Dorasani from KVR Mahendra has a very influential scene where a housemaid tells “dorasani” that a woman is never truly free regardless of her social status. Sekhar Kammula’s love story is about Munika (Sai Palawi) from an agricultural-dominated caste family but doesn’t have enough money for her name to top up her mobile data plan.
Although the film uses this case to provoke humour and show us the girl’s innate love for the working class:
You can see the irony. You can also see that the director wanted the film to be stretched from as many sides/angles as possible.
When I actually saw the trailer, I was really afraid the film would oversimplify the problem it’s trying to solve rather than universality. Still, I’m happy to say that the worst thing I can say about this film is that it’s overly ambitious.
I always look forward to Sekhar Kammula’s film because it builds a better world than the one we live in. But with Love Story, he wasn’t in the mood to dream.
Revant (Dragon Caitanya) is an independent man who runs the Zumba Center and is proud of it. He tries to show us the world as it is in the best and most understandable way possible. Munika comes from wealth and social rights, but she has her demons to fight.
Like any good romance, this film spends a lot of screen time with their relationship – as it begins, develops, and develops. But is that not enough? Do two people like each other enough to want to live together? Not so, and the rest of the film tries to answer, or better ask, why.
Kamula’s character is never perfect. But the lack of character in this film is more than just a funny quirk. The girl you love and who also loves you is still conditioned to think a certain way even when she says otherwise.
Munika has the same luxury of being stupid and naive as Joe from Pariyarum Perumal. But instead of maintaining it, the writing tries to add nuance. He’s not the worst, but he’s not the best.
I wish I could explore this angle more, but naughty is excellent in this men’s game.
I know I have to say more than he’s about to turn on the screen when he arrives, but that’s what he does. Even when he’s blow-drying his hair outdoors, his ruthless demeanour evokes superficiality and makes him look original.
Showing viewers the burning pain in the characters without actually showing it until the very last moment is a tricky balance to strike.
You may also read Gully Rowdy Movie Review: Memorable and a harmless crime comedy
But this film is about Caitanya. He carried Revanth with great ease and confidence. And since this is Sekhar Kammula, the character is not just a template. He has his beliefs, but sometimes he bends down. He gets angry when someone does insults him. But he must not be an angry young man.
And it is in those moments of doubt and discontent that we see actors shine. When Revant is hurt and disappointed, we can feel his pain. It was great to see that he had finally managed to overcome the barrier.
It’s impossible to talk about her character without getting in touch with her mother:
Effectively played by Easwari Rao. Mothers write most films from the lower classes as submissive and easily satisfied creatures. Here the mother is the epic moral centre of the total film. It was he who told his son what to scan.
While looking for discrimination and bigotry. He forced her to expect respect from a society that never gave people like them anything. Their relationship is really the most satisfying aspect of this film.
The dance of the heroine in the rain is an integral part of Sekhar Kammula. We all accepted it and even laughed at it. However, since Munika is a complex and problematic character, the contrast helps us understand why the main elements exist.
Rain songs in other films are an opportunity to calm the audience and support the silk crepe industry. But it is a public holiday in Kamula films.
Our first instinct when we see the rain coming is to hide or hide, but when a woman welcomes the rain with open arms, it means she is tired of hiding. It also allows viewers to see these characters for who they are without all the things crushing them.