Fidaa movie review: Break-up in TS, love in US

Director Sekhar Kammula's Fidaa is his first film in three years.

Cast: Varun Tej, Sai Pallavi, Sharanya, Sai Chand, Raja Chembolu, Rajesh, Geetha Bhaskar and others
Director: Sekhar Kammula
Producer: Dil Raju
Rating: 3.5 star

Director Sekhar Kammula’s Fidaa is his first film in three years. His last film, Anamika, was a thriller, a remake, and a big flop, so he’s back to love stories in his latest, which has Sai Pallavi of the Malayalam film Premam making her Telugu debut opposite Varun Tej.

Varun (Varun Tej) is studying medicine in the US but comes to a rural village near Nizamabad to attend his brother Raja’s (Raja) marriage with Renuka (Sharanya). Here he meets Bhanumathi (Sai Pallavi), the bride’s sister, and they are attracted to each other. The newly-weds want to move to the US, so after the wedding they travel to Hyderabad by train to catch their flight to the US. Bhanumathi is with them as she is seeing off her sister. She plans to tell Varun that she is in love with him but before she can do that she sees something that she misunderstands concerning Varun. She refuses to even talk to him after that incident.

Varun goes back to the US and to his work, but he can’t forget Bhanumathi. He tries to call her but she refuses to talk to him. When Sharanya gets pregnant, she asks her sister to come to the US and help her out.

Bhanumathi and Varun meet again and most of the film is about how they work out their relationship.

Sekhar Kammula chooses to set his love story in a rural and then a foreign locale. Generally, his films are realistic and the actors look natural. Fidaa doesn’t have a great story, but the love story of a strong and independent rural girl of Telangana and an NRI boy is well told. The realistic moments, emotional scenes, and the simple romance of the younger generation is narrated in a very beautiful manner.

Kammula has put his heart and soul into this film. The rural Telangana background is authentic and the characters and not the actors come through. As in his early films, here too the female lead is a strong character.

The film has been shot on location so it’s more like people talking in a village rather than actors acting. After a long time you feel you are watching true Telugu cinema.

When it comes to performances, Sai Pallavi dominates. No one will believe that this is her first Telugu film. She gets the Telangana accent right and her expressions and manner of carrying herself throughout the film are natural. You see a witty, clever and charming Telangana girl instead of the actress Sai Pallavi.

Varun Tej fits the NRI role perfectly. He has improved a lot from his last film and acts naturally. Sharanya, has given a superb performance. Raja, as Varun’s brother, is decent.

Sai Chand is back in films after almost two decades. He plays Sai Pallavi’s father and makes his presence felt. Pelli Choopulu director Tarun Bhaskar’s mother Geetha plays the aunt. Satyam Rajesh elicits a few laughs.

Cinematographer Vijay Kumar has captured the greenery of Bansuvada village in Telangana beautifully. He is definitely a big asset to this film. The other highlight is music director Shaktikanth Karthik who provides some soothing music.

The second half of the film drags a bit and the finale has little appeal, but on the whole, Fidaa is worth watching and is definitely a strong come back for director Sekhar Kammula.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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