Hello review: A wonderful love story
An age-old theme of destiny and serendipity
Friday 22 December 2017
Akhil Akkineni, Kalyani Priyadarshan
Now to the present: He hears the violin tune that he played for Junnu when he gets a call from a cab driver. When he is about to ask who is the person playing this tune, his mobile phone is snatched by a thief. Rest of the movie is how he meets Priya aka Junnu (Kalyani Priyadarshan), how destiny plays key role in the lives of these two lovers.
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Director Vikram Kumar has been trying to attempt different genres from Ishq to Manam to 24. Akhil Akkineni starrer Hello is his attempt to tell a love story with the elements of destiny and action pieces. The film begins with narration of Nagarjuna telling that if people are destined to meet they would definitely meet irrespective of obstacles, separation, etc.
Many films have come with these themes. Films like Hollywood romantic drama Serendipity (2001), Tollywood blockbuster Manasantha Nuvve and Tarun starrer Nee Manasu Naaku Telusu come to our mind. Like in Manasantha Nuvve, we have a lengthy childhood episode in Hello. To modernize this old story, Vikram Kumar has added the elements of a gang running mobile-thefts, high-octane chases. This reviewer is more impressed by the action stunts and terrific cinematography by P S Vinod than Vikram Kumar’s old theme of destiny and serendipity.
Car chases and gravity-defying wire-stunts have become common feature in Indian cinema. But there is a discipline called parkour stunts that were seen in international films like Casino Royale, District 13, The Bourne Legacy, etc. These stunts are introduced in India in this film Hello. To get authenticity, Vikram Kumar has roped in Hollywood stunt master Bob Brown. Hence, Hello has distinctly different chases and stunts. The chase scene just before interval bang and a fight on Hyderabad metro are unique.
Although director weaves sentimental scenes between Akhil and his adopted parents, the story and scenes don’t offer novelty. It is the visual splendour and stunts that make this movie different from Manasantha Nuvve.
The film begins interestingly with a guy snatching his mobile phone and it turns out that there is a gang that operates like mafia – stealing phones and refurbishing them to the market as second hand phones. Akhil chases this guy not for his phone but to know the number that he received just a while ago. Here logic goes missing. We can think of many ways how he could have got the number without risking his life.
While this defies the logic, the rest of the drama is smooth. He has made the first half of the movie very interesting. Post-interval, he has tried to infuse some sentimentality and to further prove that destiny plays lot of tricks, he makes the hero and heroine meet again. But they are not aware that they are the ones they have been searching for. The climax, however, is engaging and interesting although the last shot reminds us of a Cadbury milk ad.
Akhil has suited well to the role. He is good in the young boy’s role. Newcomer Kalyani Priyadarshan impresses in her debut. Ramya Krishna and Jagapathi Babu as parents are too good although Ramya Krishna’s episode in an airplane is boring. Ajay’s role is badly written.
The film’s soul and attractive feature is P S Vinod’s colorful photography. Every frame is rich. The production design and camera are too classy. Among the songs, the title song is catchy. After cinematography, it is Bob Brown’s action stunts that are major draw. Editing should have been crispier (the film has just 131 minutes of running time but the story is too flimsy). Dialogues are neat.
Director Vikram Kumar has shown his mark in dealing of emotions but this doesn’t rank among his best works. His regular leitmotifs – time, crossroads, a meeting point and accidents are there too.
Hello is a decent love story that talks about destiny and serendipity. It is like updated version of Manasantha Nuvve with some stunning action stunts. Cinematography and action sequences have made the movie appealing. Akhil passes the muster.
Hello review: 3 Stars