Love’s labour lost

Love’s labour lost

A promising hero Naga Shaurya, a debutante heroine Palak Lalwani who manages to look pretty in every scene, music by Ilaiyaraja, a plot that had a...

A promising hero Naga Shaurya, a debutante heroine Palak Lalwani who manages to look pretty in every scene, music by Ilaiyaraja, a plot that had a chance to develop into an interesting love tale – could have all added up to create quite a decent ‘Abbayitho Ammayi’. However, director Ramesh Varma with a little help from the cinematographer Sam K Naidu and the other technicians – not to forget the costume designer and choreographer who came up with random clothes for the lead pair and dance moves that failed to fall in line with the maestro Ilaiyaraja’s tunes, respectively – managed to put up a show that falls below every standard of filmmaking.

Pawan Kalyan and Samantha are Facebook friends who decide to remain anonymous to each other. They turn out to be real life lovers – Abhi (Shaurya), the one who finds no difference between love and lust has a happy family – father (The ‘Mounaragam’ and ‘Choopulu Kalasina Subhavela’ hero Mohan makes an unimpressive comeback into films) who loves and indulges him to no end in all his mischief and mother (Tulasi), who gently reprimands him. Abhi woos the beautiful Prarthana (Palak) using every silly trick possible. She feels sorry for herself for having an ever-suspicious father (Rao Ramesh) despite the sympathetic step-mom Rohini. She, however, falls for the love the hero offers.

The parents discover the love story; Abhi’s father isn’t too happy with his son’s frivolous attitude to the extent that he stops speaking to him (a sensible message of how being over-friendly to children does have its flip side is attempted here), and Rao Ramesh throws his daughter out. She realises that the hero was after all not so serious about the love part of their relationship. A twist in screenplay takes the hero into Rao Ramesh’s house and vice-versa. Prarthana passionately avoids Abhi while she starts getting closer to her online friend. Abhi meanwhile realises that his online friend is none but his lady love and tries to mend his ways by remotely inspiring and helping her achieve her academic dream. Where does this all lead – nowhere!

As far as the film is concerned, it doesn’t warm up to the audience, not even once. Every attempt to engage the viewer with sentiment, romance and comedy fall flat. If there is one aspect that warrants a mention – it is in the beginning where a conversation between two cartoon characters (that you also get to see in the posters) has the energetic Raj Tarun bringing in some spark. Ilaiyaraja’s music does shine through in a few songs but they fail to leave an imprint, thanks to the execution.
The second half of the film is about how each one of the lead pair impresses the other’s parents; the hero’s repeated attempts to fall back into the good books of the heroine and the director’s efforts to bring the film back on track. Does he succeed? Judge for yourself!

Rajeshwari Kalyanam
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