'Love Story', produced by Narayan Das K Narang and Puskur Ram Mohan Rao, is out in theatres. In this section, we are going to review the latest box office release.
Revanth (Naga Chaitanya) is a Zumba trainer based in Hyderabad. When he falls in love with Mounica (Sai Pallavi), who is from an upper caste background and is searching for a job in the city, the lover boy encounters issues that are not easy to be resolved. How he falls back on his inner strength and treads on a path that he hopes will redeem himself and Mounica, forms the rest of the story. In this, Mounica's Babai (played by Rajeev Kanakala) and Revanth's uncle (played by Uttej) have a part to play in different ways.
Naga Chaitanya has been trying to reinvent himself since 'Majili', in which too he sported a beard. In 'Love Story', he not only looks younger but also shows never-seen-before ease. His performance in the second half is better than that in the first half. Sai Pallavi complements the spirit of his performance in almost every scene. She may not be as vibrant as she was in 'Fidaa', but that's her role. Director Sekhar Kammula's lead pairs have always shared vibrant chemistry and the Chay-Pallavi duo don't miss a chance to animate the scene.
Easwari Rao, who has seen in not-so-distinct roles in Telugu, is impressive here. Rajeev Kanakala comes into his own as the film progresses; as the trailer indicated, he has a negative role. Devayani, Uttej and others are well-established.
Pawan Ch, the new music director, lends a sound that is different from the Mickey J Meyer sound that Kammula's movies have been used to. 'Nee Chitram Choosi' takes the cake. 'Ay Ay Pilla' sounds better on the big screen, while 'Evo Evo Kalale' and 'Winner Winner Bro' are part of the narrative. 'Saranga Dariya' is reserved for the pre-climax portions.
Vijay C Kumar's cinematography is authentic. The camera shots allow the actors to navigate the emotional arc in a pronounced manner. Editing is by Marthand K Venkatesh.
Sekhar Kammula deals with a subject that many women will find relatable. There is a reason why he talked about the Nirbhaya rape incident in his pre-release interviews. The director shows great conviction in the way he raises a serious issue in a movie featuring star actors.
The first half, which is at about 80 minutes, is too lengthy. Much of what we see here is an extension of what we saw in the trailer. The actual part of the story arrives in the second half.
'Love Story' hinges mainly on the chemistry between Revanth and Mounica, their dreams and aspirations. The story flits between Hyderabad and Armoor in Telangana.
The second half makes the caste-based differences between Revanth and Mounica clear. Rajeev Kanakala plays a self-centered, casteist elder who wants to control Mounica's life. The male lead's mother and her understanding of the complexities of life is telling.
The film would have benefited from better pacing. Just when the sluggishness becomes too much, however, the dialogues help the audience reconnect with the journey of the lovelorn pair.
The climax is not the kind we have seen in Tollywood movies. It's more Kollywood and Mollywood without compromising on the integrity of the story.
Watch 'Love Story' with ordinary expectations and it won't disappoint you.