Film: "Naluguru Snehithula Katha"; Cast: Vimal, Bharani, Nishanth, Gaurav and Anjali; Director: Gaurav; Rating: **
"Naluguru Snehithula Katha", the Telugu dubbed version of the Tamil film 2011 "Thoonga Nagaram", documents the idiosyncratic lifestyle of people of a small town, and brings to light the darker side of their cheerful lives.
Four strangers - Vimal, Bharani, Maari and Gaurav - get acquainted one night at a bar, share drinks and become buddies and, before you know, they're ready to sacrifice their lives for each other. Vimal is madly in love with his childhood sweetheart, played by Anjali, who works as a TV artist.
Meanwhile, Vimal earns the personal vendetta of two miscreants who are up to something bad. What begins merely as an exchange of few blows, turns into a bigger problem when more powerful men get involved.
The plot, though passe, has few moments of brilliance with some witty one-liners. Most stories about male bonhomie tread the same path of love, sacrifice, and struggle and eventually have a happy ending. Lately, this has become a staple in most films.
Sadly, the film has several predictable moments and scenes that are identical from films seen in the past.
The film keeps violence to minimum and has a good mix of comedy, romance and action. Inclusion of sub plots and songs ruins the film's prospect of earning few brownie points.
Flashbacks hamper the pace and the story picks momentum only in the second half when the important part unravels.
Vimal, Gaurav and Anjali shine in their respective roles, while Nishanth, who plays a mute guy, impresses with his expressions.
The camaraderie between the friends is lively and energetic. The best moments in the film are the scenes that involve all the four characters.
Sundar C. Babu's music is passable; Vijay Ulaganathan's camera-work on the other hand is excellent.