Fidaa Review: Sai Pallavi's Show!
Banner: Sri Venkateshwara Creations
Cast: Varun Tej, Sai Pallavi, Sai Chand, Raja, Satyam Rajesh, Sharanya Pradeep and others
Cinematography: Vijay C Kumar
Music: Shakthikanth Karthick
Editing: Marthand Venkatesh
Producers: Raju, Sirish
Written and Directed by: Sekhar Kammula
Release date: July 21, 2017
Sekhar Kammula, the director of classic hits such as "Anand" and "Happy Days", has returned to the genre of love stories after a long gap.
The recently released trailer and the soothing melodies coupled with Sai Pallavi's charm raised expectations on the film. Find out if Kammula has come back to form or not.
Varun (Varun Tej), a NRI, lands in rural village in Telangana to attend the wedding ceremony of his brother (Raja) and meets Bhanumathi (Sai Pallavi), the bride's sister. They get attracted to each other and start finding out about themselves.
Due to a misunderstanding, they part ways on a bad note. Though he likes her, she hates him for some incident.
Months later, Bhanumathi comes to USA to see her pregnant sister. Will they fall in love this time? Does the story end on happier note?
Though it is a love story, it is the heroine who gets complete dominance. The story is more about Bhanumathi, played by Sai Pallavi, than Varun.
And in the role of Bhanumathi, debutante Sai Pallavi (who played the role of lecturer in Malayalam's Premam) steals the show. It is her show from the start to finish. She has terrific screen presence and her performance is quite believable. Quite impressive that she got the Telugu language with Telangana dialect so perfectly.
Sai Chand as heroine’s father and Sathyam Rajesh are good. Sharanya Pradeep as Sai Pallavi's sister and Raja have done decent job as well.
Music director Shakthikanth Karthick has come up with three good songs - "Vacchinde", "Edo Avuthondi" and "Oosupodu" but the songs are not filmed properly. Except "Vacchinde", rest come as montage songs.
Next technician that deserves pat on the shoulder is Vijay Kumar. He has filmed both rural Telangana and USA locations beautifully.
Editing work doesn't impress much as pace of movie is quite slow. Production values by Dil Raju are first rate.
Sai Pallavi's charm and performance
Not so impressive climax
Sekhar Kammula's recent movies like "Life Is Beautiful" and "Anamika" have failed to strike a note with the audiences. Hence he has gone back to his roots - telling simple love stories with a strong female character.
"Fidaa" has his trademark story of two youngsters finding love in love-hate-love cycle, but this time the backdrop is rural Telangana and USA.
What he has done this time is telling a story with a spirited young woman called Bhanumathi, who claims to be 'single piece', as there is none like her.
The characterisation of Bhanumathi is different. Her attitude, her dialogues, her idealistic nature is likable to the core.
And luckily, Sekhar Kammula found a perfect heroine for his character in the form of Sai Pallavi. She has owned the role and lived in it.
Her performance is the single major attraction of this movie that has some strong notes, some dull moments. The film completely belongs to her. Anybody can easily go fidaa over her.
She is not what can term a conventional beauty (she has acne on her face), but the girl-next-door looks and killer performance wins over.
Sekhar Kammula begins the movie in a shaky manner, but the romance of Sai Pallavi and Varun Tej take us into the story.
There are not any moments or scenes that we haven't seen before, but the realistic handling makes all the difference. Entire first half of the movie is so cool and heart-warming.
Once the intermission happens with the misunderstanding between the two lovers, the story shifts to the US. From here, the movie loses its pace and the fun element also wears off.
Sekhar Kammula has included some heavy and dull situations post interval and that sort of drags on the story.
Yet, moments like Varun Tej expressing his love towards her during their car journey and asking her to be a friend at least make an impression. The scene of Sai Pallavi coming to a party in modern dress is good too.
All through the film, we see love and hate, hate and love sequences. But the love moments are lovely to some extent. The hate moments are not that impressive. We get a feeling that the misunderstanding scene should have had a stronger reason.
The biggest striking point of the movie is realistic portrayal of village, characters and conversations. Though the dialogues mouthed by Sai Pallavi may not be easily comprehended in Andhra and Rayalaseema areas, they in fact sparkle with wit.
All in all, "Fidaa" is a niche film that works with movie lovers who seek realistic love stories and can bear slow pace. This is not for all.
But one must appreciate Sekhar Kammula for making a movie with such a strong female character and going with the flow vis-a-vis commercial thinking.
At the box-office, the film has high chances to click in A centres and overseas.
Bottom-line: Niche Love Story