Young hero Raj Tarun is going through lean phase with back to back flops. He pinned high hopes on Lover produced by ace maker Dil Raju and directed by Anish Krishna of Alaa Elaa fame. Will Lover provide a much needed break for Raj Tarun?
Raj (Raj Tarun) is a custom bike creator willing to fly Dubai. His brother Rajeev (Rajeev Kanakala) works for a local rowdy Subbu (Subbaraju).
Into the story, Raj faces an accident and admits in a hospital to meet Charita (Riddhi Kumar), working as nurse. Raj adores Charita and they fall in love. When things are moving smooth, a gangster Varadarajn (Sachin Khedekar) batch attack Raj and Charita. Why are they chasing Charita? What do they need from her? How Raj protects his lover?
Alaa Elaa directed by Anish Krishna was a simple love story with lots of humor and a sleeper hit but director waited all these years to make his second movie. Nonetheless, Anish seems to be in impression that he is capable of handling commercial format scripts and needlessly included unnecessary ingredients into this making of Lover. He focused mainly on romantic track and that's one of the saving grace. His screenplay is aimed at enticing youth as well as family audience. As a director, he succeeded to major extent in making use of Raj Tarun's image. Cinematographer Sameer Reddy's framing and usage of color tones gave the film a natural flavor. Ankit Tiwari' background score is effective in emotional and romantic sequences. Naalo Chilipi Kala and Adbhutham songs look good on screen along with the visuals. Prawin Pudi’s editing comes in handy and he has made the film flow in right pattern. Production values of Harshit and Sri Venkateswara Creations are lavish.
About Performances, Raj Tarun was livewire from start to end. He was comfortable uttering dialogues in Rayalaseema dialect. His dances and fights need a special mention. Riddhi Kumar was not charming and we hardly get to see her smiling though had expressive eyes. Rajeev Kanakala showed his experience in key scenes. Sachin Khedekar has countable dialogues whereas Ajay too didn’t get much to excel. Subbaraju was okay. Raj Tarun’s friends batch played by Satyam Rajesh, Satya, Praveen gave relief here and there. Jayaprakash Reddy was hilarious in a brief role. Other artists were okay.
The film’s plot indeed has shades of Gopichand’s Okkadunnadu. Like Chandrasekhar Yeleti’s film, villain in Lover too waits for a person with same blood group for liver transplantation. However, director Anish Krishna gave less scope to the main plot and went on to play safe highlighting romance between lead pair.
Movie begins with Raj Tarun voiceover introducing his family, elder brother working at a local rowdy, caring sister-in-law and a cute niece. Subbaraju is introduced as selfish rowdy but presented in a funny way. Raj Tarun's dream to settle in Dubai interrupted every time is a funny material. Jayaprakash Reddy's batch obstructing Raj Tarun and his rush to hospital is meant to connect with Riddhi. Flirting scenes with Riddhi are routine stuff and not amusing. Coffee shop scene was again boring material. Riddhi’s questioning of two chief doctors has a definite meaning. Film heads to interval with unknown persons attacking Raj Tarun and Riddhi.
Second half begins with a twist on Rajeev Kanakala. Movie turns interesting with Raj and Riddhi moving Kerala. Major twist is opened after their engagement. All the episodes well shot in pictursque locales of Kerala are a treat for eyes. Rajeev Kanakala’s murder is poor on emotions due to poor writing and execution. Car hacking episode is engaging and something new. Movie ends on an expected happy note.
All in all, Lover is a watchable film with decent humor in both the halves. Director Anish Krishna who won appreciations on Alaa Elaa for his hilarious writing has put less effort in repeating the same magical writing for Lover as he depended on a regular story. Youth and families can safely give a bet for the weekend. Commercial verdict has to be wait and seen because Dil Raju's post release promotions can turn crucial in deciding the range. Final word is, Lover is a far better flick for Raj Tarun in comparison to his all recent debacles. CJ rates the film with 2.5 stars.