Nandini Reddy’s Ala Modalaindi was indeed a trend-setter in rom-coms and also brought multifold popularity to Nani and Nitya Menen. Jabardasth was her second film and that turned out to be a big disappointment not only because it was rip-off of Band Baja Barat but also terribly remade. After a hiatus, she has arrived with Kalyana Vaibhogame. This time she plays really safe and I should say the safe game worked in favor of her.
The movie is the story of Shourya (Naga Shourya) and Divya (Malavika Nair) who have the marriage-phobia for their own reasons. Shourya is a free-spirited personality and Divya doesn’t want to go through the same suppression that her mom faces from her dad. They meet at their pelli-choopulu and frankly express their aversion to marriage to each other. However they plan a strategy and get married. Will their strategy work and will they remain the same individuals as before is the rest of the film.
The plot is no novel but it’s the sweet and simple moments that keeps the film going for the whole duration. The drama is limited to a very little extent. More importance was consciously given to lighter moments and the feel. More than the lead pair, it’s the supporting cast that makes a big impact in totality. There are many actors in the film with tiny roles but delivered it efficiently. It was like the team of ants taking a small piece of food without making it fall anywhere in the journey. All they got is 2-3 scenes each. Be it Paavala Shyamala, Raj Madiraju or the unexpected cameo by Aashish Vidyarthi. The list goes on. Dialogues by Lakshmi Bhoopal are sensible without any unnecessary ‘prasa’. Especially the scene where Raj Madiraju talks about the synthetic and opulent weddings that we see is wonderful.
On the flipside however, you can’t help but compare it with Ala Modalaindi. The comparison becomes irresistible because there are so many templates that Nanidni picks up from her successful debut. First and foremost point is the director seemed desperately recreate a Nani in Shourya and Nitya Menen in Malavika Nair. They were good but nowhere close to the Gautam and Nithya and so was the chemistry. The impact was average. Naga Shourya’s dialogues in English were difficult to consume and Malavika’s nature was not clearly conveyed. Another template that we can’t fail to recall is the “cool” parent(s) of the hero and a fragile relationship between the heroine’s parents. Also to end the movie on a lighter note there is Tagubothu Ramesh creating some comic chaos.
The music of the film could have been an asset for the film but the tracks are pretty average not helping the movie even a bit.
All in all, Kalyana Vaibhogame is predictable at a higher level but has some nice moments captured without too much of seriousness. It is a pop-corn entertainer that plays safe.