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One dimensional

Last updated on: September 11, 2008 18:29 IST

True to its title, the Telugu film Call Center, directed by Kanmani, gives a glimpse of the life and the happenings at a call centre.

With almost a fresh cast, barring Vamsi Krishna (one of the heroes of Happy Days), Kanmani approaches this subject in a light and to some extent, a humorous way but also brings out the negative side of it and throws in some sermons towards the end.

Krishna (Vamsi Krishna) hails from a village but manages to get a job at a call centre in Hyderabad thanks to his friend Srinivas who works there. He joins it along with his dear childhood friend Swati (debutante Priyanka). Krishna lives in an apartment along with his friends and colleagues Srinivas, Mallinka, Munna. Swati lives in a girls' hostel.

When he gets a taste of city life, Krishna changes from the simple rural boy that he is. Smoking, pubs, girls, fast life, bikes -- everything around including his friends 'corrupt' his thoughts and lifestyle. He even stops sending the much-needed money back home in the name of enjoyment and entertainment.

Swati sends money to his house. Haven't we seen enough stories of youth being spoiled by luxuries of city life or being sucked into vices finding it often difficult to come out? Swati does not like this metamorphosis in Krishna. This 'love story' is the main track of the film.

In a scenario like this, there are bound to be misunderstandings and that forms the film.

At another level, the film explores the casual attitude of the youngsters at the call centres -- their outlook towards life, money, girls, fun and sex. The whole call centre culture -- coffee, chips, calls, nicknames, the travails of employees in getting the accents etc is outlined. This is a known terrain to most of us and so there is nothing new about it.

In a sense, the movie is 'uni-dimensional' -- as it focuses on the so-called 'westernisation (or rather Americanisation of the youth' and their addictions). To some extent, one feels a lopsided picture of the call centres is painted in terms of pitfalls only and also the attitude of the youth till some sporadic statements are inserted towards the end about how addictions (to vices) are bad, how one can retain one's tradition and adapt to work in a call centre and one need not necessarily change and the whole question of morality is raised though superficially.

The humour is middling. The film is interspersed with quite a few songs.

Kanmani comes up with a good theme but somehow is not able to do justice to it. He tries his best and is a bit preachy too towards the end with the messages thrown in randomly.

This is a film for the youth and may not find favour with the family crowd (in terms of theme, scenes and the language used on certain occasions). Credit should be given to Kanmani for choosing a new theme, and that too a contemporary one at least.

The acting by the boys and girls is passable. Vamsi Krishna tries to be like a regular hero.

Call Center can be seen with a bunch of friends if you have nothing else to do.

Rediff Rating:

Radhika Rajamani