Kottha Bangaaru Lokam

Rating: 3.50/5

Critic Rating: (3.50/5)

A ‘tender’ love story of the lead pair and the love between parents and children.

Balu (Varun Sandesh) is the son of loving parents (Prakash Raj & Jayasudha) who hails from Rajahmundry. His father Vishnumurthy gives him love and nothing else! He joins in a junior college where Swapna (Swetha Prasad), the daughter of a strict father (Ahuti Prasad) and an over-concerned mother (Rajitha) from Gajuwaka (Vishakhapatnam), joins too. Naturally, they fall in love. How did their love get to be known to their families? How did their families react? Does their ‘love’ stand, or is it just infatuation?

Varun Sandesh is just okay. He doesn’t have the looks that suit a junior college student. At least, his moustache could have been trimmed off better! Even while the director chooses his friends who’re actually in their teens, the hero appears older than his role. Swetha Prasad, on the other hand, carries the right looks for her role, and is at much ease on the screen. She’s expressive too and emotes well in various moods of the film. Prakash Raj appears in the role of the hero’s father, which is a toned-down, over-caring version of his ‘father roles’ in Parugu or Nuvve.. Nuvve… or Bommarillu; only here, he provides his son the freedom that was lacking in Bommarillu. Jayasudha again appears on his side, after Bommarillu, and gives controlled performance as the hero’s mother ; she’s particularly good in the scene where she shares her feelings with Prakash Raj after Varun Sandesh talks aloud and leaves. Ahuti Prasad is at ease in the role of the heroine’s father, and has an interesting characterization. Rajitha is good and natural as the heroine’s mother. Brahmanandam appears in a relatively short role as the principal of the junior college, and provides some comedic relief, but has more of a serious role in the film. Rao Ramesh, the grand son of Rao Gopala Rao who shot into fame with the role of a naxalite in Gamyam, delivers the goods as a lecturer with a positive outlook, but his character could have been etched better; it reminds the young professor’s role in Chetan Bhagat’s popular novel Five Point Someone. Most of the rest of the cast is new, and have done their job appreciably nevertheless. Some of the hero’s friends and heroines’ friends have a natural instinct in acting and may make it big in future.

Technical Departments
The story is wafer-thin, and there’s a lot of dragging around in the second half of the film. The screenplay could have been better; the song placement doesn’t seem to make much sense, particularly in the second half. The first half is filled mostly with scenes in the college hostel, which are very near to the natural. The writers and the debutant director should be appreciated for this; the director doesn’t seem like a debutant in fact! The taking of the film is good, but it could have been more touching on the whole; the film’s first half is particularly good and entertaining. The director should be appreciated for creating interest in the film through the first half and the scenes before the interval, and even using good symbolic shots in the film. The film has faint shades of  Suswagatham, Premisthe…, and Juniors. Dialogues are good in parts. Music by Mickey J. Meyer is good, but songs sound  a lot better in the audio than on the screen. The songs are shot beautifully, actually, but are placed randomly. Particularly, the song Okay anEsaa… is totally misplaced. Because of the song placement possibly, the lyrics don’t seem to fit well for the songs nEnani, neevani… and Okay anEsaa… on the screen. Visuals are generally good, particularly in the songs, and one can thoroughly enjoy the locales and the cinematography in the film. The whole movie seems to have been shot in and around Rajahmundry and Vishakhapatnam. Choreography is okay. Editing is crisp. The producer should take care to not be branded for the father-son relation that he seems to emphasize on in all his recent movies.

Notable Scenes/Dialogues

  • " …kaLLa venTa neeLLocchElaa navvutundi… (pauses) orEy, avE raavaali… manam teppinchakooDadu!" (Prakash Raj to Varun Sandesh, about Jayasudha)
  • " konni chEpalaki cheruvu kannaa aquarium better!" (Swetha Prasad, indirectly about her own life)
  • " chinna paaTaki, marks-ki muDeTTaDam…!" (Swetha Prasad murmurs as her mom asks her marks when the former hums a song as she goes.)
  • " inTi deepam kadaa ani muddeTTukunTE meesam kaalindani…" (Ahuti Prasad)
  • The scene where Rao Ramesh explains the difference in people’s attitude in different age ranges.

Minor Overlook

  • Would a junior college hostel be hosted in the same campus for girls and boys, with both sharing the same mess?
  • Each of the lead pair count the number of times one thinks of the other, and note it. Surprisingly, it’s shown that they go on writing numbers. Is it like you can count once every second you think of the other? No surprise that they come up number as high as 10,000 and 11,000 in a day, or rather, 86,400 seconds!
  • Heroine’s letter to the hero is shown to have tears fallen while writing, thereby smearing the writing here and there, but she’s shown to be writing with a ball pen!
  • Are students given loose papers and allowed pads into the examination room in Intermediate?! Whatever happened to answer booklets!
  • How come the hero comes up as an engineering topper when he’s a Bi.P.C. student in Intermediate? (It’s also shown in writing that he’s in Bi.P.C.) Even if one could assume he got into Biomedical Engineering or something, there are at least three references to taking four years for the degree and one reference to even a software job after that degree, all while in Intermediate with Bi.P.C. group!
  • Another overlook comes towards the climax in the form of a question "Do people care…?" (More cannot be revealed without telling some part of the story.)
  • So, how should parents bring up their children? What does the film try to suggest in this regard?

Bottom Line
Kottha Bangaaru Lokam is a thin story line that reminds of several films of the past in its treatment, with several aspects requiring more care than is shown. While the idea of (yet another) love story in junior college is not appreciable, the film’s first half provides ample entertainment towards the youth, like Happy Days that was released just about a year ago, and can make the film a commercially successful venture. On the whole, the film is a youthful entertainer that has some drag, twists and turns towards its journey to the rather different climax.

Cast: Varun Sandesh, Swetha Prasad, Prakash Raj, Jayasudha, Ahuti Prasad, Rajitha, Brahmanandam, Rao Ramesh, etc.

Story, Screenplay, Dialogues: Sreekanth Addala
Camera: Chota K. Naidu
Art: A.S. Prakash
Choreography: Sobhi Paul Raj, Pradeep Anthony, Balabhaskar
Fights: Sayeed
Music: Mickey J. Meyer
Lyrics: Sreekanth Addala, Anantha Sriram, sirivennela Seetarama Sastry
Editing: Marthand K. Venkatesh
Co-producers: Shirish, Lakshman
Producer: Dil Raju
Direction: Sreekanth Addala
CBFC Rating: U
Date of Theatrical Release: October 9, 2008


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