A lot of people often complain that why Telugu filmmakers always take up bigger issues for their heroes to solve or fight for in movies? Another problem Tollywood filmmakers face these days is: why don’t they make films with simple storylines like Maheshinte Pratheekaram or Kappela where everyday emotions in the lives of small-town or rural people are portrayed?
Just like in a Malayalam movie
Answering those calls, comes is the Vinod Ananthoju directorial Middle Class Melodies. It has no world saving heroes. No issues that have bigger political ramifications. All it shows is the story of a youngster Raghava from a small town and his ambition to become famous for the Bombay Chutney he knows well to create with an exotic taste. As simple as that. Like a Malayalam movie.
So, like many of the self-respected youngsters of the age he has a love affair with Sandhya. Obviously his failures and inability to find success till very late in the runtime of the film come as a hurdle for his love. And there are at least half a dozen subplots involving other secondary characters and their resolutions add character to the film.
Regular movie-goers may feel that those subplots better be chopped off, but those are essential for this naturalistic small town genre of films. The one that takes prominent place in the film is Raghava’s friend Gopal (Chaitanya Garikipati) and his love story with Gautami (played by the excellent Divya Sripada who impressed one and all as Paddu in Colour Photo recently). Gopal has strong belief in horoscopes.
And then there is our hero’s father Kondal Rao (thankfully our hero is not an orphan) who is a loud character. He runs a tiffin centre and has short temper. He scolds his son using choicest of cuss words. The women characters are well presented. They often assert their rights without giving sermons and taking stands. Right from the word go, everything looks familiar. The middle class is represented in a comically accurate way as the title hints at. This is the best thing about this movie which has a storyline of an underdog succeeding after a lot of efforts.
The performances by Anand Deverakonda and Varsha Bollamma are terrific. Though both of them are not lead actors materials in traditional sense, they are actors first and did their parts quite well. The voiceover (self dubbed or not) for Varsha is superb. But Anand D doesn’t come across as a typical Guntur guy. His dialogue delivery often dangerously ventured into the lands of Telangana slang. Still he managed that issue admirably.
Divya Sripada is pretty. And she is the find of the season. What a natural actress she is! Chaitanya Garikipati is hilarious. Goparaju Ramana who played the father of the protagonist is excellent. Tharun Bhascker is superb in a cameo. Every actor who appears on the screen makes an impact and the credit goes to the director Vinod Ananthoju.
The music by Sweekar Agasthi and RH Vikram is soulful. The editing is fine. You may get the feel that some of the subplots better be chopped off. But as we stressed earlier they lend a character to the narration. The cinematography is first rate. Guntur and it’s surroundings are shown well. The dialogues by Janardhan Pasumarthi are too good. The art department did a fine job. Production values are good.
We often watch films set in either Hyderabad or Vizag. Or set in Godavari region. Nowadays in Telangana. But showing interior regions of Teluguland like Guntur etc. added a special flavour to this otherwise ordinary looking movie. Sincere narration and top of the line performances make this a pleasurable watch in your leisure time. Recommended.
Rating: 3 out of 5