An Indian love story revisited

Athi Aparoopa
Kannada (U) ¬¬¬
Director: Dinesh Baboo
Cast: Prem Kumar, Aindritha Ray, Anant Nag and others.

The heir apparent of an unhappy home finds an unpretentious girl in distress, helps her out (while ‘unknowingly’ falling in love), resists home and society only to find fate conspiring against them...

Eric Segal's Love Story has been the bible of generations of teens, young adults with romantic streaks in them and the like... A beacon of inspiration, Segal’s work has seen countless rip-offs of and Dinesh Baboo borrows from it quite generously but the screenplay would easily claim the title from any of the mid-80s and early 90s romantic dramas churned out factory-type.

What clicks for Athi Aparoopa (which went on the floors seven years ago as Januma Janumadallu) is the absence of pretension. Coming amidst tall claims of experimentation, passion towards cinema and actual realisations contrary to those claims, Athi Aparoopa shimmers in simplicity like the sun on a winter morning.

Giving due credit to the audience, Baboo doesn’t unnecessarily tax their intelligence. Rather, the dialogues grow upon the viewers adding gravitas to the proceedings. Camerawork initially suffers from bad lighting but overall is excellent. Mano Murthy’s music is pleasant. So is Soundar Raj’s editing.

The jodi of Prem and Aindritha comes before the audience perhaps for the first time. Both good looking, the hero and heroine deliver more of what’s asked of them. The comedy track involving Roopa Prabhakar and Sharan is a hoot, with clean humour – a rarity these days. Anant Nag, Padmaja Rao and Baby Sahana with Brahmavar and Salian play their roles well.

True to its title, Athi Aparoopa is a must watch for lovers who are past the first stage and for families which appreciate a good entertainer.

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