Chitralahari Review: Almost a feel-good film
It is an honest story with no frills, but it falls a little short on harvesting the emotions and drama in the lives of these characters
Vijay (Sai Dharam Tej) struggles for success. Not only in his career but also in simple daily events. He is a talented engineer who has a proposal for a project which he believes will save many lives. Despite his best efforts, he gets nowhere. Amidst his rejections and the taunting neighbours, he finds solace in the form of his father’s encouragement, and his girlfriend Lahari’s (Kalyani Priyadarshan) love. However, he does lie to Lahari about his drinking habit which she absolutely despises.
Swecha, Lahari’s cynical friend advises her to rethink her relationship if it was based on lies. Swecha also happens to be a part of the corporation to which Vijay pitches his project to, and the one who likes his concept. The story, which starts with Vijay being questioned in court, unravels to reveal how he ended up there, whether he finds success and if he reunites with his lover.
Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Nivetha Pethuraj
Director: Kishore Tirumala
Chitralahari has many interesting points to put forth. It is an honest story with no frills. And that’s what wins. However, it falls a little short on harvesting the emotions and drama in the lives of these characters. The makers put more effort to write one-liners about life, love, and gender, which to be honest is rather unnecessary. What was impressive to me was that, despite the misleading trailer, the film isn’t a triangular love story. The writer doesn’t go down the easy route of adding a romantic angle with Nivetha, just because she’s the other female lead. The relationship between Swecha and Vijay is strictly professional, platonic, and significant to the plot.
Kalyani plays to her strengths as the indecisive, mild-mannered Lahari. Same goes for Nivetha who convinces the audience that she is the boss you would be afraid of. Sai Dharam Tej is impressive in a role that isn’t exactly his comfort zone. It really looks like he's channeled something of his own into Vijay. It would be delightful to see him improve further, for which there is clearly still scope. The music, besides the introduction song (particularly the whistle tune), really doesn’t stay with you nor does it do much for the film.
All in all, Chitralahari falls just a tad bit short of being a feel-good movie. Whether it is the fact that the emotions aren’t coming through or if it's because there is too much going on in the two-hour runtime, is for you to decide. However, this isn’t a bad watch. If you have the time, go for it.