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Oka Criminal Prema Katha, the explicitly hinted sequel of its predecessor Oka Romantic Crime Katha nearly justifies and romanticises crime. The references are targeted towards the crowds, frankly, the perverts in cinema-lovers who embrace soft-porn, sexual abuse and teenage love, all at once. If not for the first and the last phrases, do you recollect something when you hear abuse ? You can afford to, it's Alia Bhatt's Highway shot like a degraded home-video.
The maker behind meaningful films like Gangaputrulu and Sontha Ooru doesn't know where to cut his scenes. He stoops to an all time low when he stretches and provides unnecessary details surrounding the conflict, almost glorifying rape and menstrual cycles of a woman . In regular regional films, you at least get to see only a single gender being mocked. Here, the friend of the male lead character Manoj Nandam tells that men are street dogs who grab everything they get. A group of teenage women feels it extremely funny to personify men's private parts in another sequence. Suneel Kumar Reddy's dealing with a real time issue, but isn't its treatment more damaging than the problem by itself ?
The air in the film is dark but melodramatic. The characters are a paralytic father who was a drunkard in his past, a helpless mother who can do nothing but to land at her brother's disposal for help and a pervert lecturer whose ill intentioned gazes on female students is his way of entertaining his conscience in chemistry classes. The bulk of the actors are raw for the most part and the leads, except for the heroine have been retained from the director's earlier films.
Amidst this ambiguity of a ripped-apart original, you try hard to find the director's voice but never is your quest fulfilled as he's busy either diluting it with melodrama or the laughably written lines. As if the similarities to a host of films weren't enough, the climax turns out to be a direct lift from Preminchali, the dubbed version of the award winning Tamil film Vazhakku Enn 18/9 . Neither does it evoke social responsibility nor portrays an issue in a sensitive light nor pleases the section of crowds having come to the theatre lured by its posters and trailers. A 30 second commercial on child trafficking and abuse can do a better job in enlightening such audiences.