Review: Mallesham(Priyadarshi, Ananya, Raj R)
Mallesham has been described as one of the most sincere, artistic attempts made by Tollywood in recent years. It belongs to new-age mould of Telugu cinema, narrating the true story of the Telangana achiever Chintakindi Mallesham. Let's find out how the biopic has fared in terms of content.
Mallesham (Priyadarshi) is a school drop-out with no means for education. His father makes him do 'asu' work (handloom weaving). Moved by his mother's plight (Jhansi plays a woman whose hand is weakened by many years of weaving), he makes a solution. He wants to invent an 'Asu' machine that can do the weaving work automatically. But is it easy? In his endeavour, Mallesham faces financial difficulties, his father doesn't have faith in his abilities, his obsession with his mission frustrates even his ever-loving wife. But, in the end, victory is his and he goes on win the Padma Shri.
Priyadarshi sheds his comic self and dons the mantle of a well-rounded performer. He is so natural that you will be surprised at every turn. When he smiles, you root for him. When he cries, you sympathize with him. Ananya, who plays his wife, is a newcomer with next-door-girl's look. She is charming. Even Jhansi, who is not known for heavy roles, is so good. Ananda Chakrapani, as Mallesham's father, is melodramatic. Others are fitting.
Made on an average budget, 'Mallesham' is set in realistic settings. There are no sets, there are only humble huts, small rooms and narrow bylanes. Balu Sandilyasa's camera works its way around these so well. Mark K Robin's songs and BGM are adequate.
The production design was not easy and even this department pulls it off. Director Raj R's team puts enough research and gets the 'asu' machine right.
The heart-warming emotions. We are moved by the poor conditions in which Mallesham's family lives. The male lead's financial distress evokes sympathy. He is driven to suicide but just a few years later, he becomes a public figure!
The dialogues are a big strength. Don't expect cinematic lines. The conversations are as they happen every day in ordinary lives.
The second half is engaging. Mallesham's rise and how he finds help from some individuals is told convincingly.
What doesn't click:
The first 30 minutes, featuring Mallesham's childhood phase, should have been crisp. There was no need for so many scenes. More detailing should have been shown to make the audience understand Mallesham's brain and his technical brilliance.
There should have been drama around the physical pain that weavers go through. It's not shown well.
'Mallesham' raises the bar. Without resorting to cheap thrills and unnecessary elements, it conveys its point thoroughly. Go watch this entertainer and get inspired!