Kotha Bangaru Lokam Review— Same Old Parents-Kids & Love Story

Love stories are timeless and memorable, but teen love stories showing teenagers in boots bigger than their sizes and pipping their parents can make you uncomfortable. Once again, Tollywood film makers re-present the same teenage love story of boy and girl who mistake their hormonal surge for love, fight the world for it, and ultimately make their balanced and caring parents fall on their feet to make them realize their mistake. Kotha Bangaru Lokam (KBL) fits the above description, but to it’s credit it offers some good time and finally breaks the Happy Days curse (none of it’s lead actors have been able to deliver individually).

The story is about two intermediate students, Balu (Varun Sandesh) and Swapna (Sweta Basu Prasad), confused about their feelings for each other whether it is attraction or love and their attempts to define/describe love. Balu’s parents (Prakash Raj and Jayasudha) are caring, loving  and have always allowed their son to decide what is right or wrong. Swapna’s parents are the aggresive and protective yet caring type. Balu and Swapna develop the ‘kicks’ for each other and the entire first half provides breezy entertainment for teenagers and college students showing how Balu and Swapna fall for each other. On one such romantic escapade, they are caught necking each other (luckily for Balu his face is not shown) by our ever-alert press. Following this, they are kicked out of school– Swapna is under house arrest, but Balu goes home saying that he had a minor fight in the canteen. From this point on, the second half is a drag with a few interesting bits and parts. Balu is trying to find Swapna and finally they do find each other. Balu even comes and talks to Swapna’s father (Ahuti Prasad) in the most immature way possible, but Swapna decides to run away as her father is going to get her married elsewhere. Just when Balu is leaving secretly, his father dies in a train accident and his life changes. Suddenly this wavered youngster realizes his priorities, conveniently forgets about his girl friend waiting for him at the station, and goes on to finish college. Of course, the boy and girl finally meet at the end. Apparently, the mother along with Balu’s teacher were taking care of Swapna all the four years so that she can be ready for our Balu once he has finished with college. Whats more, all these four years, Swapna has not been with her parents and has been waiting for Balu. ok, so perhaps kids don’t need parents during their formative years when they [think] are in love.

Yes, with this film producer ‘Dil’ Raju has completed his trilogy in the Parenting & Love Stories series, but once again I find myself asking the same question: what exactly is the message? The message was somewhat clear in Bommarillu, but it became hazzier with Parugu and now with KBL. Producer Raju tries to look like a matured producer by sprinkling the film with a message about parenting, respect et all, but at the end they all end up looking like Teja’s dare-all love stories (at least Teja made no pretentions about messages). However, the debutant director deserves credit for handling the film well and filling it up with material that excites the youngsters big time. But again, the message part is not clear even though the director somehow tries to connect the first and last scene (mother holds the child and later child holds the mother). What exactly is he trying to say?— should kids be well behaved and just listen to their parents and study well, should they do what they like and try to convince their parents, or should parents try and understand when their 16 year old comes and says he/she is madly in love and wants to marry that person 6 years later, or should kids and parents sit and discuss all mattes and their possibilities? Nothing is clear. One of the most uncomfortably ridiculous aspect of this film is the height of immaturity of the lead pair and how eventually it actually triumphs! In inter they are in love, because they have counted up a million times that they thought about each other during a five day break, and for the next four years they want to study from the same college, then get jobs and marry. Ok, lets assume that they but kids and will talk immatue, but then given their experiences and over 4 years won’t there be any change of thought, if not heart? The climax is too unrealistic and I was hoping it would be more mature and more importantly, natural.

The performances are fine, but Varun Sandesh badly needs to improve his acting. He just got lucky this time as he had nothing to do with breaking the Happy Days curse. The girl is fine, the parents on both sides are excellent. Prakash Raj and Jayasudha are by now standard fixtures in Dil Raju’s Parenting & Love Stories series. Bhramanandam as the principal is as  usual great, but giving him a great role would only have helped the film. The regular Tollywood comedy brigage are missing. There is a Physics instructor who is like the guide for students are explains to them about stages in life and priorities. Like, 13-19 is teenage, 20-30 is youth, and 30 + is adulthood. This bit was clearly done; alas, the story of the film does not mature like this time frame. The music, both songs and background are good. Two songs, in particular, are great. The photography is excellent. I was happy to see the film being filmed in Andhra Pradesh. The Rajamundry-Godavari bridges get the spotlight. Logic apart, the film does have its interesting bits and parts and the debutant director does his job like a professional. Lets hope he doesn’t become a victim of the Dil Raju curse (all the directors he introduced delivered average or dud films in their second outing). In spite of its immaturity, given the total banktruptcy of good films in Tollywood, this silly film too will do well and Dil Raju will again make a neat profit (as I pulled in to Sudershan 35mm, I bought two tickets in black on its second day for a morning show.) However, public response seems to divided.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Only One Thumb Up. A fun first half, but the second half could have been more mature and natural instead of being typical.

ps- again, there is reference(s) to Jalsa, including a clip of the intermission shot showing a rough and powerful Power Star Pawan Kalyan to a huge response at Sudarshan 35mm. There is also a clip of the Chick-Superstar, Mahesh Babu looking like a cute and sweet boy in Murari also to a huge response.


1 Comment »

  1. Gowtham said

    I loved reading your reviews for some of the movies and other stuff you write, but for this review. You sucked bigtime at the very thought of being very biased while writing this review. You are beating round the bush to prove your view about the movie.
    Most of the comments in your review didnt look justified even though you made a hard attempt. Focused less on better parts of the movie and went on to point out not so imp details of the movie which by itself is a way of injecting your (not so great) view about the movie.

    Truly Disappointed.

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