Tollywood Review “A Aa”

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First, the Recap:

Ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve been promised to one person but fall in love with another? Initially stealing those magical moments with the one you actually find yourself attracted to while being put in front of you is what you don’t desire and yet are being advised is the future? No? Oh, ok. Welcome, then, to the conflicted existence of one young woman named Anasuya (Samantha Ruth Prabhu). Bubbly and carefree, she finds herself at the whim of an arranged marriage to successful, but stuffy, businessman Shekhar (Srinivas Avasarala). Lamenting the match and struggling to have it not come to pass, Anasuya convinces her father Ramalingam (Naresh) to send her off to her aunt (Easwari Rao) in the village of Kalavapudi.

Unexpectedly, she finds her father has set up for her to be watched over by brother-in-law Anand (Nithiin) while traveling to Kalavapudi. Initially resistant and headstrong with him, the two soon find they’re more than attracted to one another.  But, as they begin to fall in love, secrets from both family’s pasts surface, including an unresolved dissension between Anasuya’s strict mother Mahalakshmi (Nadia Moidu) and her aunt. Also complicating matters is Anand’s own promised and spiteful bride, Nagavalli (Anupama Parameshwaran), as well as other debts, cultural clashes, and the challenge Anand has to marry off his sister Bhanu (Ananya). But, not willing to back down, Anasuya especially starts devises means both serious and absurd to prove her intent towards Anand, even as his own hurdles to conquer rise up in front of him.

Next, my Mind:

Writer/director Trivikram Srinivas delivers a delightfully playful, funny, quirky, and innocent effort in the execution of his South India, Telugu-language film, and it most certainly serves as a wonderful reminder of the differences in style, mood, tone, themes, and cultural elements presented vs. Mumbai’s Bollywood offerings. Gorgeously shot and filled with all the similar colors, landscapes, dance sequences, and engaging performances found in their North India counterparts, the only thing this reviewer got a little distracted by periodically were some instances of certain concepts and dialogue getting a tad “lost in translation” when converted to English for the sake of the subtitles. But, this was no actual hindrance in fully enjoying and getting swept away by the narrative, characters, and rich visuals as only Indian cinema can bring about.

The absolutely beautiful and effervescent Prabhu’s performance completely endears you to her character Anasuya throughout the film, and the ability she presents going from totally vivacious and smiling to slyly seductive or scheming to heartbreakingly sad and beyond is a treat to watch unfold here. Likewise, Nithiin’s mischievous, teasing yet charming and passionate Anand is very much embodied by the actor, who could have first made you kind of dislike him, but then be completely enamored by him, as the story progresses.  The two actors’ scenes together are simply magical, and again, filled with such a wide range of emotion and intent, it’s hard not to be rooting for their union to be allowed. The excellent support of Naresh, Moidu, Ananya, Parameshwaran, Avasarala, Rao and others should not at all be ignored, as they each bring fantastic efforts to their respective characters, all of which play integral roles in the story.

Overall, “A Aa” is yet again romcom as only Indian cinema can provide, and the clever mix of drama, humor, romance, and even a little action, all combines to showcase the talent and freshness these films can offer to what we can truly hope is an ever-expanding international audience.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

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