c/o Kancharapalem is a drama film centred around the suburban Kancharapalem near Visakhapatnam. It was produced by Praveena Paruchuri, written and directed by Venkatesh Maha, and presented by Rana Daggubati. The film released worldwide on 7th Sep, 2018.
The film deals with four conventional love stories set among the people of four different age groups, all happening within a conservative suburban called Kancharapalem. The film breaks the barriers of hero-villain stereotypes in Telugu cinema and tells the stories of normal people fighting against social prejudices to succeed in their love.
The film primarily has four love stories interlaced in Kancharapalem. The first is the story of the school kids, Sundaram and Sunitha. It is totally immature but has purity. Sundaram wants to fulfil the dream of Sunitha to be a singer. Their story tells how parents want to condition their children according to the social norms. The second is the story of teenagers, Joseph and Bhargavi. Joseph is a converted Christian and Bhargavi belongs to the family of orthodox Brahmins. The religious differences are showcased in their love story. Their love is full of stubbornness and arrogance but a little maturity towards future and their married life. The third is the story of youngsters, Geddam and Saleema. Their story showcases the religious differences. They have respect towards each other, care for each other, dream and plan for a better life. The fourth and the most important story is of a 50-years old bachelor, Raju, and a widow, Radha. It is the most mature story among the four. Radha is from Odisha and knows little Telugu. Their story deals with widow remarriage and love at later stages of life. The society sees it as a taboo and they have to fear the wrath of society instead of their immediate family.
All these stories are separated by distinct age groups, personalities and conflicts. The portrayal of women is the most beautiful aspect of the film. There are strong and independent women in the film who don’t depend on men for everything. There are no damsels in distress and the women don’t seek sympathy from others. They stand against the social evils. Bhargavi is modern and has respect for other religions, Saleema doesn’t regret the state of her life and sets the rules for her future, Radha fights against the inequality in her office and treats everyone equal, the daughter of Radha takes decisions on her own judgement and doesn’t seek advice from others. This is something totally unexpected from Tollywood, which time and again portrays women in a sorry state who seek a saviour.
In spite of being non-actors, everyone performed very well. The performances are so natural that at some point, the audience start to resonate with their lives. This is totally unique experience in an industry plagued by tens of stars who couldn’t convince in various roles. There are some minor characters who lack confidence and were camera shy. But overall, the performances have helped the film get better.
The script work is amazing and the character development is commendable. The production values are great. The music is impressive and the sync sound created local ambience. The cinematography is superb and the scenes shot in low light are a treat to watch. The editing could have been better as some subplots were given a lot of runtime while the others were neglected. The direction of Venkatesh Maha is a work of art. It is not an easy task to work with non-actors in regular locations without considerable budget, but he delivered a masterpiece. Even the simplest of the shots were made interesting because of his direction. He is going to leave his mark in Tollywood.
We have legendary directors like K. Vishwanath who can captivate the audience with their simple stories. But it takes exceptional talent to impress the audience with an ordinary story. Telugu audience have developed hatred for art films over time after the failed attempts of some mediocre directors narrating the sad and disturbing tales of some characters. Even after critical success and overwhelming response from the audience, people are not ready to watch realistic films due to such reasons. But Venkatesh Maha is surprisingly good with his film and it truly gives the experience of real cinema. Watch it if you like captivating stories and memorable characters.
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