Ammamagari Illu Review: A mega serial disguised as a film
Sexist dialogues, illogical sentiments, melodrama, misleading stereotypes -- this film has them all
Come summer holidays, the first thing that comes to mind is a visit to one's grandmother’s house, goofing around with cousins at their place, sleeping together on the terrace watching the moon, hearing those bedtime stories by grandmother, evening walks with grandfather, eating our favourite food until the stomach is overfull, enjoying the unconditional love of grandparents. Is Ammammagari Illu a film with the aforementioned elements? Is it about walking down the memory lane, going back to those school summer holidays? Before you get excited and nostalgic and book your tickets, do read on…
Cast: Naga Shaurya, Shamili, Rao Ramesh, Suman, Sumitra, Chalapathi Rao
Director: Sundar Surya
Of course, the film starts off with grandmother’s house in Pithapuram and the joy of summer holidays at a family get-together, until the children fight for the property. Sita Mahalakshmi (Sumithra) and her husband played by Chalapathi Rao refuse to split the assets, fearing a breakup of the family. They have three sons and two daughters. In a heated discussion Rao Ramesh, the eldest son (who proposes the idea of diving the property) slaps Suman, the eldest son-in-law of the family. The family is divided and the grandfather dies. The grandmother, who is depressed due to all this, hopes for a day when the whole family is reunited. After 20 years, she decides to invite everyone to distribute the property. Naga Shourya (Santosh, the grandson) plans to make use of this opportunity to erase the differences and bring everyone together. Shamili (Sita) is Santosh’s cousin, who constantly resents him for no good reason. These cousins eventually fall in love, of course. But going back to family drama, Rao Ramesh and his brothers are hell bent on getting the property, but the registration gets stalled. How they get the registration done and how Santosh succeeds in the reunion makes up the rest of the plot.
Have your ever accidentally watched a television soap or heard one's story from your mom? This film is just a condensed version of a mega serial. Sexist dialogues, illogical sentiments, melodrama, misleading stereotypes -- they are all here.
The music is reasonably good, as is the cinematography. But one can predict the storyline within 15 minutes of the film. Had this film been released in the 1980s or 90s, it would maybe have struck a chord with the audience, but an amateur Hum Saath Saath Hai is simply not convincing in 2018. There's almost nothing here that justifies the ticket price.