'Prem Kumar', produced by Sharanga Entertainments, hit the cinemas today (August 18). In this section, we are going to review the latest release.
Prem Kumar becomes a detective with expertise in screwing up relationships and marriages after he repeatedly fails to tie the knot owing to a perceived flaw in his horoscope. A middle-aged man approaches him and his partner (Krishna Teja as Sundara Lingam) with a deal: they have to prevent the impending wedding of a rich lady named Angana. Meanwhile, Prem Kumar's love interest Nethra (Rashi Singh) has chosen a diametrically opposite field of business: she is into wedding planning. There is a mediocre film star named 'Rising Star' Roshan in the mix.
Santosh Soban was not up to the mark in 'Kalyanam Kamaneeyam' and 'Sridevi Shoban Babu' earlier this year. He was able in the Summer release 'Anni Manchi Sakunamule' but the film didn't do well at the box-office despite decent content. In the film under review, he manages to put up a decent show. Most of the time, he is let down by obsolete writing and derivative jokes.
Rashi Singh holds potential, so also Ruchitha Sadineni (the rich woman). Krishna Teja and Sudarshan are okayish, while Ashok Kumar delivers a pretty dated act.
S Anant Srikar's music would be apt for a low-stakes indie film. There are tonal inconsistencies in how the background score progresses as the story advances. Editor Garry BH should have curtailed the second half. There are portions that were intended to be deliberately madcap but ended up testing the audience's patience. Cinematographer Rampy Nandigam doesn't get to do much. There are no cinematic shots. This is more YouTube-y photography.
Director Abhishek Maharshi (who has written the film with Anirudh Krishnamurthy) comes from a YouTube background. He has previously ghost-written some feature films in collaboration with others. His directorial debut comes with a fairly okayish storyline (storyline, not story). But the storyline is let down by a meandering screenplay that doesn't know how to maintain the mood and raise the stakes.
Prem Kumar going through horoscope issues gives rise to a boring comedy scene involving a palmist and the former's mother. This is a done-to-death idea in our films. If the male lead is finding it hard to find a match, the blame is always put on his birth chart. After the film is done with the cliche, it proceeds to introduce many more cliches/routine elements.
Krishna Teja, who plays the male lead's friend, is seen wearing tees with allegedly youthful vibes ('69', 'Mansion House Emotion', etc). After a point, his reactions and behaviour sound repetitive and generic.
There was so much potential in the detective agency track. But the behaviour of the titular character and his business partner is littered with foolishness. In a scene that looks like a spoof involving two Seema factionists, they are seen sitting and enjoying the mess they have just created during a wedding ceremony. And they get caught precisely because they are too idiotic to run away from the venue after doing their job.
The second half is tedious, with Prem Kumar and Nethra failing to make us root for them even when they verbalize their inner feelings/emotions. In a scene involving almost all primary characters, everyone is busy going over the top. The track involving ATM security guards could have been hilarious. But the unimaginative slapstick comedy is yawn-inducing. In the hands of an able writing team, this track would have been very good. The friction between a film star and his manager was another element that was left underdeveloped.
Weak comedy, easy resolutions, contrived situations and the failure to sustain a mood are the biggest drawbacks of the film.