Your average love story has a hero, who has a certain concept of love. The rest of the movie is how he proves that concept to everyone else, one way or the other. Oka Laila Kosam falls right into that pattern. Is it a good thing or bad? We cannot always tell, because a movie is not just about one concept, but the overall execution, the climax and how it all ends. Vijay Kumar Konda's movie has such a rich and vibrant look thanks to its cinematography by I Andrew, that you would feel you are looking at a photoshopped picture, which although pretty to look at has that unreal, slightly elevated and exaggerated feel about it.
The movie starring Naga Chaitanya as Karthik is a throwback to the old romantic tales like Maine Pyaar Kiya(remember how albino pigeons are so important). Pooja Hegde as Nandana is a girl who loves her dad and never says no to him and Karthik is madly in love with her. Karthik though, is an interesting character. Even though he talks about freedom often and eventually ends up as a published novelist, he gets it all wrong. Any wannabe writer will tell you, freedom is not about frittering away your dad's money on world trips, taking selfies with an SLR camera(a little weird, yes) and then wanting to get married even before you thought about finding a settled source of income. But, "my dad is rich" Karthik is very lucky that he could wear super expensive clothes, strut around in poolside cafes and drive around in a Range Rover. For some reason another millionaire, Nandana's dad(Sayaji Shinde) feels that Karthik is apt for her, amongst the 2000 odd potential bride-grooms he looks at; really strange, considering how even middle class families are looking for son-in-laws who are independent and can earn. Everyone, including Nandana's friends, referring to Karthik as "handsome" gets a little annoying as well.
Anyways, the movie is about the chemistry between the lead pair, Nandana's apparent hatred for Karthik and the latter's unconditional love for her. Barring a few unfortunate sequences, Nandana doesn't have much to hate Karthik and at times, it just comes out as a forced stubbornness to extend the movie. An interesting twist in the end eventually manages to give the love story the actual spark that it lacks for greater part of the movie. Naga Chaitanya tries hard and his effort is evident in his dance, stunts and acting. Nevertheless, those efforts have to really go up a few notches, if he has to compete with the talent pool looking for opportunities in movies. Pooja Hegde looks pretty and has some real good scenes to show her acting prowess. Although her character is not really a Barbie Doll role, it is quite evident that the script writer and director didn't involve paying attention to moulding her personality. About the only thing that set her apart is in the first scene where she uses her chunni to cover kids from mud splashed by a bus(Keerti Reddy image in Tholi Prema anyone?)
The greatest highlight of the movie is Ali, who plays Karthik's uncle and sends the audiences into splits. Although unrelated to the story, his subplot is the real saving grace, really funny and really spontaneous. Most of the dialogues between the family members, the lead pair and the friends are otherwise repeats of what we have already seen in a lot of other rom-coms. There are quite a few unnecessary fights largely to show how friendly the hero is and how altruistic, helping everyone out. Our hero has to be able to do that eventually, no?
The music by Anoop Rubens is good, although not memorable. A special mention for the costume designing and styling which is quite classy, a pat on the back for Neeraja Kona. Overall, it is a movie that is not going to kill you. It is clean and could be a weekend popcorn affair if you want some mush dosage.view less