Cast: Samantha Akkineni, Naga Shaurya, Lakshmi, Rajendra Prasad, Rao Ramesh, Pragathi, Tej, Sunayana
Director: Nandini Reddy
Samantha Akkineni is acknowledged as an actress who is successful in film after film in both Telugu and Tamil. In Oh! Baby, Samantha does full justice to her reputation. It is for good reason that she aggressively promoted this Nandini Reddy-directed film.
Savitri Baby aka Baby (Lakshmi) runs a canteen and lives with her son Sekhar (Rao Ramesh) and his family. Her best friend is Chanti (Rajendra Prasad) from her childhood. Her daughter-in-law (Pragathi) is hospitalised because of Baby, so the old woman leaves the house. On her way she finds a photo studio where the photographer promises to make her look younger. When she comes out of the studio, she finds that she has become 25-year-old Swathi (Samantha). From here she starts living the life which she missed in her youth. She meets Vikram (Naga Shaurya), helps her grandson (Tej) win a music contest. She also becomes close to Chanti and moves into his house. The rest of the film deals with when what happens to Swathi’s life
Director Nandini Reddy seamlessly adapts the Korean film ‘Miss Granny’ for the Telugu audience, a story about a grandmother who becomes young again and lives the life she had missed out on. Remakes are generally not easy but Nandini Reddy is very successful in retelling the grandmother’s story in an entertaining manner and with an emotional touch.
Nandini Reddy gets exceptional performances from all the actors. She is back after a three-year hiatus and this is the perfect break for her commercially.
The part where Swathi stays in Chanti’s house as a tenant deserves mention. As does the younger life of a grandmother in a song sequence and how she fulfils her dreams like singing, dancing and falling in love. The Godavari slang and the idioms are superb.
Samantha is a livewire and the film belongs to her. As a 25-year-old speaking and behaving like a 70-year-old Samantha is simply outstanding. She is improving with every film and Oh! Baby may become her best yet. Samantha is getting different roles especially after her marriage and this one takes her to new heights.
Lakshmi appears only in the first 20 minutes, but she puts in all her considerable experience into it. She is terrific with her dialogues. Though it’s a small role, she makes it memorable. Senior actor Rajendra Prasad is the other highlight. Even for a recognised actor, this must be the best role in his recent films.
The year also belongs to Rao Ramesh, who has had roles in many hit films. Small or big, he completely justifies each role. He excels in two emotional scenes — one in the climax with Samantha and the other with his son.
Naga Shaurya does his small role neatly. All the others like Pragathi as the daughter-in-law and Tej as the grandson support well.
The dialogues by Lakshmi Bhupal are well-written, especially the Godavari accent. Cinematography by Richard Prasad is excellent. Music by Mickey J. Mayer is average.
Oh! Baby is a fun film with an emotional touch that is neatly narrated by director Nandini Reddy. The film takes Samantha up a notch, and proves that she can carry a film by herself. They are supported by Rajendra Prasad and Lakshmi....