Reviews

Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya: Of messy romances

Sana Maqbool and Naga Shaurrya

Sana Maqbool and Naga Shaurrya  

Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya

Cast: Naga Shourya, Ajay and Sana Maqbool

Direction: Trikoti

Music: M.M. Keeravani

Plot line: Both father and son fall for the same woman

The mid 30s can be unsettling. Men and women find themselves in the cusp of change, realise they are neither too young nor fall into the middle aged category. There’s a more or less secure place professionally and on the home front, multiple commitments are to be met with — financial, growing children et al. There are exceptions to the rule, of course.

This film talks about an early bloomer, Gopalakrishnan or Krish (Ajay) who got married in his teens and soon lost himself in the domestic humdrum. At 36, he wants to reclaim the glorious teens and early 20s. His wife (played by Indraja) has committed herself to working round the clock for the household, but he has a roving eye. The couple has a teenaged son Madhu (Naga Shourya) and a younger, school-going son. What happens when this father falls in love?

Dikkulu Choodaku Ramayya comes from the production house that gave us the heart-warming rom-com Oohalu Gusagusalade a few months ago. Believing that there is scope for films that steer away from the formula and perhaps enthused by the response to Oohalu…, the makers dare to explore a concept rarely dealt with in mainstream Telugu cinema.

Bank employee Krish, forever looking to impress younger women, spots Samita’s (Sana) photographs in a file and goes out of his way to save her from an impending financial soup. Meanwhile, Madhu chances upon her at his friend’s apartment complex and friendship blooms.

The two men vie for her attention, the former having the financial advantage and the latter with his disarming innocence. At one point, Madhu and Krish have a phone conversation not recognising each other. Moments like these hold out promise of a smartly written drama of the father and son caught in the net of romance, encountering awkward moments and some introspection. The riveting pre-interval episode culminating at a temple has all the makings of this drama.

But the uneven screenplay fails to leverage on this potential. The film labours on, only now and then rising above the mundane to offer something memorable. The screenplay establishes Ajay’s foolhardiness and helps Naga Shourya win sympathies, but doesn’t make the character of Sana convincing. How many young women would, within minutes, trust and befriend a bank employee who promises to bail her out? She doesn’t sense anything fishy when he says she can count on him for money and consider him an ATM.

Smart lines by the younger brother, the relationship between Brahmaji and his wife ensure some laughter.

Where the film slackens, the lead actors do their best to prop up the proceedings. Ajay delivers a solid performance as the reckless guy with a round middle, delivering hackneyed lines at women. He is a talented actor (his performance in Vikram Kumar’s Ishq for instance) but is often relegated to being one among the henchmen. Here, he gets an author backed role and does justice to it.

After Oohalu…, Naga Shourya proves yet again that he’s one of the best among the newer lot of actors. He brings in the required innocence of a teenager and shows his anguish and helplessness in the later portions effectively. Sana has good screen presence and it would be good to see what she picks up henceforth.

M.M. Keeravani’s music helps the film immensely.

This film could have been a game changer but sadly, isn’t.

Bottomline: Doesn’t leverage on the promise that an unusual concept lends itself to.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 7:19:07 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/dikkulu-choodaku-ramayya-of-messy-romances/article6488852.ece

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