May be Kammula got really nostalgic about his movie 'Happy Days'. And that is evidently and predominantly reflected in his latest movie, 'Life is Beautiful'.
Talk about similarities, this one surely has a lot of them. Music, scenes, characters, moreover even costumes. Back after a two-year long gap following Leader, Sekhar Kammula delivers an “okay” flick. May be it’s he who has set such high standards for himself after 'Happy Days' and in the process, has come to be identified with such movies.
Though a decent watch, one cannot deny that LiB is a little too predictable and its narration slow leaving the viewers wondering when it will end and searching for what’s new or different.
It is a story of six youngsters (again!) who are nearing a state of “self-realisation”... of their responsibilities, relationships, friendship, life and many phases of it.
Srinu, Satya and Chinni are three siblings living in a village with their protective and loving mother Amala Akkineni. She suddenly decides to send them off to Hyderabad to live with their uncle. And why? Well, no prizes for guessing, she has cancer! They have no father and Amala doesn’t want her kids to know the truth.
The three siblings find their own way in Hyderabad, learn to deal with everything new, make new friends Nagaraj, and Abhi, girlfriends Lakshmi and Paddu, and become a part of a working- middle class neighborhood, called the B-Phase.
Their rival colony, the Gold Phase consists of rich kids, who need a reason to drive their white Audis, sit around the pool, drink and speak English with an accent. From now on start the deja vu scenes from Happy Days.
The cricket match ritual, the ususal jokes, one geek kid trying to impress the rich Miss-India aspirant Shriya, who performs a 'Happy Days' magic trick yet again (creating an image of the one you love randomly in the sky) the chemistry between the lead pair like that of Tammanah and Varun Sandesh, Vizag trip and a song.
There are quite a few unexpected and schocking scenes from the director, which make you wonder if you booked tickets for the same movie! Like a plane crash, a sudden lip-lock between Shriya and Abhi, pouring of litres of some weird pesticide on a tree to uproot it and four rich pet dogs attacking a poor pet dog.
One cannot empathize with even one love story in the film.
Moving on to the technical front, cinematography is good and adding to it is Micky J Meyer’s music, with a subtle and nice background score.
Amala’s role is brief, while the very beautiful Anjala Jhaveri is one sunshine corner of the movie.
Innocence and the rawness in the movie by debut actors is what keeps it going. The climax ends on another teary deja vu scene. And this time it’s not from 'Happy Days'. It’s from 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hain', when the daughter is tortured to talk about her mother at a time when she misses her the most.
Verdict : The brand name Sekhar Kammula will bring in half the crowd, while the classes will love it as much as 'Happy Days'. Worth a watch if you have nothing to do on a weekend.