Review: Manikanth Gelli attempts a light-hearted rom-com with Thellavarithe Guruvaram that shows that it’s not just women; even men have their insecurities and fears when they’re trying the knot. Sri Simha Koduri made a stellar debut with an off-beat film like Mathu Vadalara that brought forth a whole new genre to TFI. And with this one, he tries his hand at something a little more mainstream, but only when it comes to the genre.
Veerendra (Sri Simha Koduri) and Madhu (Misha Narang) look like a couple that’s happy to take the plunge and spend the rest of their lives with each other. But once they’re done putting on a show for their loved ones, both decide to run away from the wedding for their own reasons. Bumping into each other on their way out, they have no choice but to run away together. As they slowly open up about their past, insecurities, fears and reasons for not wanting this marriage, they learn to understand each other better and help heal some heartbreak.
Despite the basic plotline of the film sounding like an intense drama, even a little like Rahul Ravindran’s Chi La Sow, that’s there the similarity ends. Instead of taking a route that’s peppered with mature conversations (despite touching on sensitive topics like domestic abuse), Manikanth instead chooses to keep things light and never lets the film get too heavy. If Madhu is made fun of for fearing her future husband might be like her father (Rajeev Kanakala), who’s a good father to her but is not as understanding as a husband, Veerendra is also shown as a fool in love, who’s still hung up on his ex-girlfriend, Dr Krishnaveni (Chitra Shukla), a confused soul who manages to make his life a living hell. Satya as his uncle and Harsha Chemudu as his best friend also attempt to ensure the film is never taken too seriously.
While it’s a conversation for another day if the young couple’s relatable plight should’ve been taken maybe a little more seriously, Thellavarithe Guruvaram drags for the most part despite the crisp run-time. Once they’re on the road and running away from their own families, the director doesn’t do much to ensure you stay invested in the leads and their journey. Right when you think there might not be enough at stake here; they get into some serious trouble during the climax and even get out of it by pure luck. This turn of events only serves as a catalyst to question if they will end up together, with Ajay brought on-board to play the kind of role he usually does.
Sri Simha Koduri performs well, refreshingly choosing a character that’s not interested in being a ‘hero’. Clearly, the actor isn’t interested in being one either, choosing scripts that offer something novel instead of run-of-the-mill. Chitra and Misha also perform well in characters that have a life of their own. The music by Kaala Bhairava is okay, while the BGM ably supports the film.
With characters like Veerendra, Madhu and Krishnaveni, the film has scope to be a gripping, light-hearted rom-com. But the director falters when it comes to lending the story some depth, or even at making it engaging. Give this one a chance for the actors, because they are what make the film worthwhile.