Sekhar Kammula‘s directorial Love Story starring actors Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya which released in theaters on Friday came as a respite for the exhibitors as it finally began drawing large audiences post reopening.
The Telugu film collected a gross of Rs 11 crore, which after tax deduction would come to around Rs 7 crore, a source confirmed to Silverscreen India.
“It is a grand success. Crowds kept increasing for each show, when it is usually the reverse. Theatres were about 90% full and even night shows were crowded. It is a definitely a hit film, despite the mixed response to the content,” said Anupam Reddy, owner of Hyderabad’s Sudha Theatres and executive committee member of the Telangana State Film Chamber of Commerce.
Other films also announced their theatrical release dates, including, Sivakarthikeyan‘s Doctor (October 9), director Mani Ratnam’s Ponniyin Selvan (summer of 2022) and actor Ajith Kumar‘s Valimai (Pongal 2022).
Despite such results, several films have continuedd to go down the digital route. Amazon Prime Video’s festival lineup announced the inclusion of films like Vicky Kaushal’s Sardar Udham and Emraan Hashmi-starrer Dybbuk.
Silverscreen India brings to you the overall reception of all the films and shows that released online as well as offline:
The Telugu-language film that suffered delays since summer of 2020, is an inter-caste love story that revolves around Revanth, played by Chaitanya, and Mouni, played by Pallavi, who relocate to the city to pursue their dreams.
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India pointed out that despite fascinating ideas about social and gender relations, “Love Story does not register as a persuasive film, thanks to Kammula’s shortcomings as a director. Switching between realism and fantasy is not unusual in Indian mainstream cinema. But here, it is poorly handled”.
However, performances of Pallavi and Chaitanya made up for Kammula’s void. “Especially the former, an exceptional dancer and an evocative performer who convinces you of the myriad emotions her character goes through even though the devices the film uses are painfully unimaginative,” she said.
Mukesh Manjunath of Film Companion, called Love Story a great film and credited Kammula to give his characters enough space “to breathe and apologize and grow as human beings in each other’s company.”
Manjunath highlighted Chaitanya’s performance and hailed him as “Telugu cinema’s bravest champion of a “weak” neo-masculinity.”
Sangeetha Devi Dundoo of The Hindu, wrote, “Director Sekhar Kammula uses the platform of a mainstream entertainer to make family audiences introspect.”
Love Story broke the dry spell that the cinema halls experienced since March 2020. It is currently rated 8.3 on IMDb.
Sunny (Streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
The story is about Sunny, who “smuggles himself back from Dubai to Kerala in the midst of a global pandemic and shuts himself from society. Deeply stuck in an emotional turmoil and while killing himself softly and slowly, Sunny befriends a couple of curious strangers over the course of seven days, who change his perspective.”
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India, credits Shankar and cinematographer Madhu Neelakantan for “rhythmic storytelling”.
“Although the film’s primary theme is the state of isolation that the pandemic pushed many people into, it addresses the issue rather subtly, without making a fuss about loneliness,” she added.
According to Vishal Menon of Film Companion, “Sunny is a character study that works even better as an ode to second chances. It is highly ambitious with its optimism, but it also shows us how comforting it is to witness a person heal.”
Haricharan Pudipeddi of Hindustan Times, writes, “Sunny works more as a psychological drama-thriller. It deals with the subject of mental health very sensitively.”
Sunny is currently rated a 6.8 on IMDb.
Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum (Streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
Raame Aandalum Raavane Aandalum features actors Ramya Pandian, Vani Bhojan, Mithun Manickam, and Vadivel Murugan, in lead roles. The story is about a village that is breaking news on all television channels across India. However, the villagers don’t have electricity to watch TV.
The primary character is Kunnimuthu, a 35-year-old innocent farmer who loses his beloved bulls, Karuppan and Vellaiyan. When searching for his bulls with a friend, he meets a reporter named who helps him.
Director Arisil Moorthy told Silverscreen India that the film is a political satire and depicts his village nativity.
Sinndhuja of Silverscreen India, wrote, “It isn’t hard to deconstruct the premise of the film. The title explains away the intent, dropping heavy hints.”
Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion, noted, “There’s no seriousness in the filmmaking, though the issues are serious. No effort has gone into the screenplay and there’s a lot of repetition in the dialogues, and even the lyrics.”
Srivatsan S of The Hindu, reflected similar sentiments, and wrote that the film is “filled with such uninspired writing and lazy moments that spell out one thing for sure: a lack of interest and focus.”
The film has an IMDb rating of 6.7.
Apart from the aforementioned film, the second season of Kota Factory, has begun streaming on Netflix. It is built around the trials and tribulations of preparing to get into the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).