questions as it reaches the next stage. The stark difference between ideologies of the young and old are subtly told. C/o Kancharapalem is not for regular entertainment loving audience, but it isn't an offbeat film either. It is the perfect blend of commercial and artistic values. Cinema lovers cannot risk of missing this one. Go, watch it.
Verdict: A little gem!