Film: "Prema Katha Chitram"; Cast: Sudheer Babu, Nanditha, Praveen and Saptagiri; Director: J. Prabhakar Reddy; Rating: **1/2
Prabhakar Reddy's "Prema Katha Chitram" (PKC) is one of those low budget films backed by quirky narration, that can't be placed under one particular genre. The reason? The film shifts gears at regular intervals only to remind us that it doesn't fit in to the genre we think it belongs to. Even though it leaves you guessing almost till the credits, what PKC manages to achieve at the end is that it gives its viewers an experience worth their money.
During a time when most Telugu films are backed by their famed actors, PKC succeeds merely due to its content.
Walking a tight rope between romance, horror and thriller genres, PKC is the story of four friends (Sudheer, Nanditha, Praveen and Saptagiri), who are unsatisfied with life and, therefore, plan on committing mass suicide at a remote farmhouse in the forest.
At the farmhouse, Sudheer falls head over heels for Nanditha, who has been secretly having feelings for him.
As Sudheer tries to get intimate with Nanditha, unknown things start to happen much to the surprise of everybody. It is revealed later that every time Sudheer tries to get close to Nanditha, something goes wrong. The rest of the story is all about why things turn ugly whenever Sudheer attempts to touch Nanditha.
One of the reasons why PKC is instantly likeable is because it deviates from commercialism and makes way to creativity. It doesn't glorify its hero like every other Telugu film, but instead gives importance to all four characters with equally distributed screen space.
The plot isn't truly outstanding but the performances definitely are worth the time and money invested. The film strikes a fine balance between multiple genres, allowing audiences to take home experience filled with thrills, chills and occasional laughter.
While Sudheer is the hero figure in the film, occasionally do we get to see him flaunt the hero tag with elan. Instead, he becomes the pick of most rollicking moments that are aptly backed by the supporting cast. Sudheer doesn't quite give us a performance worth taking a minute to appreciate or even notice, while his co-star, Nanditha chips in a cheerful presentation.
Most Telugu films run beyond two and a half hours, but thankfully PKC sticks to nearly a two-hour runtime and manages to entertain throughout, barring few scenes. It doesn't boast of any scenes that are neither melodramatic nor tear-jerking. It is plain entertainment laced with intermittent thrills.
Prabhakar directs the film with a tinge of sarcasm filled with double meaning dialogues. Not only does this entertain, but works brilliantly in inducing laughter in the most serious scenes.
The film's biggest letdown is its climax, which not only kills all the excitement the film builds but also reminds us how an exceptionally different film can turn into a run-of-the-mill kind of story in an instant. Barring the climax, PKC is an entertaining watch.