In my last post about Siddharth's Telugu ouvre (KIKK review here), I expressed slight weariness of these family entertainers he's been doing since the success of Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana (from 2005, review here). I suppose similar weariness affected my liking of Oy, the latest Telugu offering from Siddharth, launching another new director (Anand Ranga). Thankfully Oy, despite being an utterly deriative film, is also a good one. And like Aata (reviewed here), the insane mass-entertainer I loved but some people and fans were ambivalent about, it has the benefit of having Siddharth looking really, really good.
Siddharth plays Uday, your standard Siddharth character (young, hip, modern, NRIfied), apart from the distinct lack of family. On New Year's Eve he meets Sandhya (Shamili) at a night club, falls for her hardcore and eventually wedges himself into her life by moving into her house as a paying guest. Sandhya couldn't be less like him - she's stern, conservative, religious, not fun-loving in the least. Yet Uday goes out of his way to make himself ideally suited for her, and to make her love him as fiercely as he loves her. As you can probably guess, he makes her come out of her shell eventually and their love begins to blossom..
There's a plot twist buried there somewhere you can probably see coming miles away if you're quick to these things. I'll say upfront I'm not, but when the twist arrived, I didn't mind.
And when I mean the plot is deriative, I can't leave out a mention of the "disclaimer" that comes before the movie, a list of inspirations (pictures small to avoid spoilers)..
Speaking for myself, I didn't really mind this. The honesty was refreshing! And I haven't really seen these famous movies, so what do I care? Moving on..
It's quite difficult to see what Uday sees in Sandhya at the beginning. Shamili is a fine enough actress but the character doesn't come off as particularly lovable, stopping children from having fun during Holi and all these other things that make her out to be just a grumpy curmudgeon.
The character develops, however, and shows her, more pleasant sides of herself and even though the romance never really builds up to legendary heights, it is definitely sweet enough, with a couple of very adorable scenes here and there. One very interesting perspective on this "fully romantic" movie (Siddharth's words, as he was comparing Oy to say, Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam, which was a family-focused romantic film), is that because the characters don't particularly have a family, the romance between the two of them gets real focus. If they had living family members, I doubt this would have happened; in that case, those characters and their views on the romance would've impacted the storyline. It's an interesting contrast to Hollywood movies (which Oy borrows from), where the family is probably there somewhere but doesn't matter much in the coming together of the two romantic leads.
As with most of these films, I don't really have many complaints. There's just plenty of goodness and fun scenes, and the movie contains that fun spirit throughout it's length. It never stops dead in its track or gets dull, and there's good songs on both halves of the film. Especially the Buddhist temple scene (gorgeous visuals!), Uday making an Andra Pradesh meal for Sandhya, the gift scene and Uday learning pure Telugu were stand-out bits for me.
Oh wait, I just remembered. I do have a complaint. Again.
Sunil. Dude. Sigh. I do genuinely like him a lot in some movies - he was pretty fab in NVNN and Aata, and to some extent Chukkallo Chandrudu. But this film? Ugh, just get off my screen. I had no patience for his storyline in this one. Not funny, not interesting, with very little value. There's usually a certain wit to his sardonic comments but in here he just seemed like a boring idiot. I admit to fast-forwarding. So sue me.
"Fatso" who has no other name, played by Krishnudu, is Uday's partner-in-crime and loyal friend, is not particularly interesting, either. There's also a pretty well-known baddie actor who shows up on the second half, and he's probably the best side character in the whole film. I hate to appear as a shallow person but Fatso and Sunil didn't win my heart in this one.
But then, who the hell cares? It's a romance, and it's all about these two, and if you're a part of the target audience, you are a Siddharth fangirl (or a fanboy) and you're in it for the cute, especially when the cute comes in the shape of Siddharth.
Which it luckily does! And he dances (weird dance moves but nevermind, it's cool!) and has much, much better hair than in KIKK (thank lord) and is just ...Siddharth. If you know what that means, you know exactly how wonderful it is, and if you don't know what it means, get thee to a DVD of Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana!
It's all kinds of pathetic but I can't help it. It's like, "hey brain, remember when we used to be rational Siddharth fangirls? who just liked his acting and dancing and whatnot but weren't reduced to incoherency at the sight of him?"
My brain recalls those days. They were a wonderful time.
A time of intelligence and reflection and ---
Yeah, so, um...
That's my Oy review. Take it or leave it.
Note on the title of the post: Kulfi is a South Asian dessert, much like ice cream. I've had it at a Nepalese restaurant once. Delish.