Rebounding after a disastrous debut in filmdom is a challenge many actors have been unable to overcome. The pressure is even more if the candidate in question belongs to an iconic film family in which the members are all titans.
Akhil Akkineni, who was lying low after his dud of a mega launch ‘Akhil’ two years ago is now back with a romantic actioner ‘ Hello’. He has Kalyani, the daughter of noted Malayalam film director Priyadarshan and actress Lissy as his heroine, who makes her debut in Telugu.
Akhil however does not miss any chance to showcase his brawny macho self even as he pines for a friend who leaves him and moves out of the city where he lives. All this obviously is revealed in multiple flashbacks when the hero is a poor street child and the heroine a rich girl.
With a too-genteel kind of a couple -Ramya Krishnan and Jagapathi Babu- adopting him, it elevates Akhil’s status subsequently as he is saved from a near fatal accident which is caused by his new mother.
The wait for his beloved continues in a typically cinematic fashion, with near hits and misses and crisis of identity keeping the love birds from uniting till the final scene, of course. Between these sequences, there is a crime parallel track built in, where a subdued performance from Ajay as a weapon-cum- mobile phone smuggler keeps the proceedings steady.
Having understood the need to be a livewire throughout the film, Akhil works hard and his effort is seen. The heroine is just about adequate with her expressions and the scope for her to do better is also absent, given the disproportionate screen space that the men hog in the film.
Yet the film is tedious, given the long, dragging narrative and the superficially natural approach of the veteran pair. Though the running time is not very long, the laggardly pace and predictable Telugu cinema type escapism bogs it down time and again.
Unless one is seriously hooked and oblivious to everything else about love story films, this movie does not engage the audience consistently, even as director Vikram Kumar attempts to blend action and romance in a proportion which he thinks will satisfy both the kinds of viewers.
By K Naresh Kumar