Sunday, May 31, 2009

PRAYANAM: Yeleti does it again!


One of the few original film-makers in Telugu film industry(TFI), Chandrasekhar Yeleti returns with 'Prayanam'. Known for his deftness for weaving a story around an interesting idea, Yeleti is enterprising enough to switch genres at the drop of the hat. So while he debuted with a low-budget comic thriller like 'Aithe' and followed it up with an urban-thriller like 'Anukokunda Oka Roju', he then switched to an out and out action movie like 'Okkadunnadu'. Now he comes up with something similar to a romantic comedy. 

All right, good things first. We don't see any stale sequences or scenes in 'Prayanam' too as in Yeletis' earlier movies. A wonderful core idea for the movie once again like those in his earlier movies. Remember 'Okkadunnadu' and the blood group premise. If there is any Oscar for true original ideas, Yeleti could well be in the reckoning! Here the central idea is about falling in love and convincing the lover too in 2 hours. More about this later. The casting is excellent, acting job well done. The male bonding seen here is perfect thanks to the wonderful characterizations done. Especially. the guy who played Raman played is perfect as is the one who Moksha. Technicians excel too and some wonderful lyrcis from Ananth Sriram. The 'Meghama,..' lyrics and the picturization of that is exciting and bought back memories of 'Om Namaha,..' song in 'Geetanjali'. Very creatively done. As expected, this movie is a far cry from the regular formula movies churned out. One of the well written movies TFI churned out in recent past. Would the box-office fate reflect that? I am not sure!

Well, well made movies need not always strike gold at the box office. But the problem with 'Prayanam' goes beyond that. It is in the core idea itself. Falling in love and fructifying it in 2 hours. While, no doubt, Yeleti chose this idea as its catchy and could instantly hit well with the youth, this could be the challenge he maybe ill-prepared for. Switching genres not just requires a change in content but embracing the tone and mood of the new genre. Yeleti chose a love story, bought with him the regular comic dialogues which is definitely a plus but overlooked the emotional part. Yeleti writes well, intelligently and that helps him a lot in moulding thrillers. So here he is in time-bound story set in an airport. The boy meets the girl, falls in love, wants to propose her. His accompanying friend (who could as well be Yeleti and his psychology book could as well be the Screenplay!) advises on the steps he need to take in 2 hours to floor the girl. So, Yeleti, like a magician, pulls up one scene after another, some doused with oodles of comedy like in the 'ugra naram' narration :). What he fails to create is the magic that brings in the emotional 'high' that is required in a love story. His one-sided view did not even allow him  to write well for the leading lady. In short, there is no romance in this romantic comedy. There is no 'revelation' to make the audience sit up and register it. So 'Prayanam' becomes more of a comedy than a romantic comedy. Not that we are complaining though. This is clean movie, watchable, enjoyable. All that i am rearing to see is yet an another Yeleti's big moment like the one he had with 'Aithe'. Except for his debut movie, he did not achieve the commericial success he deserves. Like in his earlier two movies, he does all the hard work in writing and lets it go when what is needed is the 'big impact' in the movie, an impact, an emotional high, that the viewer should carry with him back home. Otherwise, what we get to see is some intelligent narration, which for technical reasons, a limited few would appreciate. For Yeleti to connect with the larger audiences, he should allow them to connect with his movies. All Yeleti needs to deliver is that 'high', a 'revelation' in his movies, the 'knock-out punch', like the one Raman, the protagonist's friend, advises the protagonist in this movie to do. Hope he lands the blow the next time around. Right now, this is good enough for us.

1 comment:

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