Cast: Subba Rao, Kesava Karri, Nithya Sri Goru, Radha Bessy, Karthik Ratnam, Praveena Parachuri, Mohan Bhagat.
Director: Maha Venkatesh
C/o Kancharapalem is a very small budget film that is backed by Tollywood biggies Rana Daggubati and his father Suresh Babu. Pre-release, the film was appreciated by heavyweights like S.S. Raja-mouli, Sukumar and Keeravani. Most of the cast is new and belongs to Kancharapalem in Visakhapatnam, where the story is set. The director, first-timer Venkatesh Maha, weaves four different strands into one story.
The first features Raju, a government officer attender, is nearing 50 and unmarried, which is the subject of a local joke. Radha, mother of a teenage girl, is transferred to Raju’s office as an officer from Odisha. Raju’s honesty attracts Radha who proposes marriage.
Sundaram, a Class 8 student, is in love with his classmate Sunitha, who sings well. Her father objects when she sings her favourite song from ‘Maro Chatitra’.
Sundaram encourages her to sing at the Independence Day function in their school. Learning of this, her father sends her off to Delhi. Geddam Babu works in a liquor shop and falls in love with Saleema, who has come to buy liquor. He learns she is a prostitute but still wants to marry her. This is opposed, and she dies a mysterious
death. In the fourth story, Joseph falls in love with Bhargavi, a Brahmin girl, but her father does not accept the marriage, because of their religion.
Venkatesh Maha joins the batch of young and talented directors who over the last two years have served up rich fare. While most debutants choose romantic entertainers or youth-bsaed subject, Venkatesh strikes a different note.
The director is inspired by real stories. There are no punch dialogues, the cast speaks as real people do with the local accent to boot. The fun is in the manner of talking, and there is no separate comedy track. Telugu viewers are familiar with parallel stories connecting at the end in films like Manamantha and Chandamama Kathalu. Venkatesh makes a good job of bringing the stories together. The cinematography makes the film look like it is happening in your neighbourhood.
Subba Rao is terrific as Raju, and the others play their parts well. If there is a complaint it can be that Venkatesh misses out on the emotional part while packing C/o Kancharapalem with love, fun and pain. Full marks to Venkatesh for not only coming up with a different kind of film but successfully carrying off the experiment of roping in locals for a film which is about themselves....