Love 2008

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By KUSHALI NAG
  • Published 4.10.08
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All Tollywood love stories are cliched, right? Wrong.

While walking into the first-day-first-show of Ravi Kinnagi’s Bhalobasha Bhalobasha one was expecting yet another predictable love story where boy meets girls, they fall in love, sing songs, parents play spoilsport, the lovers cry a little before going on to live happily ever after. Surprise, surprise! There’s all of the above but the masala muri is mixed so well that Bhalobasha Bhalobasha is both fun and filling.

The two-hour-40-minute roller-coaster ride bears the tagline ‘Love makes life beautiful’ and manages to live up to it. Hiran is Siddharth, a college graduate whose life is completely dictated by his dad (Sabyasachi Chakraborty). Case in point: son wants to flaunt his biceps in a body hugging T-shirt, but dad insists on a dress code of white formal shirt for every occasion! He feels stifled but is too meek to protest and so gives vent to his frustration by downing a beer at night with friends and ranting against his ‘Baba’.

Great-dictator dad then fixes his marriage and poor Siddharth can do little but grin and bear it. Enter, Priya (Shrabanti) who is everything Siddharth isn’t. Bubbly, romantic, chirpy and a motormouth. Cupid strikes and it’s bhalobasha bhalobasha time — the two chat, drink tea in Basanta Cabin, gorge on phuchkas at night, go on tram rides, play pranks and even prance around in the serene locales of Austria.

And then comes a twist in the tale that makes Bhalobasha Bhalobasha stand apart from the spate of love stories hitting the halls in recent times. You know that the lovers will unite, you know that Baba will mellow, but the crisp editing, the funny moments and the acting keep you engaged.

Hiran is good in his second film and Tollywood’s hunt for a cute heroine should end with Shrabanti (she looks a lot like Twinkle Khanna!). The two have crackling screen chemistry. S.P. Venkatesh’s music is promising.

One only wishes there were a few more scenes in Austria. Two songs are too little to satiate Tollywood’s starved audience. Also, some supporting actors like Locket, Kamalika and Laboni are wasted.