Chaavu Kaburu Challaga Movie Review: An honest and heartfelt film that makes us think
The first-timer director Koushik Pegallapati juxtaposes serious issues with comedy and philosophy to good effect in Chaavu Kaburu Challaga
For many of us, watching a film is an emotional and enriching experience as many-a-time we tend to identify ourselves with the onscreen characters. But not every movie has the potential to tug at our heartstrings. Chaavu Kaburu Challaga, though, is an honest and heartfelt film that certainly makes you laugh, cry, clap, gasp, and more importantly, think. The plot is quite predictable but director Koushik Pegallapati does a commendable job of keeping us hooked through interesting characters and their emotional conflicts.
Cast: Kartikeya Gummakonda, Lavanya Tripathi, Aamani, Murli Sharma
Director: Koushik Pegallapati
Basti Balaraju (Kartikeya Gummakonda), the driver of a hearse, falls for a widow, Mallika (Lavanya Tripathi), when he goes to carry the mortal remains of her husband to the graveyard. He is so fascinated by her that he offers to marry her soon after her husband's funeral. Initially, she seems annoyed and disgruntled by his strange behaviour, but begins to understand him as the story progresses.
Koushik tells the story of Basti Balaraju with empathy and affection. He keeps the element of humour alive while driving home the message that one should stop dwelling on the past and not let it affect the present. The first-time director juxtaposes serious issues with a dose of comedy and philosophy. The film conveys that life is not a sacrifice but an opportunity to be happy, regardless of the circumstances.
Chaavu Kaburu Challaga has its heart in the right place and makes some valid points, but it also takes its own sweet time doing so. The love track between Balaraju and Mallika is stretched beyond necessity. We get Koushik's point early on, but the screenplay slogs along at a languid pace repeating the same point over and over in such an exaggerated manner that it may seem like a joke.
Even the Aamani and Srikanth Iyyengar track is a little shaky as the director spends too much time establishing the fact that the latter waits for an opportunity while thinking about the repercussions in parallel.
But these are small nitpicks in a story that comes with good intentions. This is a film which holds a mirror to the society we live in. What's refreshing is the director's ability to give a consistent tone to the narration and to extract the best from his actors.
The first hour of Chaavu Kaburu Challaga is quite a smooth ride. The songs and the sharp dialogues add weight to the narrative. If you are willing to suspend disbelief, you will find yourself entertained until the intermission. The second hour of the film, however, brings in all the usual cliches — a mother and her constant battle against loneliness, a stubborn parent-in-law who must be won over to marry the girl, the non-parent who empathises with the protagonist but can't do much than offer advice, an unsettling tragedy, and a predictable climax. However, all these sequences are interspersed with cheerful comedy that underscores the overarching philosophical idea of the film's title.
Chaavu Kaburu Challaga ultimately rests on the appeal of its lead pair, and they are nothing short of brilliant. Kartikeya is a live wire presence as he effortlessly lightens up the screen when he's in the frame. Lavanya has dished out a performance that is both understated and genuinely heartfelt. Both the actors are at the top of their game. Of the supporting actors, Murli Sharma is a perfect fit for the parent-in-law's role, wonderfully humanising the character instead of letting him remain a common stereotype. Aamani too puts up a terrific show; she's calm and composed in the first hour and shifts gears to exude agony and turmoil later.
Overall, Chaavu Kaburu Challaga is a promising film that tosses up some novel ideas but it's weighed down by the occasional script contrivances.