Even though Telugu Cinema has reached great heights and proved its mettle, the medium was rarely used to tell the stories of our people, of our places. C/o Kancharapalem does exactly that and so beautifully that one may wonder whether we are walking through lives of the people in it.
The film sets up as an anthology film of four love stories of people living in Kancharapalem. A 12-year-old kid Sundaram, a 23-year-old Joseph, a 30-year-old Gaddam who works at a Liquor store, a 49-year-old Unmarried attender Raju. None of these stories feels like staged or acted but rather feel like the stories we have seen or been in. The chemistry between a middle age couple is as innocent as it is between two school kids.
Entire first half of the film is full of humour and heart-warming moments but soon enough every love story finds its barriers in the form of age, class, religion. A character named Ammoru mentions in the movie that ‘Love is not just sweet as it tastes now, it will also get bitter’. The film too takes a bitter turn and in the end presents its true form with a twist which not only leaves us spellbound but also makes us connect all the dots presented in the plot.
The performances of the whole cast are so real that it is hard to believe that these actors in real life are not indeed the characters they played on screen. It feels like they are all secretly filmed while living their lives. Right from the leads to minor characters every single artist has performed like a seasoned actor. It would be unjust to give special mention to any single one of them.
Debutant director Maha Venkatesh should be credited for extracting the best from everyone involved. He never makes the film too melodramatic, not too preachy. He also used the humour as required and always stayed true to his material. He has a very unique voice and is definitely someone to watch out for. Producer Praveena Paruchuri (who also played Saleema) should be commended for taking up this project.
Cinematography by Varun Chapekar and Aditya Javvadi is brilliant and captured the soul of Kancharapalem and their usage of light during Gaddam-Saleema plot should be commended. Rich colour grading gave every character a colour and every colour a character.
Music by Sweekar Agasthi is an added advantage and blends well with the emotions. The dialogues in this movie are further proof that a genuine thick accent lets the dialogue sink in deeper than usual. The effort put by the Art department for disguising the plot twist should be appreciated. All other departments too were handled commendably and one hardly notices any flaw in the whole movie.
C/o Kancharapalem is a winner and has the potential to impress all section of audiences alike. It is entertaining, emotional and at the end makes us look at it all in a more personal way. We can only hope to see more of our stories, more of our people, more of our places like ‘Kancharapalem’ in our cinema.