Chalo Review: Just for a few laughs
Aside from some comedy that works, the film has nothing new to offer
Chalo opens in a jail, where a prisoner (played by Naresh Vijaya Krishna) narrates the story behind his imprisonment. We then get introduced to his wacky toddler Hari, who doesn't give in until his father responds to his crying fits with a unique solution -- allowing the kid to throw punches at his friend or at people around him. He grows into a youngster (Naga Shaurya), obsessed with street fights, who often claims that he gets a kick out of fighting. Inspired by Rajinikanth’s popular dialogue from Arunachalam, Hari’s father sends him to an engineering college in Tiruppuram, a village that’s divided between Telugu and Tamil-speaking people and controlled by two warring clans. Here Hari falls for Karthika (Rashmika Mandanna). He then makes up his mind to mend his ways in order to get his girl.
Direction: Venky Kudumula
Cast: Naga Shaurya, Rashmika Mandanna, Naresh Vijaya Krishna, Vennela Kishore
Even though a major portion of the film is set in the college, the core plot that drives the story isn't actually about the college. The storyline of Chalo is commonplace. Portions of the film reek of super hits like Pawan Kalyan's Akkada Ammayi Ikkada Abbayi and Jagadam, and the Jr NTR-starrer Brindavanam. The film also uses a lot of clichés, such as a lecturer being ridiculed in his classroom by incompetent third-year engineering students who don't even know what does CSE stands for.
Halfway through the first half, the viewers' minds begin to drift away as the narration takes its own time to establish the backdrop and the characters. One expects some surprises at least in the last hour to hold our interest. But, without giving away a vital twist, the film is predictably stuffed with easy coincidences that don’t add up. Several ideas jostle around in the story but none are convincing. Especially towards the climax, things get extremely bad and melodramatic, and the film clearly shows that some of the characters hardly have any connection. The much-awaited twist in the climax only makes the film seem too fanciful to be taken seriously.
The film has plenty of references to Chiranjeevi and director Venky Kudumula tries to woo megastar fans by making references to his upcoming historical drama Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy.
Naga Shaurya plays a role which the 18-30 age group will easily identify with. He looks settled and shines with his body language. Rashmika Mandanna hasn’t got enough space to showcase her talent, as she plays the familiar role of a girl torn between family and love. Vennela Kishore is probably the best thing in this film, as he showcases his versatility with a psycho-comedy.
Chalo follows the regular formula of a protagonist, who swears to his lady that he will win over her father, who is opposed to their love. Otherwise, there is nothing new in this film.