Cast: Naga Shaurya, Malavika Nair, Avasarala Srinivas, Natasha Doshi and others.
Music: Kalyani Malik
Cinematography: Sunil Kumar Nama
Producer: Viswa Prasad – Padmaja Dasari
Writer-Director: Avasarala Srinivas
Srinivas Avasarala made a name for himself not just as an actor but also as a writer and director as well. His two movies 'Oohalu Gusagusalade' and 'Jyo Achyutananda' turned out to be good hits. His writing prowess was at full display in these movies. After a long gap, he wore the director's hat once again and made 'Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi'. He teamed up with his favourite hero Naga Shaurya for the third time and the promos looked lovely. This romantic love story arrived in theatres amidst decent expectations. Let us find out how the movie turned out.
Sanjay (Naga Shaurya) and Anupama (Malavika Nair) got to the UK for higher studies and they fall in love. They become friends at first and later enter a romantic relationship. They move in together and lead a happy life for some time. Anupama is one year senior to Sanjay and she decided to leave Sanjay for a job. This leads to differences between the couple. What will happen now? Will they meet again? What is going to happen to their love? All these questions form the crux of the story.
During a recent chit-chat, Avasarala said that 'Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi' is a very natural cinema with very natural dialogues. He added, “It feels like two people are having a conversation in a natural manner and we made sure that it doesn't feel scripted at all.” It is nice to write natural dialogues and film natural scenes but a movie needs to have some drama and conflict. Above all, the characters need to connect with the audience on an emotional level. Without all these, a love story feels very boring even if they like realistic movies. People who liked Avasarala Srinivas' last two movies will be severely disappointed with this movie.
It is difficult to showcase something new in a love story. All the love stories run in the same format. The hero and heroine meet, fall in love, a conflict arises, they miss each other and finally they get together. Thousands of love stories are made with the same formula. Avasarala's 'Oohalu Gusagusalade' too runs on the same note. But the characters are very lovable and sweet moments in the movie entertain you a lot. Even a break comes in between the love story, Avasarala himself enters the scene and makes it a very enjoyable ride. With the emotions working out well, the film ends on a very happy note. The second film 'Jyo Achyutananda' is an engaging conflict between two brothers. Both 'Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi' has no such drama and conflict point. It looks like Avasarala wants to experiment with this movie. He was fixated on making everything look realistic starting from the expressions to the conversations. While it would have been okay if he toned down the drama or regular scale of acting but it feels like you are watching a documentary the whole time. Avasarala is known for writing quirky characters, witty dialogues and funny sequences along with deep thoughts. But none of them are seen in his latest offering. His mark went completely missing in the dialogues. It feels like we are watching recordings of what two people went through in life in a serial order. All the scenes go in a bland manner without any highs and lows. The character graphs too don't rise. The reason for their separation was also dealt in an unconvincing manner which makes the audience lose hope.
The director tried to create any interest in the second half with a non-linear screenplay but the viewers have lost interest already. The songs too fail to bring any energy into the proceedings despite sounding good. The conversations do not take the story forward and the sync sound used in the film did not help at all. It looks like Avasarala spent time filming a lot of scenes with many dialogues in order to fill the time. The conflict point in the story which is the hospital scene was also not narrated visually but with dialogues and it shows how off-track the director went with this film. At the end, the movie ends up being a huge test to the patience of the audience and people who like Avasarala Srinivas too will be feeling bad about 'Phalana Abbayi Phalana Ammayi'.
There is nothing to find fault in Naga Shaurya's acting. As this movie happens at various stages of life, he sported different looks and his hard work is seen in this film. He acted in a very mature way and completely understood what Avasarala Srinivas wanted. He tried acting with his eyes in this movie. Though Malavika Nair did show a lot of variations when it comes to looks, she scored a lot of marks in terms of acting. She complimented Naga Shaurya and their pair looks good onscreen. Avasarala who did a character in the movie did not add anything special unlike what he usually does. The writer in him failed the actor inside him. Megha Chaowdary is okay and the actors who did friend roles are decent as well.
The only person who stands out in this movie is composer Kalyani Malik. His songs are very pleasant and pleasing to listen. His background score however is quite ordinary. He failed to lift the proceedings with his music this time. Sunil Kumar Nama's cinematography is strictly okay. The production values are not that great. We get a feeling that we are watching a documentary instead of a feature film. As this is all done according to the director's wish, the producers cannot be blamed at all. Avasarala failed to execute what he initially had in mind. He might have thought that natural dialogues and scenes might connect with the audience but there is no drama in the movie at all which led to zero emotional involvement. The naturality went overboard and it became a boring affair quite quickly. It is quite surprising that Avasarala and his team did not see this coming while watching the rushes and other footage on the editing table.
Verdict: 'PAPA' – A Test To The Patience Of Audience!