‘Pressure Cooker’ movie review: A bland take on the 'US dream' and what it means to be an NRI

The film doesn’t add anything new to the narrative of parental pressure and students chasing the aim of going abroad to study and settle down.

February 21, 2020 03:59 pm | Updated 04:19 pm IST

The trailer that showed a few plus points made me watch the film. One was the Telangana dialect, and two, the presence of Rahul Ramakrishna that assured entertainment and finally, the concept of the fetish to go to the U.S. to study and settle down.

Despite a déjà vu plot, there is always hope when a new director comes with a fresh perspective. This film has two directors but sadly the film doesn’t take off even after 15 minutes. Every Telugu household has at least one member living in the US and this is not a new phenomenon.

We have been discussing it since the 80s, about parents boasting about their NRI children and also how they rue for six months of staying indoors and becoming glorified baby sitters. From a reference to going to Chilkur Balaji temple for Visa to how when the children visit India, the women go jewellery shopping and have no time for relatives — all the aspects are known. So what new can be added to this?

Naryana (CVL Narasimha Rao) from Siddipet has unrealistic expectations from his child, and brainwashes him since his childhood that he should settle down in the U.S. In order to make his dad happy, the boy (Sai Ronak) works towards the dream but his Visa is always rejected.

After many attempts, his talent is recognised and he is all set to leave. This is where the conflict looks contrived. Just as he is loading his luggage into the car to go to the airport, he is given a letter by Rao’s (Tanikella Bharani) wife and the content is an eye opener. It is some gyan as to why you should stay back in India and find happiness in looking after parents. He has an argument with his parents on the spot; the father tells him he is doing all this to make his son happy and the son blames his father and says going to the U.S. was never his dream but the father’s. Once that is decided he runs to his girlfriend (Preethi Asrani) who is independent and has a mind of her own. He gives her an impression and also to the audience a feeling that he gave up the U.S. trip just for the girl.

Rahul is just a sidekick to another newcomer here, dialogues are purely functional and the love track is not properly etched out. Sai Ronak is good looking but needs to work on acting. Preethi Asrani looks convincing and has potential to be a promising artiste.

The story drags a lot in the second half and ultimately, we stop caring about the hero’s Visa. There are many unnecessary scenes and the editing could have been better. Cinematography is good and so is the music. The script could have done with sharp writing. This one is more like television serial but even serials are high on drama and emotions. Pressure Cooker falls short of that.

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