Paper Boy Review: A simple love story gone wrong
Aside from a few sweet moments, the film is overly old-fashioned and melodramatic, and largely fails to engage
Rich girl, poor boy: this is probably the oldest concept in the book and Paper Boy is based on just that. However, even this workable trope feels lacklustre in this film.
Cast: Santosh Shobhan, Riya Suman, Tanya Hope
Megha (Tanya Hope), who finds out that she doesn’t have long to live due to a fatal disease, believes that she was born for a purpose. She chances upon paper boy Ravi’s (Santosh Shobhan) diary, and as she reads it, starts his love story. Ravi falls in love with Dharani (Riya Suman) after finding that she shares similar ideologies as him through the books that they pick up in the colony’s library. They meet, become friends, and over a series of tedious montages and monologues, love happens.
They break up due to Ravi’s hurt pride when Dharani lies to her friends that he is a software engineer. While that constitutes the first half, the second half has its own set of conflicts and resolutions until Megha interferes to change their lives. The film leaves you with a lot of questions. Why did they break up the first time? How exactly did the 'misunderstanding' get resolved? What was Dharani’s intention behind lying to her friends about Ravi, upon realising which he goes running to Kerala to apologise to her? Why did Ravi take such a horrifyingly extreme decision? But it looks like logic is something that was meant to get washed away in all the heavy emotion. Those emotions, however, are sincere. You cheer for the impossible love to be fulfilled, but also understand the reality that is evident. The pair share a few sweet moments that really make you smile, but the rest is pretty much a melodramatic blur.
Paper Boy is old-fashioned to say the least. Proof of that is the force-fitted comedy track of Bithiri Sathi which has absolutely no relevance to the story. The film desperately needs updation. And I don't mean just dropping references to cab services, e-papers and apps. What needs to be dropped instead are the needless fat-shaming jokes at the cost of artistes like Vidyu Raman.
Speaking of artistes, Santosh, Riya and even the supporting cast perform well in a few intense scenes. But it almost seems like nothing more was asked of them. Paper Boy is essentially a simple and sweet love story, but it's burdened by the so-called commercial elements. If only it was a bit more honest...