‘Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi’ film evaluation: Srinivas Avasarala’s slice-of-life romance drama

Naga Shaurya and Malvika Nair within the Telugu movie ‘Phalana Ammayi Phalana Abbayi’
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Almost a decade in the past when Srinivas Avasarala debuted as a author and director with the breezy rom-com Oohalu Gusagusalade, Telugu film buffs have been charmed by the uncanny humour, music and sensible writing of the characters. That wasn’t a formulaic Telugu movie but it surely discovered its viewers. This time, he has tried to current a conversational relationship drama with the vibe of Richard Linklater’s romance trilogy Earlier than Dawn, Earlier than Sundown and Earlier than Midnight. Avasarala’s story of a sure boy and a sure woman (therefore the title Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi), starring Naga Shaurya and Malvika Nair, is narrated in a close-to-reality method with out crowd-pleasing moments. This works in some parts and there may be lots to understand.

Sanjay (Naga Shaurya) and Anupama (Malvika Nair)’s journey of friendship, romance and tussles unfolds over a 10-year interval and is introduced in seven chapters, shifting between their engineering faculty days in Visakhapatnam and better research in London. The non-linear screenplay leaves a couple of questions unanswered in numerous chapters, to return to it later. 

Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi
Forged: Naga Shaurya, Malvika Nair, Srinivas Avasarala
Path: Srinivas Avasarala
Music: Kalyani Malik

When Sanjay, a more energizing, is about to be ragged, Anupama bails him out; she is a second-year scholar. Is she a yr older than him? The story doesn’t dwell on it since it isn’t perceived to be an enormous deal. When the 2 go for a live-in relationship in London, once more the story doesn’t make an enormous deal of it. Avasarala acknowledges the modifications in city romance in recent times and is aware of that what would have raised eyebrows a decade in the past could be much less scandalous right this moment. He’s extra involved concerning the relationship conflicts as these protagonists get older. 

We initially see Sanjay and Anupama as buddies; the undercurrent of romance is known by their shut buddies although. The conflicts start to point out up after they get previous the ‘we’re simply greatest buddies’ section. Humour pervades the preliminary campus days in Vizag and London. There’s a pal known as Valentine Ravi (Abhishek Maharishi dons the half; there’s a purpose, albeit foolish, why he’s named so) referencing Padamati Sandhya Ragam and making an attempt to romance a white woman , solely to grasp later that his real love is another person he has recognized all alongside. Within the Sanjay-Anupama story, the third character is launched at an earlier stage (Avasarala himself donning a personality named Giri) although he turns into vital solely a lot later. 

The London parts — the scholar residences, home events, grocery store visits — are introduced in a non-filmi type. Sunil Kumar’s cinematography and the usage of sync sound aids within the sensible presentation.

Selecting to not give in to cinematic moments, be it within the battle factors in addition to the humour, is usually a double-edged sword. Discuss coming-of-age relationship romance drama that spans a couple of years and Gautham Menon’s Yeto Vellipoyindhi Manasu involves thoughts, in Telugu. However that movie was in a extra mainstream area, long-established like a musical, with ample scope for drama between characters. 

Right here, apart from one track staged at a pub, the remaining are a delicate nudge to push the story ahead. Avasarala additionally does away with the standard ‘interval block’. There’s pressure however not in the best way you’ll count on. The hand-held type of digicam actions seize the meltdown between Sanjay and Anupama; a heated change is punctuated by an uncomfortable silence earlier than Kalyani Malik’s rating accentuates the emotional drama. It is a musical movie of a extra delicate sort and Kalyani Malik delivers it in an inimitable type, presenting signature melodies that he’s recognized for, and pushing it additional to intensify the stress within the romance.

The Neelima Ratnababu character (singer Harini Rao in a enjoyable function) brings in a couple of laughs simply when the Sanjay-Anupama story begins to get boring and heavy, although it doesn’t mix into the story. One more character (performed by Megha Chowdhary) who’s proven pining for Sanjay, borders on annoying. 

What holds the movie collectively when it will get too heavy are the assured performances of Naga Shaurya and Malvika Nair. Malvika, specifically, is a winner. She understands each temper of Anupama and manages to convey a lot together with her physique language and expressions.

Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi is a slice-of-life romance that largely works. Somewhat cinematic indulgence, maybe, wouldn’t have damage.

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