Sai Dharam Tej's form has hit rock bottom with six back-to-back flops. He is coming up with the slice-of-life drama Chitralahari directed by Kishore Tirumala with Kalyani Priyadarshan and Nivetha Pethuraj in female leads. Will Chitralahari be as fascinating as 90’s, the popular Chitralahari musical program on DD?
Vijay Krishna (Sai Dharam Tej), backed always by his father (Posani Krishna Murali) is a loser but optimistic to achieve something. He has a girlfriend Lahari (Kalyani Priyadarshan), an innocent and perplexed girl who relies completely on others. Meanwhile, Vijay meets two other people (Sunil), his glassmate and Swecha (Nivetha Pethuraj) who supports him to accomplish the dream project. When nothing comes his way, Vijay takes an awful decision. What is it? Will he ever achieve the goal? How did he balance the love and professional life to evolve as a winner?
In real life, success always knocks those doors which strive to achieve it. Successful persons we see in newspaper or TV may be negligible number while the count of failures is innumerable. Yes, nobody actually will cast a light on losers. We have seen various films where protagonist is a loser until he realizes dream in the end. Chitralahari, penned and helmed by Kishore Tirumala is no different. Though Kishore thrived to captivate us with his thought provoking dialogues, he couldn’t do his job as a director. Because of old school story, snail pace narration, imperfect characterizations, mediocre romantic track, failed emotions and inaccurate direction, Chitralahari is full of incompleteness.
Coming to technicians, film with the classic title Chitralahari, one expects some melodious tunes and fascinating background score. But, Devi Sri Prasad may be by virtue of his busy schedules came up with regular tunes and BGM. Karthik Ghattamaneni’s camera angles are just right. The runtime is short; still more cuts are needed. Production values of Mythri Movie Makers are up to the mark.
Onto performances, Sai Dharam Tej did go for a makeover and grew beard as Vijay. He put on some weight, looked handsome. He delivered a painstaking performance effortlessly. Both the leading ladies Kalyani Priyadarshan and Nivetha Pethuraj looked ordinary and on performance front just pale. Posani Krishna Murali is usual and Brahmaji is alright. Sunil as glassmate of SDT is tolerable wherein Vennela Kishore gives the much-needed comic relief with his butler English and Tamil slang.
Sai Dharam Tej
Few Comedy Bits
Chitralahari marks the collaboration of failures- Sai Dharam Tej, Kishore Tirumala, Kalyani, Nivetha and producers of Mythri Movie Makers, whose last films are all flops. Interestingly, the protagonist in the film is also a loser looking for his turn to attain success like all above mentioned. However, the film is let down by the extremely predictable plot. Then story almost has no twists and resultantly the film doesn't engage us beyond a point.
The film takes off on a serious note with simple introduction of SDT standing in a courtroom as accused. As usually, the flashback is narrated to explain the circumstances which led him to commit a gaffe. SDT is shown as a loser from his childhood, episode by episode. Fortunately, he has a caring father who believes in son's talent. However, things look routine and boring with Sunil, Kalyani and Nivetha entering hero's life. Neither the bar episodes with Sunil nor the romantic track with Kalyani are appealing. Nivetha is another boring piece. The wait for intermission ends with SDT-Kalyani’s break-up for a silly reason.
Latter part too begins on slow note with SDT making efforts to attain a goal. Nonetheless, we don’t understand why Nivetha who’s stubborn by nature and the one who hates males encourages SDT to core. Luckily, we find some relief in form of Vennela Kishore. In fact, his episodes are the only enjoyable moments. However, there is unnecessary drama towards the end to give a message. Like a regular Telugu cinema, movie ends on happy note.
All in all, Chitralahari is another weak attempt from Sai Dharam Tej. When picked an old and proven story, one should make sure the story-telling should be entertaining with brand new scenes. Nonetheless, the film lacks uniqueness and limpness in narration tests patience. To comeback to form, SDT needs to wait for some more time. CJ goes with 2.25 star rating and box office wise the film may not shine.