Cast: Subba Rao, Radha Bessy, Kesava Karri, Nithya Sri Goru, Karthik Ratnam, Praveena Parachuri, Mohan Bhagat, Praneetha Patnaik, and others
Music: Sweekar Agasthi
Produced by: Vijaya Praveena Paruchuri
Written and directed by: Venkatesh Maha
Release date: September 7th 2018
Of late, Telugu cinema is looking beyond the regular commercial cinema and has been encouraging meaningful cinema. The success of ‘Rangasthalam’, ‘Mahanati’ increased the confidence of filmmakers to come out with out of the box thoughts. One such film which has been widely promoted by the top film celebrities and Rana presented the film. Despite no known faces and a new director, the movie made a decent pre-release business and finally hit the screens today. Let’s see whether it can live up to all the expectations it set or not.
The movie is set in a small village Kancherapalem near Vishakapatnam and revolves around many characters. One among them is a 50-year-old Raju, an office attender who is unmarried and reaching his 50s.
An infuriated Raju often scolds when anyone asks him about the marriage. “Prati L****kodukki naa pelli gurinche kavale…(every other bast***d here wants to know when would I get married), ” sulks Raju in one scene. In another occasion, Raju also laments: “Gud**a kinda 50 yellu vacchayi evadu istadu pillani naku” (who would give a girl to 50-year-old man). A villager also enquires whether he’s getting erections or not and pat comes the reply from Raju: “veediko edo busalu kodutunnattu” (does yours blurt out strongly like a snake coming out from the bush?). Such unrestrained and colloquial conversation in a Telugu film is never seen or heard. This is how people speak in real life in villages.
Director Venkatesh Maha who makes his debut with ‘C/o Kancharapalem’ brings this ‘authenticity’ to the screen with a characters that speak with no filters. Their dialogues, their looks, their lives are all straight out of from real life. As the title says, the film is set in Kancharapalem area in Visakhapatnam city and it is about the story of Raju (played by newcomer Subbarao) and the people around him.
On parallel to his story, the film runs with three other subplots: a story of two school kids Sundaram and Sunitha, a love story between Geddam and Saleema, a wine shop worker and a prostitute, a story of Joseph and Barghavi, a Brahmin girl. The story of Sundaram and Sunitha is a template first crush but this one also has angle of belief in god. The love story of prostitute is heart-wrenching. In the story of Joseph, who is “converted” Christian and Bhargavi, religion creates obstacles for them and which is again a template story that we have seen umpteen times. But these subplots each make a commentary on evils of the society and also affect the main story.
The film finally comes back to the main story of Raju and it throws some funny comedy scenes like all the local people decide to boycott him as they suspect him of being a “Nattugadu” (gay) and Radha’s daughter challenges him to run away with her mother. As it goes on humorous way, it also presents a final twist.
All the characters are so natural that you end up believing they are real-life characters. Despite new actors, everyone has given a lifetime performances.
On the whole, ‘C/o Kancharapalem’ is a raw, realistic story about people and their love stories. The film also discusses about religion, caste and god. Simple movie layered with subplots with dash of humor, it is engaging and makes good watch.