Pelli Choopulu was one the biggest surprise hits of the year; it recently celebrated 50 days in the U.S. market, which is a big deal for such a small film. When I first saw the teaser, it vaguely reminded me of Kalyana Vaibhogame, but once the concept of food trucks was introduced in the trailer, I was excited that the film focused on more than just another love story.
Katha, Screenplay, Darsakathvam
I don’t believe in spoiling the plot of a film before watching it. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and would like to know the plot, you can read more about it here.
It seems like making short films is the latest segway into becoming a film director and Tharun Bhascker also falls into this category. With Pelli Choopulu, Tharun has displayed his talent in carefully crafting a film to cater towards a modern audience. Without focusing on a commercial formula, Tharun portrays a simple story with elements that the audience is familiar with. If you break down the story to its core elements, there's nothing new here; young adults trying to impress their parents and struggling to balance their interests with those of others who influence them. We've seen many films where the protagonist is constantly berated by his or her father, only to emerge successful and this film is no different. Despite this familiarity, Pelli Choopulu still appears fresh and this is mostly due to the way in which the story and characters were developed and displayed on screen. Tharun adds soul to the film, taking relatable characters and putting them in comical situations while constantly pushing the idea of finding success by pursuing ones dreams.
In addition, adding elements like female empowerment and the relatively novel concept of food trucks to the mix made the film that much more appealing. I've read other reivews stating that Chitra, the female protagonist, shouldn't be labeled as independent, as if were wrong to describe women with such a word, but this is exactly what she is. Chitra's struggle to stand on her own two feet and desire to acheive her goals despite the constant obstacles she faces is inspiring to watch. Tharun highlights some of the hardships that Indian women face when trying to acheive their goals, such as the constant appeals from parents to get married or preference of sons over daughters. He manages to display these problems in delicate manner so as to not blame society,but to get the audience emotionally connected and thinking about the unfairness of certain mindsets.
Prior to this film, Vijay was mostly known for this brief, yet acclaimed role in Yevade Subramanyam. Vijay plays Prashanth, a young man who has lost faith in himself and his desire to become a chef. Vijay's performance is basically flawless and from his choices in scripts, he is an actor to watch in the near future.
Ritu Varma became popular from her performance in the award winning short film, Anukokunda. While she has since been a part of a number of films in Telugu, Pelli Choopulu gave her the scope she needed to really make her mark and she certainly does. She pulls of the role of Chitra effortlessly, which is saying something since Chitra's character could easily come off as pretentious or annoying. However, she doesn't and instead manages to make Chitra a very likeable character.
Priyadarshi plays Kaushik, a character with little background and almost no character development in the film. Yet, he is easily one of the most memorable characters in the film due to his killer dialgoues and expressions in some of the most comic parts of the film. I could see him becoming a staple comedian in films to come.
Abhay plays Vishnu, who is friends with Vijay and Kaushik. The trio are seen frequently together in the film, but Abhay has less scope in terms of performance. All I really remember is him carrying a camera and claiming to be a photographer.
Nandu portrays Vikram in a somewhat key role; I didn't particularly like his character, but that makes sense considering what he does in the film. Anish Kuruvilla from Anand plays an important role in the film that is quite interesting. He was definitely good in terms of casting becuase he is mildly recognizable, but also a good character artist. Kedar Shankara and Padmaja Lanka are apt as Prasanth's parents. Gururaj Manepalli is adequate as Chitra's father and connects well with her in one emotional scene near the end. Sujata plays Chitra's mother and doesn't have much scope for performance in the film.
Vivek Sagar provides a classy album for the film. While none of the songs were crazy hits, they are all very pleasant and the background music matches really well with the film's content. Aanandamayenu is a perfect depiction of the film's overall feel.
Part of the reason why the film feels so fresh is because of Nagesh Banell's wonderful frames and visual output. The relatively low budget of the film isn't apparent in the visuals at all.
Though it is somewhat slow paced at times, Pelli Choopulu is a film that is simply well put together and leaves a lasting satisfying impression throughout.
Compared to most South Indian films, this film is more suitable for kids and family entertainment.
If you liked this article, please like Manasulo Maatalu on Facebook for future updates and share the article with your friends!