Anthology is an unexplored genre in Tollywood. The total number of films made using this concept can be counted on fingers. However, most of them sank without a trace at the box office. Last known Anthology film was ‘Vedam’ (2010), starring Stylish Star Allu Arjun in the lead along with other stalwarts like Anushka and Manchu Manoj. This ‘patriotic’ symbolism went on to be a hit at the box office.
4 years hence, Tollywood has once again experimented with the anthology concept,with 8 different stories incorporated together. Did this attempt deliver what was expected of it? Read on..
‘Chandamam Kathalu’ weaves together the stories of : a widow who reunites with her boyfriend, a rejected lover, a model betrayed by her husband, a street villager, a struggling bachelor , a greedy beggar and a father worried about his daughter’s health.
Saradhi (Kishore) is a writer and a widower. His little daughter is suffering from a chronic ailment and he desperately needs 5 lacs. He starts writing a novel with multiple story lines. It has seven stories in it.
Lisa Smith (Lakshmi Manchu) is a super model at the fag end of her career with no money left.
Venkateswara Rao (Krishnudu) is a desperate ‘pellikani prasad’ whose only aim in life is to find a(ny) girl.
Ashraf (Abhijeet) has a small departmental store in old city and wants to marry his sweetheart Haseena (Richa Panai).
Raghu (Chitanya Krishna) studies in a junior college and he lures Renu (Shamili) – daughter of a noted politician in love.
There is a beggar (Krishneswara Rao) whose life time ambition is to buy a small house.
Saritha (Aamani) is a widow who reconnects with her college-time friend Mohan (Naresh) a NRI divorcee who returns to India.
Raghu (Naga Shourya) is a typical village youngster who is busy chasing a girl Gauri (Isha Ranganath).
The rest of the story is all about how Saradhi comes out of the ditch with a divine intervention.
Lakshmi Manchu skims through her part, however, she is not as convincing as in her previous works such as ‘Anaganaga O Dheerudu’ and ‘Gundello Godari’.
Krishneswara Rao who essays the role of a beggar in the movie steals the show with his impeccable expressions and amazing dialogue delivery. Though his role is limited, he stands tall among the other performers!
Krishnudu, the desperate bachelor,fails to create any impact on the viewers. Though it must be noted that his story was perhaps the most practical one,which audiences,especially current techies in the twin cities could relate to.
Debutante Shourya impresses with his screen presence. The moment the camera shifts to him, he gets in his element and ensures that the viewers do not look elsewhere. His acting seems very intriguing. A promising newcomer indeed!
This movie is the comeback vehicle of Aamani, who yet again,fails to impress.
Amita Rao is reduced to a mere eye-candy in the movie.
Shamili plays her part in an okay-ish manner. However,no great shakes!
The stories have been written by keeping in mind their Bollywood counterparts. Lakshmi Manchu’s character seems to be drawn heavily from that of Kangana Ranaut’s ‘Fashion’. If you’re an avid movie buff with considerable watching experience of Bollywood movies,it is hard for you to miss the scenes, written from some in ‘Life In A Metro’, ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’.
The background score of the movie is perhaps the best part of the film. It only makes the screenplay look tighter and gives an insight into the feelings of the characters portrayed (who have not been acting as naturally as they should be).
Music by Micky J Meyer is very good. The songs are shot in montage format. The title song featuring the common people, is shown with the opening credits of the film. Cinematography by first-timer Suresh Ragutu is alright. Dialogues by Praveen Sattaru are natural. Editing by Dharmendra Kakarala is smooth.
The first half of the film is painfully slow. However,the director could not have avoided this as the characters should have been and are well-established.
‘The curse of the second half’ affects this movie as well.. albeit,in a different manner. The director seemed to be in a hurry by giving abrupt endings to most of the stories.
As a result,the audiences may lose the connect that it developed with the movie in the first half.
As with most anthology films, ‘Chandamama Kathalu’ eventually tries to infuse a heavenlier meaning – though not by seaming its stories together under one corporate theme – but rather taking the chintzier option of completing the stories with resorting characters. Some characters seem to be forced into the film to make it look more ‘artistic’.
A One-Time Watch. Budding film-makers must watch this one to learn how effortlessly the characters are established!