Happy Days is another Shekhar Kammula movie that has struck the right chords in the Telugu cine-goer’s heart. The fact that the average Telugu movie buff is an engineering college student has hugely biased that opinion. There have been infinitely many movies based on college life, but this one shall be remembered for a long time because of the story. I now feel, more than the story, it is the choice of the manner in which the story was told that mattered more. The songs were excellent and “Happy Days” and ” Oh My Friend ” will replace ” Mustafa” at college farewells for sure. I feel this movie is more for the parents of students than students themselves because they get to see more of their kids’ lives than they usually would get to. The comedy was in most parts provided by Rajesh’s character. ( I had more comedy to deal with due to the comments of a college gang on the camrip ).
Now for the bashing. Apart from a single instance of Friendship-Showing ( Tyson – Shankar ), the rest was unbearable. All the friends just HAD to be paired up right!!!? This is where the movie pissed me off the most because the message that is given here is that all college gangs are pairs or trying to be. Yes, the LOVE angle is bound to be there – I do not disagree with that, but when you are trying to brand your movie to be a family movie, trying to tell the parents, a fair share of what they should know, then why not be totally correct too. If not for the supposed branding, I wouldn’t have had this itch to criticize this movie. There are many who remain very good friends and not go by the KKHH-SRK definition of Love. Please. Let us move on from all that. Though set in an engineering college backdrop, the movie attempted to summarize college life in general. But this movie got caught up with the love-interests of the leading characters and forgot about the guy from the village. With a do-takey ka dialogue, his story is finished off. The friendship being portrayed too felt a bit artificial at sometimes. I will remember this movie more for the songs than anything else.
Now coming to Kalloori. I saw this movie only because techsatish was showing it. I had no idea about it. Was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the leading ladies in both the films to be common. The bus-scene start was a nice one. Instead of ragging being the crux, its a song by the seniors explaining ways to screw up their education culminating in a request to avoid those ways and study well. I was taken aback by this novel beginning and mind you the song was not the preachy kinds – I felt it was pretty funny. It was set in a village/town backdrop, wherein a group of village-friends are joined by a city-girl in their BA-History class. Each one with different problems in their family life, socio-economic or otherwise, but when together tend to forget about all that and help each other out in their own very way. One of the girls is portrayed to be staunchly against the concept of Love and expects everyone to be friends forever and nothing more. But when two of them are attracted to each other, I thought, another movie going down the drain. And that is where I went wrong. The uneasiness amongst the two, to stand up to their friends’ ideals and control themselves was nicely shown. Two scenes I liked the most were the one where the girl makes him realize the cost of his education and the one where she confesses her love towards him, to the other girl and the subsequent explanation by that girl towards the need for her idealistic views. The happy ending wasn’t to be with a Dharmapuri incident-like climax, which I kind of expected with the movie coming from the same team as Kadhal did. The songs weren’t as catchy as Happy Days but nevertheless very melodious and thoughtful. But it is in the lyrics department that it outdid the former. Also, there weren’t any song-dance sequences; songs took the story ahead, and that is something I expect to see in every movie ( Spoof Dances like Dhoom Tha Na in Om Shanti Om are also expected). I hear that the climax was changed to what I ended up watching, after post-release criticism on logical irregularities. I wish to see that as a positive step on the part of the Director, willing to correct mistakes in the finished product. There was nothing spectacular about the movie. Just the fact that almost everything was as close to reality as it can get. I pity the Telugu town/village student community who could not relate to themselves in Happy Days. I hope Shankar dubs Kalloori into Telugu and at least gives them a chance at that.
One thing that was common to both the movies was the actors. Almost all were rank newcomers, and all portrayed their respective characters very well. Most notable was the role of Ramesh in Kalloori – he was the most versatile actor amongst the lot.
Two movies with seemingly same basis, but turned out to show two entirely different viewpoints. Regarding viewer appeal, Happy Days wins hands down, but in terms of telling what was really intended to be said, Kalloori succeeded.
If you haven’t watched any of the two and now intend to do so, sorry for spoiling the fun.