Achar and Co Movie Review: A flavourful and heartwarming trip down memory lane

Achar and Co Movie Review: A flavourful and heartwarming trip down memory lane

The film evokes humour at many intervals but equally underlines the emotions, brushes with a love story, and makes it a light-hearted entertainer
Rating:(3 / 5)

The first glimpses of Achar & Co will make you step back in time to the bygone era of the 1960s and the early 70s. The atmosphere, delicately constructed by director Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, brings to life the essence of family unity and resilience, along with the struggles of a large, traditional household, all set in old Bengaluru.

The period drama opens up with a collection of Suprabhata tunes from a vintage 1960s radio, setting the nostalgic tone, except that it brings a change in its lyrics. The plot is set against the backdrop of Madhusudhan Achar's (Ashok) dream life as a government civil engineer, and his wife Savithri (Sudha Belawadi) who has a family with ten children (3 sons and 7 daughters). The first few episodes capture the chaos of a household with a dozen people around, reflecting the challenges faced by parents in raising children, providing them with education, and arranging their life settlement, including getting their daughters married. However, each one, with their dreams and aspirations, is set to carve their own unique paths in life.

Director: Sindhu Sreenivasamurthy

Cast: Ashok, Sudha Belawadi, Sindhu Sreenivasamurthy, Jagadishwar Sukumar

Suma, portrayed skillfully by Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, handles both the directorial reins and the protagonist's role, adding a personal touch to this heartwarming tale. She is someone who thinks out of the box from the rest of her family and yearns for a life abroad and settling with a well-educated partner. However, destiny has other plans in store. As the narrative progresses, the film becomes a little more serious as the ambitions of these youths turn into a weightage of responsibility. Will Suma, who takes everything in her stride, succeed in her endeavour? Will the pickle, a recipe unique to their household, become an enterprising aspect of her journey, boosting her self-confidence?

The 1960s was a time of changing dynamics, especially for women who broke stereotypes, and the film strives to bring out this era of progress and industrialisation. It also talks about issues like domestic violence, dowry, etc., and follows a girl who bravely faces such plagues as it sheds light on the challenges faced by middle-class girls in the 1960s concerning marriage and job choices. While certain scenes, like the uproarious five-star hotel and wedding sequences, tickle the audience's funny bone, there are also subtle scenes in the story that may be disturbing. The film evokes humour at many intervals but equally underlines the emotions, brushes with a love story, and makes it a light-hearted entertainer.

Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar, through her PRK Productions, has set out to give a platform to new talents. The young Sindhu Sreenivasamurthy, along with a well-equipped technical team primarily consisting of women, has done a commendable job in bringing the story of the 1960s to the screen. With Sindhu taking the lead, every character in the film has its uniqueness and importance. However, actors like Ashok and Sudha Belawadi have played such roles before. Achar & Co comes with its little flaws, which can be overlooked. At times while watching the film, it came across as a good stage play, which is reflective of their theatre background.

Art director Vishwas Kashyap's efforts to depict the story from the 1960s to the 1970s are visible in every frame, with dialogues by Trilok taking us back to namma Bengaluru of those times in a realistic manner. The evocative music, including nostalgic songs and a fitting background score by Bindumalini, and Abhimanyu Sadanandan's cinematography immerse the viewers in the era's distinct charm.

Achar & Co delves into essential themes such as women's empowerment, family bonding, and self-reliance, as it provides a glimpse into the life of a woman in that era. While the film can be a delightful ode to the past, it also raises a pertinent question... Have things really changed?

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