Love Story review: Kammula's romance lacks heart

Love Story review: Kammula's romance lacks heart

Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya.

Love Story
Telugu (Theatres)
Director: Shekhar Kammula
Cast: Naga Caitanya, Sai Pallavi

Rating: 2.5/5

Love Story starts ambitiously as a heartwarming ode to eternal love but ends up as an arduous attempt at extracting something extra out of a beaten-to-death subject involving a cluster of social evils like caste and gender inequality and child abuse among others.

Revanth (Naga Chaitanyha) and Mouni (Sai Pallavi) head to the big city with a spring in their feet and a dream in their hearts. They meet and love blossoms as expected in the first-half. Social issues leads to a conflict and wrecks their plans later. Will their love triumph over tribal and other trivial issues is part of the predictable and protracted climax.

Director Sekhar Kammula takes a lot of needless detours. As a result, the film loses its context at regular intervals before reaching a pretentious end, leaving his expectant fans to lick their fingers with the side dishes while the main course remains dull and dry.

There are some endearing moments though and some chart-buster songs (music Pawan Ch) and dance interludes, the 'Sarang Dariya' track in particular gives Pallavi a stage to express herself both as a gifted dancer and a gritty performer. The film is also shot beautifully in and around Hyderabad by cinematographer Vijay C Kumar.

The lead pair of Chaitanya and Pallavi are competent and complement each other well while Easwari Rao as Revanth’s mother stands out for making the most of a short but meaty role.   

At one stage the heroine tells the hero, “niku heart led abba” (you don’t have a heart). But it’s very true of the film, more than the hero.

Love Story clearly fades and fizzles out in comparison to other films of the same genre in the same language, for example 'Maro Charitra', K Balachander’s magnum opus in black and white.

The maestro’s film released in 1978 was a love tragedy narrated with a lot of flair and feeling resulting in a fluent drama of epic proportions. There were no unnecessary back stories or needless sub plots, unlike 'Love Story'. As a result, the narrative was crisp and compact and the end result an endearing and everlasting love story.   

The lead characters Balu (Kamal Hassan), Swapna (Saritha) and Madhavi (Sandhya) still evoke fresh memories. The film was later remade in Hindi as 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye' with equal felicity with Kamal Haasan and Madhavi essaying the original characters while Rati Agnihotri played Swapna.

The films in both the languages are still watched to this day and a hit whenever telecast on TV.

If star rating was prevalent then, Balachander alone would have garnered seven stars.

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