Cinema

Kalyana Vaibhogame: Feel-good romantic family drama

A still from Kalyana Vaibhogame  

Some portions of Kalyana Vaibhogame are candid to the extent that you feel the director placed hidden cameras amidst two families, recorded conversations and tried to observe different generations. These conversations ring real, not like dialogues being read out.

Stuck amidst their elders who want to see them married are Shaurya (Naga Shaurya) and Divya (Malavika Nair). Shaurya’s parents, played by Aishwarya and Raj Madiraju, would like to see him tie the knot to please an ailing grandmother. He is 24, a game developer who dreams of going to the US. Divya has finished her MBBS and wants to study further.

When Shaurya and Divya meet for a pelli choopulu, they are relieved to learn that both don’t like the idea of marriage. They cook up stories, paint a negative picture of the other and wriggle out of that marriage. Not for long. Their respective families make them meet a whole bunch of caricaturish grooms and brides. To find some peace, the two plan to get married to appease their families, and then file for a quick divorce. What unfolds thereafter is a story of relationships and bonds between families.

In these two families, writer Lakshmi Bhupal and director Nandini Reddy mirror a multitude of characters plucked from reality. Aishwarya gets dramatic each time her son resists the idea of marriage. She channels her anger and frustration into cooking elaborate meals and the family members dare not refuse to eat! Raasi is the connecting link between the stern father and the tomboyish girl who clams up in his presence. Years ago she had put away her own interests and committed to being a good wife and mother, even if it is thankless. The grandmother has lost her speech and speaks with a twinkle in her eyes. There’s an adorable younger brother with Down’s Syndrome, who melts when showered with love.

There are no villains in this story. The internal conflicts of the protagonists are enough to pull them apart or keep them together.

The slice of drama doesn’t convey anything new but is still relevant in making each generation introspect — parents on arm twisting their children into marriage and youngsters on the consequences of their actions.

A few nifty touches add to the fun, like Shaurya revealing why he learnt to wash utensils after watching Ninne Pelladutha.

Kalyan Koduri’s lilting tunes are a perfect foil for the story. Naga Shaurya and Malavika fit the bill of the characters they portray, charming in their innocence and impulsive nature. Raj Madiraju, Raasi, Aishwarya and Anand are adequate. The scene where Raj Madiraju underlines the need to exercise restraint on wedding expenditure is pertinent in the times of ostentatious celebrations.

The only problem with Kalyana Vaibhogame is its predictability and the uninspiring climax.

Nevertheless, it’s a relevant film that’s worth a watch.

Kalyana Vaibhogame

Cast: Naga Shaurya, Malavika Nair

Direction: Nandini Reddy

Music: Kalyan Koduri

Rating: 3 stars


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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 7:38:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/kalyana-vaibhogame-feelgood-romantic-family-drama/article8314092.ece

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