Hello Guru Prema Kosame movie review: Ram Pothineni-starrer is a tiresome, male-centric take on romance
Hello Guru Prema Kosame is also a romantic drama with very little romance.
Love stories, no matter how simple they seem, can often turn into a slippery slope and the question of what exactly it takes to write a good love story remains. Does it arise from the experiences of the writer and filmmaker? Or can it be the result of a manufactured reality where the characters are put in an unrealistic scenario? Or could a love story take a form of its own and go beyond all cliches and boundaries that it finds itself in the beginning? I would like to believe that love stories are often the result of a constant battle between logic and magic in the writers’ room. In Ram and Anupama-starrer Hello Guru Prema Kosame, it’s the logic that overshadows everything else and the magic fizzles out so quickly that you don’t even sense it.
Directed by Trinadh Rao Nakkina, Hello Guru Prema Kosame is the story of Sanju (Ram), a youngster from Kakinada who comes to Hyderabad to work in a software company. His mother forces him to stay at her friend’s house, and it’s here that he begins to bond with Vishwanath (Prakash Raj) and his daughter Anupama (Anupama Parameshwaran). The rest of the story is about how Sanju falls in love with Anupama and convinces her father.
First things first, the film is staged as a behind-the-scenes conversation between Sanju and Vishwanath about the art of falling in love and its consequences. Right from the moment Sanju realises he’s in love with Anupama, he ends up spending more time with her father discussing the sincerity of his love towards her. The logic being, Vishwanath is the kind of person who won’t break his promise and in the story, he promises to be Sanju’s friend. Thanks to a series of logical permutations and combinations, Sanju convinces Vishwanath that he ought to help him out as a friend. Because Vishwanath is not just Sanju’s friend but also Anupama’s father you are bombarded with endless talk on what’s right and wrong, depending on whether Vishwanath listens to Sanju’s never-ending confessions as a friend or as a father.
Hello Guru Prema Kosame is also a romantic drama with very little romance. There’s a lead actress, but except for one scene where she primarily connects the dots, we barely know what she’s thinking. It’s almost like her perspective about her own love life doesn’t matter because the other two men in her life are making all the decisions about what’s best for her. Trinadh Rao doesn’t show us anything in terms of what Anupama feels for Sanju and instead, he adds one more ‘logic’ in the end to tie the loose ends in the story. The film tilts towards an extremely male-centric point of view about romance and relationships, and even though all the characters talks about protecting the sanctity of relationships and respect towards elders, it just gets tiresome after a point.
Despite all its drawbacks, there are a few things that do work well in the film. The bromance between Ram and Prakash Raj is explored well, and even though they are stuck in a friend-or-father quagmire, the duo deliver decent performances. Ram is endearing in his role and he leaves his mark during the emotional sequences. Pranitha Subhash has a well-etched role and her brief romantic track with Ram is well-written. Amidst all these actors and their characters, it’s unfathomable why Anupama Parameshwaran’s role is so underwritten. It’s not even her fault that she barely had anything to work with in the film, and most of her scenes are treated as a much-needed distraction from the overwhelming bromance between the two men in her life.
The film’s first half starts on an entertaining note, but the trouble starts brewing once the writer and director find the key conflict. In a love story, can a girl’s father be also the guy’s friend? If so, which side would he choose? If this was the whole point of the film, we barely see the moral dilemma that Prakash Raj’s character ought to go through at least in some sequences. Instead, he falls for all the ‘logics’ that Ram throws at him, and that’s the problem with Hello Guru Prema Kosame. It has a lot to say, without emotional baggage. And in the absence of the magic of love, the film resembles a maze built with lots and lots of words. It’s a disappointing film, not just in terms of how it unfolds, but also how it forgets that love stories need a lot more magic to work.
While Konda Polam is definitely a story of a man coming of age and realising his priorities, it lacks the ‘epicness’ it foretells.
The Boss Baby sequel plays it safe and moves at far too breathless a pace to allow contemplative moments.
In an industry that insists that star kids are the next best thing, the title Most Eligible Bachelor is annoyingly declarative. But thankfully here, the title is not an assertion, but an interrogation.