Rating: 9/10 (An Instant Classic)
Cast: Subba Rao, Radha, Praveena Parachuri, Mohan Bhagath, Praneetha, Karthik Ratnam and others
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Venkatesh Maha
Producer: Praveena Parachuri
Banner: Suresh Productions (Presenter)
One small film that caught the attention of the Telugu audiences was Care of Kanchaparlem. Set in Vizag, this film tells the story of 4 interconnected stories and their respective conclusions. Touted to be Telugu's first independent film, it is directed by Venkatesh Maha and produced by Indian-American Praveena Parachuri, who also stars in the film. Does the film live up-to the hype? Let's find out in this review
Plot: 4 interconnected stories of a man in a mid life crisis named Raju, a Christian named Joseph who likes a Bhramin girl, a young boy named Sundaram who likes his classmate Sunitha, and a man named Gaddam who falls in love with a Muslim prostitute named Saleema forms the story of Care of Kancharapalem.
Performances: Everybody in the movie is natural and brilliantly cast. Actor Subba Rao who plays Raju is the highlight. He is the definition of every middle aged man in the Telugu states. He is hilarious and makes you root for him the entire film.
Radha Bessy as his love interest also does a good job. The boy who plays Sundaram is excellent and the girl that plays Sunitha is so cute and does very well.
Mohan Bhagath as Gaddam is awesome and the real highlight of the film is arguably producer Praveena Parachuri. Not for one second do you believe she is American and carries out her role with utmost sincerity and plays it to perfection as a Muslim prostitute.
The guy who plays the role of the idol maker is outstanding and his track warms your heart and will make you emotional. Each and every actor is superb in this brilliantly crafted film.
Direction: Venkatesh Maha, take a bow sir. As an avid film lover, I always wondered why Telugu cinema can never make something worthy of the Oscars or why we don't have more meaningful cinema. While all the other industries are progression and making meaningful or different movies with solid concepts, we are still stuck in thoda kottadam and guys flying with one punch and transformers blowing up after and gravity defying stunts. It's undeniable that we have made tremendous progress as an industry since Baahubali and Srimanthudu in 2015. If you're an avid lover of world cinema, then you will love Care of Kanchaparalem. The natural and realistic feel of the film sucks you in right away. The characters, dialogues, and everything about the film is simply beautiful. He also breaks barriers by addressing caste and religion issues in the most simple manner which is brilliantly showcased. This is one film where the writing was brilliant from start to finish. Usually most movies like put people off because of their limited appeal and lack of commercial elements or entertainment. But Care of Kancharapalem is entertaining from start to finish. Full marks to Venkatesh Maha and we can't wait to see what he makes next.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Sweekar Agasthi is fabulous. The background score is beautifully composed as well. Cinematography by Varun Chaphekar and Aditya Javvadi is excellent. They used natural lighting and have effectively captured the beauty of the town that is Kancharaparalem in Vizag. Editing by Ravi Teja Girijala is very good. The Art direction department stands out, especially during the idol maker scenes and everything related to that. Dialogues by Venkatesh Maha are amazing. They're funny, meaningful, and natural throughout the film. Despite the modest budget, the technical output by all the technicians is just simply brilliant. A job well done to each and every technician that worked on this film.
+ Almost Everything
- Limited Appeal
Final Take and Analysis: Good movies are hard to come by in Telugu. In the olden days we had movies like Missamma and Mayabazar, but in present day, the abundance of good movies are slim to none.
Good in the sense a movie that is well written from start to finish and features no lag or logical loopholes in the plot. Unfortunate 50% of the movies we consider to be good like Dookudu, Baahubali, and Attarintiki Daredi suffer from logical loopholes throughout.
If you're a Telugu movie fan who is sick of the pollution that has become knows as commercial entertainers, then Care of Kancharapalem will be a feast for you. This movie is just simply beautiful. If you're a fan of artsy or art-house type movies, then this is the movie for you. The 4 stories that are presented take their own time and each character faces their own problems along the way. It's one of those movies where you laugh with characters, cry with them, and root for them.
More films like this need to be made in Telugu and hopefully this films paves the way for more independent movies like this being made in Telugu cinema in the future. And watch out for the climax as it will leave you stunned and put a smile on your face at the same time.
Overall, Care of Kancharapalem is an instant classic that every Telugu movie fan should watch. Director Venkatesh Maha has created a independent masterpiece that will hopefully be remembered for ages. Go and watch it. Movies like these don't come around too often.