Chitralahari Review: A passable drama that works in parts
Chitralahari leaves us unsatisfied in the end with its preachy and dragged sequences.
By: J Gudelli / Telugucinema.com
Critic's Rating: 2.75/5
Friday 12 April 2019
Sai Dharam Tej, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Nivetha Pethuraj, Sunil, Vennela Kishore, Posani Krishna Murali, Brahmaji, JP, Rohini Hattangadi
Vijay Krishna (Sai Dharam Tej) plays a youngster who has not tasted much success in life though he does it have in his name. Such unlucky person's life changes when two women enter his life.
The first girl who brought brightness to his otherwise dull life is Lahari (Kalyani Priyadarshan), a Hyderabadi student and the girl who instilled confidence in him is Swechcha (Nivetha Pethuraj), a corporate executive. The film revolves around how these two women impacts in his life and how he finds success.
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Director Kishore Tirumala of Nenu Sailaja and Vunnadi Okate Zindagi has written a story about a "rejected piece" (loser) finding his mojo in an unexpected manner. In other words, it is a film about an unsuccessful youth's success story.
He sets the story by narrating how his innovations (he's engineer who likes to invent something new) gets rejected by investors and how he finds solace in alcohol. He brings conflict point with the introduction of Lahari, who brings veluturu (light) to his cheekati (dark) life. But she doesn't like people who drink alcohol. He lies about his drinking habit and how this becomes a point of conflict is narrated well.
It begins on a slow note but the film gets its groove in the middle despite occasional slips and meandering. The director brings in another girl into his life in the second half and also comes to the core point of the plot thus making the movie “heavy” and “preachy” and also brings the "triangle tangle".
Kishore Tirumala has the right material that would easily connect to the young audiences but where he has erred is in screenplay. Moreover, the situations that he has written like the character of Brahmaji, a corporate guy, plotting against him is quite predictable and mediocre. And the final sequence lacks desired impact due to its sanctimonious tone.
What works in the film are the light sequences and the middle portions. There is also one good sequence involving Sai Dharam Tej and his father (played by Posani) that stresses about the fact that youngsters know very well about themselves and also how to overcome the failures and break-ups.
Chitralahari doesn't completely engage us but again it is a lot better film among Sai Dharam's recent movies.
Sai Dharam Tej has put on weight, has developed thick bearded to look different from his usual style. He is neat in this character and has played it well. Of the two heroines, it is Nivetha Pethuraj who steals the show. Kalyani is just okay. Posani's role is interesting. Brahmaji's role is not convincing. Vennela Kishore and Sunil have done their part well.
Though tunes sound like some of his old tunes, yet Devi Sri Prasad manages to hold us with them. Two songs - "Prema Vennela" and "Parugu Parugu" are catchy, while "Prayathname" is situational. Cinematography is bright. Karthik Ghattamaneni captured visuals of Hyderabad metro rail commuting and IT corridor well. The break-up sequence before interval is shot quite brilliantly. Production values are rich.
Like he had proved in his previous movies, director Kishore Tirumala once again shines in the writing department, especially penning some relatable dialogues. But his screenplay and direction is largely predictable and is filled with thrones.
Chitralahari is a passable drama that works in parts but leaves unsatisfying in the end with its preachy and dragged sequences. But turns out to be better film among Sai Dharam's recent movies.