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Worth a watch

Radhika Rajamani | October 10, 2008 13:15 IST

A still from Kotham Bangaru Lokam.

Happy Days ushered in movies set in colleges. Telugu film Kotha Bangaru Lokam is one such movie set in that genre and stars one of the Happy Days guys -- Varun Sandesh. Joining his is Shwetha Prasad (of Iqbal fame).

This Dasara release has a 'hangover' of Happy Days looming to some extent in it even though the basic premise is the love story between the lead pair of Balu (Varun Sandesh) and Swapna (Shweta Prasad).

Balu has loving and doting parents played by Jayasudha and Prakash Raj [Images]. Again the father-son relationship is focused on, but not so much like Bommarillu. Balu gets admission in a residential college and predictably bumps into Swapna at the cricket field.

Initially they are unable to figure out whether it is infatuation or love as the two get closer. But as time passes, they remember each other and realise they are in love. Swapna's parents are against Balu and is taken away from college resulting in heartache for the lovers. Balu does not tell his parents. Will he win Shwetha's love? That is for you to find out.

The whole story is a teenage romance which initially debates to a limited extent on whether it is right or wrong. Then of course the film traverses the expected path. In fact, the storyline is rather thin. The film offers some discourse about parenting though it is not preachy.

What is somewhat interesting is the screenplay and here the debutante director Srikkanth Addala can be given some brownie points for some of the scenes.

The first half certainly makes for a better watch than the second which takes more or less the anticipated course. One can't help miss the Happy Days hangover particularly in the first half.

Varun Sandesh and Shwetha Prasad wow with their liveliness, energy and their teenage innocence. Both are sprightly and full of joie de vivre, necessary for the role as teenage students and are the right choice for the roles. At the same time they have enough in them to bring out the right emotions required at the appropriate times. It's quite a joy to watch a young and fresh lead pair. Both are quite endearing too.

Jayasudha and Prakash Raj are perfect as the parents and repeat their Bommarillu performance. Rao Ramesh puts in a credible performance as a lecturer. Ahuti Prasad plays the strict father of Swapna well. Srikkanth has got in lot of new faces as students who are pretty okay.

Cinematography by Chota K Naidu is brilliant especially in some portions of the songs. The locales- the Godavari, the beaches, the Buddhist site near Vizag are picturesque.

Mickey Meyer's music takes off after Happy Days and has a youthful, melodic, orchestral feel and is in sync with the film.

'Dil' Raju has a Midas touch as far as production and distribution of movies go. He also has a knack of identifying and introducing good talented directors like Sukumar (Arya) and Bhaskar (Bommarillu). Now Raju adds Srikkanth to that list. Raju has not spared any effort as far as production of Kotha Bangaru Lokam is concerned.

Kotha Bangaru Lokam is a wholesome entertainment package for the festival season with freshness. Raju may strike gold with Kotha Bangaru Lokam!

Rediff Rating:

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