We have seen millions of inspiring tales of rags to riches and dream fulfillments. Why, as recently as Miss India - there are at least a dozen films released in 2020 about the same theme. But what separates Aakaasam Nee Haddhu Ra from the others is the intensity it shows in its making style and the way the narrative is grounded in emotions.
As the noted trade analyst and reviewer from Forbes magazine Scott Mendelson says it is with the characters that the audience connect than with any story. If the characters are loveable, and people could identify with them, the stories/films will become successful. It is the emotional interpersonal human connect that separates great films from mediocre films. Aakaasam Nee Haddhu Ra is undoubtedly a great film.
The story of Maha and Sundari - Their Dreams
It tells the story of Chandra Mahesh, a well educated underprivileged youth who becomes a pilot, and his dream of bringing air travel to the masses. But ironically in a bad twist of fate, the man who serves as his inspiration to dream big turns his opposite number and creates one hurdle after another. Funnily, that man himself came from lowly beginnings and made it big in this big bad world. A classic example of the attitude that many of the less privileged develop once they become entitled (read: successful).
There are two major threads in this film. On the surface the Sudha Kongara directorial appears as the story of Chandra Mahesh aka Maha as played by Suriya and his dream. But on parallel it tells the dream and its fulfilment of Sundari - who would become Maha’s better half - that of running a successful bakery known for its quality food.
As much as Aakasam Nee Haddhu Ra concentrated on Mahesh and his dream, it also details the roller coaster ride of the relationship between Maha and Sundari. It is this aspect of personal trouble and redemption that acts as an allegory to the struggles faced by our hero that separates this film from many other films of this genre. It more or less took a cue from Mani Ratnam’s Guru.
Writing and direction
The narration of the film flows organically for the most part except for the thread with the villain Paresh Goswami played by Paresh Rawal. Unfortunately his character is made a caricature bordering on the villain roles in commercial entertainers of Boyapati and Sreenu Vaitla where half a dozen antagonists are paraded to elevate the hero. The screenplay followed the classic structure for the most part. The direction of Sudha Kongara is superb. The emotional heft she gives her characters make us fall for them.
Suriya after a longtime delivered a feast both with his performance and film to his Tollywood fans who have given him an equal status to the Telugu stars. Hopefully he continues to not taking his fans for granted like he’s doing these days by delivering mediocre stuff. His performance right from the beginning is a class apart. It’s been a long time since we saw him own up a role and elevate it to the next level. Is it Athreya in 24 that we saw last time doing wonders as an actor? Yes!
Aparna Balamurali is a new face to the Telugu audience. The Mollywood heroine is a gem of an actress and she did extremely well in her role. Sometimes she even dominated Suriya. Mohan Babu as Bhaktavatsalam Naidu is good in an extended cameo. He brought a little bit of depth to what is an otherwise ordinary role. Poo Ram (Pariyerum Perumal fame) as hero’s father is good. Urvasi whom we generally see in comic roles is terrific in a serious role as Suriya’s mother. Vivek and Krishnakumar as Suriya’s friends are neat in their template roles.
The musical score composed by G. V. Prakash Kumar is a big highlight of the film. It forms part of the atmosphere of the movie. The cinematography is first rate. Niketh Bommireddy’s visuals go hand in hand with the narration of the movie. The editing is okay. The production design is first class. So are the production values. Suriya’s efforts in making this film are visible in every frame of it.
Aakasam Nee Haddhu Ra is a dream project of the director for more than 10 years. It is shot in more than 60 locations and the makers went to extremes to bring authenticity to the narration (without disturbing the cinematic flow) and visuals. The production designers built a wireframe model of the turboprop flight featured in the film for VFX sequences.
Though initially it was expected to be based on the life of G. R. Gopinath the founder of Air Deccan, a retired Captain of the Indian Army, it was later clarified that it took a few incidents from his life and is set in an original premise. It is also inspired by Gopinath’s book Simply Fly: A Deccan Odyssey.
Aakasam Nee Haddhu Ra is a film that deserve to be watched in theatres. But unfortunately, it needed to be released on OTT. It’s an instant classic and is a highly recommended watch. Just turn your attention to Amazon Prime in your leisure. Amazon finally has a critical and commercial winner in its hands.
Pycker Rating: 3.25 out of 5