Filmmakers are happy creating romance, creating fantasies for others on screen as people like watching a man and woman in love but it is a wee bit boring to identify with platonic relationships. It's always nice to see a couple romancing, but only few would like to hear sexless, philosophical banter. This film's success depends on how many people would identify and understand this concept. Newcomer Venu Sriram has done a pretty decent job to show, understand and explain the possibility of friendship between two genders and how society views such relationships.

The conflict in the film arises when the fiances of these friends arrive and view their relationship with mistrust and doubt. From then on, the film goes on predictable lines and for those who have seen Chiranjeevi and Sakshi Sivanand starrer Iddaru Mitrulu, this one will be a mere re-play. Oh My Friend is a strictly average movie with a mediocre screenplay. To drive home the point or establish the mood, dialogues or a couple of scenes are enough but what makes this film drag post-interval and on other occasion is the re emphasis on friendship sans physical attraction. There are too many scenes to prepare and condition the audience's mind right from the beginning to show they are just friends and by the end of the show, Tanikella Bharani's monologue, though beautiful, ends like a revision class. He says these are the days when siblings going on a motor bike are mistaken for lovers so there is every reason why both the friends re-think on their relationship and take it to their next level to which the reply from the hero is “just because society thinks that way, does the relationship between the siblings change?”.

The climax is too dramatic and Sruthi Hassan is a revelation. Strangely she is a surprise and holds the show from the beginning to the end with her very Hyderabadi Telugu dialogues. However, she addressing Siddarth as ‘Falthoos' and ‘Samputha Bidda' to stress and re emphasise her comfort level makes the relationship and a few scenes look forced and superficial. Excessive sentiment and very little entertainment strips the film of a complete appeal.

Anil R. who passed away leaves his last composition; the rest by Rahul Raj is quite pleasant. Seetarama Sastry's lyrics are like a string of pearls. Hansika has not much to do; Siddarth embodies his role well, Navdeep is an undeniable asset. The film has a good visual appeal and is embellished with fine performances.

Oh My Friend

Cast: Siddarth, Shruti Hassan

Direction: Venu Sriram

Music: Rahul Raj

Genre: Friendship

Plot: Age-old analysis of ‘can a man and a woman be friends?'

Bottomline: Too much clarity but too little entertainment

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Telugu Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011