“Though director Chandu’s intentions are noble and Charmi delivers her best, the film is far from watchable and fails to impress. Skip it.”
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With a few minutes into the film, I was trying to relate the character and the scenes to a recent film Pavithra. I posed a question to myself. Am I watching the same film with a different heroine? This thought was further cemented when Ravi Babu came on screen and became the causative factor for the transformation of Charmee. He did the same in Pavithra too.
When all this was happening, a prostitute gets emotionally attached to a fledgling writer and that's another reason for her to shun her profession and delve deep into her inner self. That gave a deja vu of many movies. But the film Prema Oka Maikam also offered some surprises amid the predictable story-line.
Let's first get out of revealing-the-plot business. Mallika (Charmee) is a prostitute. One night, in inebriated state, she hits a wannabe song writer Lalith (Rahul - Tyson of Happy Days) with her car. A scene before that shows his liking towards singer Swathi (Saranya Nag). Then Mallika with the help of her friend Vamshi (Rao Ramesh) admits Lalith in a hospital and from there the story takes off.
Mallika digs deep into Lalith and learns that Swathi is the reason for his affliction to Swathi. Then the film moves into a flashback mode and narrates the stories of Lalith and Swathi. The rest of the story is all about how the lead pair gets united and how Mallika helps them.
The movie starts with an amazing dance sequence between the lead pair. The promise that holds in the opening credits can't be seen in the rest of it. Charmee stays for the first half and finishes her quota of couple of songs.
The movie fails to hold any interest when the narration shifts to the supporting cast. Though the subplot adds weight and provides a reason, it becomes boring to watch amateur actors. They filled most of the screen space. This type of story-telling may become a deterrent for the film. The dialogue written by Pulagam Narayana is crackling. It conveys the depth and emotion of the characters and at the same time tickles the funny bone. Most of them are forcibly turned to be poetic.
Charmee is beautiful and voluptuous as usual. She charmed with her screen presence, but the other actors killed the film. The acting is no more than of a novice. The dubbing is miserable leading to a curious case of missing lip sync. Tagubothu Ramesh in his brief role offered the comic relief. Rao Ramesh adds some more life to the film.
The music by Praveen and Posham is average. It offers occasional delight but, on the whole, it fails to impress. The tear-jerking song Swachamaina Prema is the best of the pack, but falls prey to bad timing and poor execution. Re-recording by Posham is apt and he dabbled with many sounds to create the romantic, emotional aura. Praveen's camera tries to capture some fine moments. But it can't be considered as a great work. May be the low budget of the film didn't offer much scope for him.
Director Chanti couldn't live to his previous films - 10th Class and Notebook. The story-telling is mundane and doesn't offer any exciting moments. He borrows the scenes and many plot elements from films such as Anandam, Nuvvu Vasthaavani, Raja, Pavithra. The dialogues bring so much philosophy that you can't stomach any more. The joke on film industry and the way it operates, showing the houses of directors, the montage of songs in Swathi's struggle are unpalatable.
What may work for the film is its climax - the emotion it surfaces. The incidents that brought Lalith and Swathi together may offer some excitement but the plot and many scenes in the later half are predictable miles before. Watch it if you have ample time and money and you are hell bent to kill both of them.
My Rating: Expectation - 6/10; Reality - 3/10