Tholi Prema Review: A romantic comedy with catchy music
Offers some fun scenes and some good romantic moments
Saturday 10 February 2018
Varun Tej, Raashi Khanna, Sapna Pabbi, Suhasini Maniratnam, Priyadarshi, Vidyullekha Raman, Viva Harsha
A boy and girl meet first when they are coming from Vizag to Hyderabad via a train. It is love at first sight for the hero. He proposes to her immediately but she refuses. They become friends but the next day she leaves without informing him. They are Aadi (Varun) and Varsha (Raashi).
As luck would have it, he meets her again when he joins an Engineering college in Hyderabad as she too joins the same college. Though she likes him, she doesn’t want to say yes to him immediately. Why? It is girl thing, she says. Few days later, she accepts his love and they have their first kiss. The next day an incident in college creates rift between them. Misunderstanding her, he breaks up with her.
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The star-crossed lovers meet again six years later and this time in London. He is now working in architectural firm; she is the site manager. Will they finally unite? Will they break the transparent wall built between them?
Romantic comedies work excellently when the chemistry between the lead pair is very cute or music is catchy and melodious or the situations and dialogue are resolutely contemporary and is full of vigor. New director Venky Atluri has got some of these elements right in his maiden movie Tholi Prema starring Varun Tej and Raashi Khanna.
He has not written any situations but he made familiar scenes look fresh, he created beautiful moments to like, he brought out good chemistry between the lead pair.
Well, the story that he has narrated is inspired by a Turkish drama called Love Likes Coincidences (2011) that spoke about star crossed lovers whose lives are intertwined by a series of coincidences. One must remember that recently released Sumanth starrer Malli Raava was also copied from the same movie.
The basic plot – lovers crossing their paths in three phases/times – is a common feature in all these three movies and each of them are also different in their own way.
Director Venky begins the story in a way that we generally see in an Imtiaz Ali’s film – love during the journey. Journey, phases, chasm, breaking up and meeting again… all these are Imtiaz Ali’s tropes. Venky Atluri’s Tholi Prema follows the same path, but the young director leaves a mark of his own by telling the story of Aditya and Varsha, who love each other deeply but their fierce individuality holds them back.
The film has many funny and cute scenes in the first half. Highlight sequence is the first kiss episode. The director’s creativity is visible here. He has narrated this story with right music and beautiful visuals. Thaman’s songs are a huge strength.
After their break up at interval, the movie starts in London and the narration turns a bit flat as there are not much surprises here. And many predictable situations keep happening. However, Hyper Aadi’s comedy and some good songs here help the movie. Also dialogue writing is very good here.
This will be another good film in Varun’s career. He is quite good here. He has shown ease in all the scenes.
Raashi Khanna steals the show in her author-backed role. She has shown so much maturity here and has come with some sharp expressions that melt the hearts of the youth. This will be her best role in her career. Comedian Priyadarshi gets a lengthy role but he generates fewer laughs. Hyper Aaadhi evokes better laughs. Naresh as NRI uncle and Suhasini as Varun’s mother are okay.
Music director Thaman is the soul of this romantic drama. “Tholi Prema”, “Allasani Vaari”, and “Vunnanule Vinnanule” are the pick of the lot. Thaman has also used these tunes for the background score to evoke further feel. After music, it is camera work that stands out. George C Williams camera work is a huge plus. Dialogues like “Jnapkalu Manchivaina Cheddavaina Moyaka Tappudu” have created required mood. Vidyu as college ‘akka’ is funny.
Editing needs to be a bit crispier when the narration turns too flat in the second half. There are many scenes in the second half that give déjà vu feeling.
As a first time director, Venky Atluri has shown so much spark. Venky has shown his mark in many places as a director. His knack for creating funny situations is good.
Tholi Prema is a cool-breeze romantic comedy pepped with catchy music and good locations. The film has familiar situations but they look quite fresh and the lead pair’s chemistry has made it a good watch. Offers some fun scenes and some good romantic moments despite clichéd sequences in the second half. Watch it.
Tholi Prema review: 3 stars