A high school student fills his name, age in a hall ticket but in the space provided to specify his gender or sex, he writes ‘never tried before.' That sums up the mood of the film Keratam. A remake of the Kannada Josh that had an envious box office run, the climax is touted to be the highpoint of the film where an erring teen repents his action; however in this Telugu version, debutant Siddarth Rajkumar despite dishing out a convincing performance fails to move the viewers in the penultimate five minute scene. A dishevelled face and a crestfallen look cannot clearly be understood as repentance.

The rising and receding waves in the prelude are likened to the excitement and hope in the youth and the first half of the drama revolves around the predicaments and confusions of the growing students and post interval it focuses on how a misguided and an uncontrolled mind jeopardizes their career. The only captivating scene are the sparring moments between the father and son, the former beating him up for blowing away time, and his life long savings. The story shows the difference in students who decide their goals early and that of stubborn characters who while away time impressing girls.

The film has been handled well but is very formulaic; the dances in the school all look identical. Raakul is effervescent and Aishwarya shows her comfort level to the camera. Siddarth Rajkumar looks chubby and needs to tone down if he wants to play hero again, as of now the student's role suits him. Yamuna is back as a mother this time.

Keywords: Telugu cinema