Rating: 5/10 (Meaningful Dialogues but no Soul)
Cast: Sai Tej, Kalyani Priyadarshani, Nivetha Pethuraj, Sunil, Vennela Kishore, Posani Murali Krishna, Jayaprakash
Director: Kishore Tirumala
Producers: Naveen Yerneni- CVM Mohan- Ravi Shankar
Banner: Mythri Movie Makers
Sai Tej, dropping Dharam from his name has not seen success since Supreme back in 2016. The actor has been in a terrible streak of form with 6 consecutive disasters. he has teamed up with director Kishore Tirumala, best known for Nenu Sailaja for an entertainer called Chitralahari. produced by Mythri Movie Makers, the film also features Kalyani Priyadarshani, Nivethu Pethuraj and comedian Sunil in pivotal roles. Can the film break Tej's bad form and give him some life? Let's find out
Plot: Vijay Krishna (Sai Tej) is a talented developer looking for a break for his entrepreneurial idea. But success has eluded him his whole career. His father Posani believes in him when no one else does. Along the way, he falls in love with Lahari (Kalyani Priyadarshani) and also crosses paths with Swecha (Nivetha Pethuraj). Whether or not Vijay finally finds success forms the rest of Chitralahari
Performances: Sai Tej delivers a solid performance and is at ease in a subtle role. It's refreshing and a perfect fit for the actor after monotonous, energetic mass masala performances in his recent films.
Kalyani Priyadarshani is wasted as Lahari and the character has poor judgement skills. Nivetha Pethuraj as Swecha is impressive and does well.
Sunil as a "glassmate" for Sai Tej is ok. Some of the comedy works, but most of it is really hit or miss depending in your sense of humor.
Vennela Kishore is hilarious once again as a Tamil speaking employee in Mumbai in the 2nd half. Posani is entertaining as Vijay's father and gets some good dialogues as well.
Direction: Kishore Tirumala's last film was Vunnadi Okkate Zindagi. He has written Chitlahari and it's the simple story of an underdog who is smart but unsuccessful in his career. The character of Vijay Krishna is the lifeline of the movie. Sai Tej plays the role to perfection and carries the movie. But besides this, the movie really has no substance and plot whatsoever. The character of Lahari is poorly written and is a waste of time for the narrative. On paper, the story is good but the execution is subpar. Chitlahari also has a great message but in the end feels unconvincing due to the uneven narrative and philosophical wordplay throughout the film. Sunil's character is supposed to be funny but it gets irritating to hear the word Glassmate about 50 odd times throughout the movie. It reminds you of how much Vijay Deverakonda says Madam in Geetha Govindam. The film also feels too preachy with the dialogues, and even though they are well written, some are them are drawn out beyond belief. Overall, the concept of the film is good but the execution makes it very unconvincing and you wonder what the point of the film is in the end.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Devi Sri Prasad is ok. The songs are good to listen to but only Prema Vennela works on screen. The background score is adequate. Cinematography by Karthik Ghattamaneni is alright. Lots of scenes in the movie take place during the night so there's nothing much to remember about the visuals with all the darkness around. Dialogues by Kishore Tirumala are a double edged sword. Double edged because some of them are very good, but on the other hand some of them are too preachy and philosophical. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is subpar. Even at 131 minutes, Chitralahari feels drawn out. Production Design by AS Prakash is good. Lastly, Production Vakues by Mythri Movie Makers are grand as usual.
+ Sai Tej
- Shallow Plot
Final Take and Analysis: Chitralahari was supposed to be the comeback for Sai Tej after as series of flops. Unfortunately one can't say that this film breaks the duck. The film has a good concept, but the inept execution is what spoils the movie.
The film starts off in a nice manner and proceeds to showcase the story of Vijay Krishna and why success is eluding him. The romantic track with Lahari is a waste of time and is quite silly. The film starts to come into its own during the interval break. The 2nd half features Vijay trying to get his idea to work and a Mumbai episode featruing Vennela Kishire.
These sequences help the film stay afloat but the graph comes back down again during the climax portions. In the end you are left confused by the film and it feels unconvincing and you wonder what Kishore Tirumala was trying to convey in the film.
Chitralahari works in parts but doesn't have enough content to engage you for the 131 minute run-time. That's most likely due to the shallow plot. With an underdog story, there's only so much you can do. And frankly, the same could be said for Sai Tej as well.
Overall, Chitralahari is a film filled with meaningful dialogues but no soul in the end. Despite Sai Tej's mature and improved performance, this film simply doesn't have enough content to be a convincing movie in the end due to inept execution by Kishore Tirumala.