Varudu Kaavalenu | Director: Lakshmi Sowjanya
Cast: Naga Shourya, Ritu Varma, Nadhiya, Vennela Kishore, Jayaprakash, Saptagiri
Runtime: 2 hours 13 minutes | Language: Telugu | Rating: 2.5
It sure sounds like it is the season of films on the matchmaking process in South Indian cinema. First, we had Most Eligible Bachelor in Telugu, followed by Oh Manapenne in Tamil, and now Varudu Kaavalenu in Telugu again. The new film, directed by Lakshmi Sowjanya, is a tale of how a sweet, soft-spoken man comes into the same frame with a focussed, occupied girl who is narrow-mindedly looking at success alone.
Varudu Kaavalenu puts the spotlight on the matchmaking scene, where a concerned mother (Nadhiya) gets busy finding the right match for her daughter Bhoomi, who is always busy with her business which seems to be progressing in a steady way. Akash, a sorted man returning from Dubai, comes in and is directed to work in Bhoomi’s next project by a mutual friend. As Akash and Bhoomi get entangled in multiple situations, it does seem like they will fall for each other. But a surprise reveal at the halfway mark turns the table upside down, showing us that there is more to it than what meets the eye when it comes to their relationship.
At a time when every film is getting busy with loud songs, louder fights or the masala ingredients, credit must go to Lakshmi Sowjanya who delivers a matured and clean outlook for her film right from the word go. The film has a very classy feel to itself and is tailor-made for the family audiences who will find something in it to relate with. Though the writing in the film is inconsistent with the motives being questionable at times, the way the characterisations of the lead pair have been sketched out is something worth lauding. In particular, Ritu Varma’s character of Bhoomi has been written with a very practical and systematic mindset, which makes it feel like a whiff of fresh air amidst the very frail female characters that we get to see in Telugu cinema. Though Lakshmi has not depicted Bhoomi’s character as a flawless one (she gets angry easily, is low on tolerance), she has indeed made her likeable to the audiences.
The first half of the film gets across the line with characters being established in quick time, and the storyline getting to the point very early on. Lakshmi does away with the generic pattern for a film of this sort, and keeps her supporting cast at minimal and concentrates more on the dialogues which do leave an impact at many places. For a change, Varudu Kaavalenu is a film that is not driven by its storyline alone but on how a different perspective at a usual scenario can change the way in which things are looked at. Though the film does miss out on engaging the audiences for the entirety of its runtime, it does score well at the important places thanks to the dialogues and the performances from the lead pair who bring justice to their roles. However, one does wish that it had packed in more skin into the proceedings, as the emotions always play out at the surface level and hardly have great shakes to offer until the very end.
Naga Shourya adopts a brand new makeover, looking smarter than ever, and performing quite well too. If not for the bits and pieces of heroism in the film which are unnecessary, this is a neat show from the actor who abides by the requirements of the script in full. On the other hand is Ritu Varma, who picks up another author-backed role for herself and gives it her all. Her performance is undoubtedly the tall-standing point of the film, as it is great to see a modern-day actress in a role that does not demand her to do something very cinematic. The film has a very moderate support cast except for Nadhiya, with Saptagiri’s comics in the second half helping bring up some laughs but not actually adding any value to the film.
Vamsi Patchipulusu’s cinematography is fair at all times, with his visuals in the songs warranting a special mention. Vishal Chandrasekhar, who has composed the majority of the songs and the background score does a fabulous job with his work. The two highlight tracks are Chenguna Chenguna and Manasulone Nilichipoke, both coming in at interesting junctures and elevating the chemistry between the lead pair.
Toting up, Varudu Kaavalenu plays out like a sweet and extra careful romantic drama that does not want to do something blasty but is happier off extrapolating the relationship between its lead pair. Lakshmi Sowjanya gets a few things right in her tale here, but it would have been way better if the proceedings moved ahead at a better pace. With a breezy first half and rather patchy second half, the end result of the film feels at par but is not something that will stay in memory for long.