Director: Kishore Tirumala
Cast: Sai Tej, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Nivetha Pethuraj, Posani, Vennela Kishore, Sun
After delivering six straight flops, Sai Dharam Tej hopes to change his fortunes with the Kishore Tirumala-directed Chitralahari. The actor gets top music director Devi Sri Prasad and big production house Mytrhi Movie Makers on his side. Kalyani Priyadarshan and Nivetha Pesuraj are the female leads.
Chitralahari is the story of Vijay Krishna (Sai Tej), an unlucky inventor who right from his childhood meets with failure. His girlfriend Lahari (Kalayani Priyadarshan) leaves him. Swetcha (Nivetha Pesuraj), a corporate executive, opens a door for him but he fails again. As the story unfolds, the only person who stands by him is his father (Posani).
Kishore Tirumala made his mark in his debut film Nenu Sailaja, and is known to make emotional dramas. Chitralahari starts off well with stories of the protagonist’s failures but falls flat after that.
The director depicts the father-son relationship well but it can sometimes get too preachy. There are some really good scenes between Sai Tej and Posani, when Posani explains Sai’s problem and where his failure is stopping him. But in the end, one feels that the emotional part is missing.
In the second half, Kishore brings in another girl into the protagonist’s life and it looks like a triangle. The narration is slow and the director doesn’t create an interesting climax.
Sai Tej has put on weight and with a beard looks fresh and fits the character. For this role, he has completely set aside his mass image. Of the two female leads, Nivetha Pesuraj performs well. Kalyani Priyadarshini is just okay. Posani gets a meaty role as the father and he does it with grace. Vennela Kishore and Sunil provide some laughs. Brahmaji is the company owner.
Devi Sri Prasad’s songs are the high points of the film. The cinematography by Karthik Ghattamaneni is okay. Dialogues written by Kishore Tirumala are interesting and thought-provoking and he shows once again that he is strong in writing.
Chitralahari is a better film for Sai Tej than his previous films even though there are a few scenes that drag and a few dialogues that are sanctimonious. Sai Tej can also benefit from the lack of big movies at the start of the holiday season.