(The following is more a recommendation post and a picture spam than an actual review. Apologies for the lack of analysis or deeper thoughts or detailed thoughts overall.)
There are a lot of Indian films out there you can watch if you feel like seeing teenagers fall in love. Good ones, bad ones, ones with happy endings, tragic endings, melodramatic endings, fresh stars, old stars, way-too-old stars.. So why pick this one, Kotha Bangaru Lokam, a 2008 Telugu film by a debutante director Srikanth Addala?
It manages to capture some of the very teenage awkwardness while still being adorable and sugary to the core. It stars fresh, young talent who play off each other nicely, and it has a peppy enough script to maintain one's attention for nearly three hours.
The basic plot doesn't sound like the most original one, but it manages to charm you on-screen with little details I won't reveal right now. Balu (Varun Sandesh) and Swapna (Shweta Prasad, a mind-boggling 17 years of age!) meet in college, get crushes on each other and awkwardly take their first steps into love. Their carelessness lands them into a little trouble and of course, father of Swapna highly disapproves of the match. Balu's father (the delightful Prakash Dad .. I mean, Prakash Raj) on the other hand, doesn't know about his son's love, as Balu chooses to hide it.
Twists and turns and a smidgeon of melodrama perfect this otherwise sugary confection, as you can imagine.
This will be a shorter review, because while I really enjoyed the movie, I can't quite find the words to describe it. Good acting, beautiful cinematography, fun songs.. Simply a good watch, but I also don't want to overhype it, because as popular as it is, the best thing for it is to be discovered by each viewer on their own. If it had any flaws, they were minor enough for me not to fixate on them - for example, the hero's tendency to flick his shiny, shiny hair went from "gosh, that's a bit weird" to "whatever, it's pretty cute", instead of annoying me.
So check it out, and hopefully it will make your "perfect rainy day movie" list as it did mine.
Have some more pictures to entice you!
If you're not keen on this by now, then you probably never will be. My job here is done.