C/o Kancharapalem Review & Rating
Care of Kancharapalem Review - A Poignant Tale of the Ignored
The Tale of Kancharapalem
Just like the Malgudi Days takes us to the small town world of R. K. Narayan's imagination, this small film with a huge scope, C/o Kancharapalem takes the viewers into the real world of Kancharapalem. Like Malgudi, Kancharapalem is populated with people of different tastes, castes, and creeds. And everything is real.
We have seen the people. We encounter them every day on our way to the office or on the train journey we often go through. But the thing is: We see them, but we don't look at them. We have no time to observe the lives of Jim except in the voyeuristic sense. But here, the films or for that matter, literature has an advantage. The artist can look into the minute details of the world they create. keeping this in mind, we can evaluate this movie in Care of Kancharapalem review.
The world created by Venkatesh Maha
Kancharapalem is the suburb of the sprawling Vizag city. The area is often neglected in comparison to the glitz of the city, but it has its happenings that could be of interest to us. Venkatesh Maya takes us holding our hands with care into the worlds of few people of whose stories he wanted to narrate. The achievement of Venkatesh lies in the sincerity he has about his film and the lives of the world he has created. The vision of Paruchuri Praveena, the producer of the film, and her conviction to back this film.
In those narrow lanes of Kancharapalem in Vizag, there’s no place for secrets. Everyone goes about their lives and yet, they are bothered about what’s happening (or not happening) in someone else’s life. That 49-year-old Raju is still unmarried is an issue. Raju cannot get away saying things just didn’t work out for him and he’s happy with his singleton status. The inmates of the locality hold a meeting to discuss what stops him from getting married. Someone questions his virility, others wonder if he’s gay or a child molester. Just like the citizens of any such non-secret community. This may be disturbing for most of us to watch on the big screen as reality bites. But the director knows this damn well.
The humor with which all these are presented gently ease us into this slice-of-life narrative that presents four romances — of school children Sunita and Sundaram (both Suns), a young Bhargavi and Joseph, 30-something Gaddam and Saleema, and that of Raju and an officer from Odisha whom he addresses as madam.
Every character is memorable. None seem superfluous, for most of the actors have been hand-picked from Kancharapalem and have no acting experience, but breathe life into the narrative. Saleema is played with aplomb by the film’s producer Dr. Paruchur Praveena, who had the gumption to back this small indie film without taking into account the conventions of Telugu Cinema. Just like she made big out of this small film, she mailed the character of Saleema the one to stick in the minds of the audience.
Anthology films are not new to Telugu Cinema We have seen quite a few of them with varying degrees of success But the seamlessness with which its four sub-plots are tied up springs a surprise, that also remains the only quintessential twist in conventional-film terms. The first obvious takeaway from Kancharapalem is the filmmaker’s idea of age, how your belief system changes with setbacks. Sundaram and Sunitha are in their pre-teens, where their liking for each other translates into underlining the word Sun in their names.
The girl’s favorite song is Bhale Bhale Magaadivoy from Balachander’s classic Mari Charitra The content of the song isn’t perceived appropriate for the age, the elders around her object to it. This is the second time the song is used as a plot pointing device in a Telugu film The idea of love between the two is how the boy helps her learn the song, while they remain unaffected by the song’s intent. Another instance of showcasing honesty in love between a wine-shop boy and a prostitute too isn't quite conventional - the former accepts her enough to give her a condom, also proposing to her with a wine bottle in his hand, of the girl’s favorite brand.
Tales of the ignored
The oft-ignored tales of those in their 40s are the film’s soul, a ringside view of what they seek from a relationship, showcasing their wisdom, depth, and understanding of life without making it sound like an Upadesamrutam session by a Swamiji is one of the film’s biggest accomplishments.
The director leads us into Kancharapalem as the opening song raises questions about life. Raju begins his morning with yoga and a fast-paced walk that he calls a jog. The yoga-walk routine later helps him befriend the 42-year-old lady officer from Odisha who bats for equality by insisting Raju sit with the rest of her colleagues at the dining table.
The right questions
In one of the best scenes of the film, a mother in her 40s asks her 20-year-old daughter what’s the point of her feminism if she cannot accept that her widowed mother, too, would want a second chance at matrimony. The ensuing mother-daughter bond and what happens to the romance deserves a thumbs up. The 20s something Joseph-Bhargavi’s thread delves into religious acceptance, Gaddam -Saleema’s part is about moving on from a dark past, Raju-Radha’s segment is about living life as you please and putting conventions to dust.
C/O Kancharapalem takes its own sweet time to establish its characters and the backdrop. One of those we can take out of this film is the anti-stereotyping of a region, given the story is shaped by the storyteller’s deep understanding of the roots of a religion which regular cinema doesn’t often put much effort into.
The music, The sounds of the cars, passing trains that drain the loudness of the voices, birds chirping, background noises of those not in the focus of the camera all add to the charm of this film. The cinematography is atmospheric and swelled deep into the lives of the people of suburbs. The lighting, the shades of colors and everything’s rustic. We can see why as big a production house as Suresh Productions took the film under their wing and promoting it with all their might. It deserves the adulation pouring on it from all quarters.
Go watch C/o Kancharapalem which can go toe to toe with the best film of the year Needi Naadi Oke Katha. This is a different beast. You can experience a few days worth of a community within the couple of hours you spend in the theatre of your choice. A moving tale of four sections of lives is deeply touching. Inadvertently elegant.
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Venkatesh Maha's debut film C/O Kancharapalem has been the most talked about Telugu film in the recent times. Thanks to the support from Rana, the film got a wide release all over the world. From the USA Premiere shows, the response is very positive terming the film as a classic with superb performances and high technical standards. Many celebs were raving about the film when they saw it in a special preview show and now it is time for the response from the normal audience.
C/O Kancharapalem is said to be a new attempt from Telugu Cinema with an unconventional style of storytelling and natural performances from the cast. The way the director has dealt with the concept of love is being appreciated and no wonder that the audience are connecting to the film very much. Even critics are in love with the film, check out their Tweets below.
As the morning shows come to an end, the movie has been receiving a good response from the Indian audience as well. Dr. Praveena is being appreciated for initiating a project like this which is very new to Tollywood. The way the director has designed the characterisations of all his actors is said to be yet another highlight of C/O Kancharapalem. Check out more public talk and live updates below.
Stay tuned for more public talk and live updates of Care Of Kancharapalem movie.