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Kerintha: Coming-of-age stories

How fresh can a campus caper get? Is it possible for a filmmaker to say something that hasn’t been said before? Yet, there’s always a market for movies centred on campuses, for, every academic year there’s a new set that steps into this phase of life bringing with it dreams, insecurities and the first brush of romance.

Director Saikiran Adivi offers a few slice-of-life stories in Kerintha with an ensemble cast. As is the case with many previous college stories, the narration unfolds through a flashback, told by Nookaraju (Parvatheesham). This lad from Srikakulam is more taken in by the urban lifestyle than his books and fritters away his father’s hard earned money without remorse.

Dressed in outlandish clothes and still carrying his Srikakulam accent, Nookaraju befriends Jai (Sumanth Ashwin), Bhavana (Sukeerthi) and Siddharth (Vishwanath).

Among them, Jai, the photography student, is pragmatic and mature and seems to have a solution for everything, reminding us of Aamir Khan in 3 Idiots. Thankfully, Saikiran Adivi doesn’t make Jai a Mr. Know-it-all. Sid has enrolled for postgraduate programme in music and smuggles his guitar from home to college, while giving his disciplinarian mother the impression that he is studying MCA. Joining this group of four is Priya (Tejaswi Madiwada), an NRI who comes to study in the college because this is where her parents fell in love. Meanwhile, in cinematic fashion, it’s love at first sight for Jai when he spots Manaswini, a doctor, (Sri Divya) on a rainy night while travelling in a bus. Each of these characters has to rise up to the occasion, either in matters of the heart or following a passion or both.

Director Saikiran keeps the proceedings clean, gets good help from Mickey J. Meyer (the ‘Mila mila’ song takes the cake) and cinematographer Vijay Chakravarthy. The actors come off as amateurish at times but manage to convey the vulnerability required for their roles. Sumanth Ashwin really isn’t given much to do but does his part gracefully. Tejaswi, Sukeerthi, Sri Divya and Vishwanath are apt in their respective roles. Parvatheesham walks the thin line between being hilarious and annoying.

The slow narration is a dampener in this feel-good package and there’s a sense of déjà vu as some portions remind us of Happy Days and, again, 3 Idiots (the Sid track is reminiscent of Madhavan’s, where he has to come to terms with his passion for music as against doing what his parents expect him to do). The film also makes a point about fake accounts on Facebook (through Nookaraju’s experiences) and underlines that women aren’t going to give up their aspirations for the sake of love.

Kerintha is a clean, entertaining one-time watch if you like campus stories.

Kerintha

Cast: Sumanth Ashwin, Sri Divya, Tejaswi Madiwada and others

Direction: Saikiran Adivi

Genre: Romance

Music: Mickey J. Meyer

Bottom line: A feel-good campus caper

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 11:17:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/kerintha-telugu-film-review/article7309733.ece

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