Energetic star Ram and director Kishore Tirumala form a strong team as proved with Nenu Shailaja. They are back this time with a tale of friendship and love. Let us see, how far they repeated the NS magic on screen?
Abhi (Ram) and Vasu (Sree Vishnu) are two best childhood friends. Entry of Medico Maha (Anupama Parameshwaran) brings a bit of friction and differences crop up between them leading Abhi to go on exile. After six years, Abhi and Vasu are back at their friend’s marriage in Ooty. Another lady Meghana (Lavanya Tripathi), wedding planner in Ooty comes into their lives. Its love or friendship, watch it in climax.
Writer and director Kishore Tirumala picked an evergreen youthful subject of conflicting between love and friendship. As a writer, he is very much into elements penning heart touching dialogues but as a director he is left half way in creating those engaging situations to keep up the emotions on high. His narrative went up and down with lot of depressive and sluggish episodes in second half. Yet the way Kishore handled Ram, Sree Vishnu childhood episodes and Ram, Anupama romantic track are undoubtedly best parts. Like Nenu Shailaja, here too characterizations of Ram, Anupama, Sree Vishnu are strong and clearly author backed. If at all Kishore treated the story with more fun and liveliness without creeping in this dryness, result would have been far better. Devi Sri Prasad yet again shows his mark in compositions like title song, What Amma and Trend Maarina. RR is also impressive. Cinematographer Sameer Reddy captured the hilly tracts of Ooty and sea shore Vizag with utmost beauty. In fact, the premise did not permit to zoom on numerous locations. Editing by Sreekar Prasad demanded more. There is plenty of disposable stuff which made its way on screen in second half else the film could have been crispier. Production standards from Sravanti Cinematics and Ravi Kishore are adequate.
About performances, hero Ram suited perfect as Abhi. He is too handsome and girls will find it really hard to resist. Especially, those early episodes shot in foreign with Anisha Ambrose, he was extremely good looking. Emotionally, Ram showed lot of maturity in balancing friendship, love which is showcased well. His dual shaded characterization got good backup from an able style quotient. Anupama Parameshwaran had a wonderful screen presence and every close frame kept on her is watch worthy. Sree Vishnu got a lengthy character and tried hard to match Ram’s finesse. After Appatlo Okadundevadu, this is the meaty role which he laid a hand on. Lavanya Tripathi got a feeble character. Neither was she gorgeous nor backed by performance. Among Ram’s friends, Priyadarshi, Kireeti did a good job. Anisha Ambrose does a cameo. Rest of the artists made their presence felt.
VOZ is clearly inspired from Bollywood trend setters Dil Chahtha Hai, Rock On and other similar youthful romantic concepts. Difference is Kishore Tirumala strived to bring in Telugu nativity but could not keep his storytelling on interesting lines due to lack of variance inherently in his screenplay and plot. VOZ stood stiff on its spine because of Kishore’s sublime writing which tugs at heart strings regularly. Had he took more care in eliminating the unwanted first 30 to 40 minutes, final result would have been affected in his favor.
Kishore begins first half on breezy note. Childhood scenes shot very pleasantly establishing the bond between Ram, Sree Vishnu for further story to run. Entry of Anupama Parameshwaran begins the love track which ate maximum first half. Ram, Anupama had refreshing chemistry. Sree Vishnu appears only now and then while comic portions were taken care by Priyadarshi, Kireeti to some extent. Advent of Sree Vishnu brings a twist in tale. One scene of both Ram, Sree Vishnu expressing their love for Anupama is so matured. Towards interval, Ram takes his flight to reach India.
Second half was so crucial for Kishore to keep the film more lovable. Whole marriage backdrop set on Kireeti was right platform to highlight emotions and run the drama convincingly. However, Kishore fell flat on nose roping in Lavanya Tripathi which bounced completely with repetitiveness. Till last 15 minutes, everything fell out of place as scenes wrote to re-unite Ram, Sree Vishnu are in poor quality. Climax is made meaningful, thanks to Anupama again.
All in all, Vunnadhi Okate Zindagi had a fine premise of two childhood friends and a love story. Ram, Anupama showed their mark while Kishore Tirumala’s leisurely paced narrative has done a major damage. Commercial verdict depends on how youth audiences grab the whole theme. Cinejosh rates VOZ with 2.5 stars.