Hello movie review: Vikram Kumar turns this Akhil, Kalyani starrer into a heart-warming love story
There’s something sublime about Hello and it’s largely because Vikram Kumar turns a tried-and-test romantic formula into a heart-warming love story.
Hello, a film based on the concept of searching for your soulmate, might seem banal in times like these, but Vikram Kumar, whose earlier credits include Ishq and Manam, understands the power of true love. It’s not about whether the boy and the girl will meet in the end or not. Of course, they are expected to, especially in a mainstream film. But the anticipation of that exact moment where they discover each other’s existence after a long time is enough to let a stray drop of tear roll down your cheeks.
Because, no matter how many times you tell the same story, there’s something fundamentally reassuring about a well-narrated romantic story that it feels like there’s still some hope left in the world.
Right from its first frame, Hello, starring Akhil and Kalyani Priyadarshan, toys with the primal emotion of love and longing for someone, and Vikram turns it into an experience which nudges you to immerse yourself without any hesitation. But it takes its own sweet time to really unravel its heart. So, first we are bombarded with the visuals of a young boy running in the streets of Hyderabad to catch hold of a thief. All he wants from him is the most recent number that he dialled on his cellphone.
If that wasn’t enough, the stakes become bigger all of a sudden and it leads a very desperate Avinash (Akhil) to take a big gang all by himself. At this point of time, all we know is that he’s in love with a girl whom he first met when he was a kid. The girl is immensely fond of the boy too. Although, there’s also a trace of romance, their relationship is forged on the basis of friendship and finding solace in each other’s company. When the girl is forced to leave the town unexpectedly, she leaves him her number on a Rs 100 note.
Vikram Kumar drops several hints in the first half of the film about what’s at stake for Avinash that forces him to risk his own life several times. But it isn’t until he opens the doors to the world of Avinash and Priya, who take an instant liking to each other, that the film finds its groove. And then, it just sweeps you off your feet. No matter how hard I try to figure out what is it that that makes the romance work so well, I can’t decode the secret formula. Sometimes, you just soak in the aroma of coffee and forget about everything else.
For Akhil, it couldn’t be a better re-launch, so to speak. The film begins as a showreel of Akhil’s ability to pull off stunning action sequences, but soon, the canvas turns serene allowing the actor to find his feet on the ground, both literally and figuratively. In a way, this change in tone of the film, from an action flick into a romantic drama, helps us empathise with all the lead characters and Vikram channelises all the energy into weaving a heart-felt romantic tale. Akhil does a commendable job in portraying the lead character, and when he races against time to find his soulmate, fumbles, becomes desperate, and breaks down, he comes pretty close to making you believe that it’s happening for real. And the film’s biggest surprise is newcomer Kalyani Priyadarshan. She’s gorgeous on screen, but more than that, she emotes really well. There’s a scene in the film where Akhil tries to pull her leg when she visits his house for the first time and she begs him to not reveal her secrets. It’s a remarkably simple scene, but there’s something about Kalyani’s eyes that you catches your attention. Jagapathi Babu and Ramyakrishna too excel in their roles.
Anup Rubens does a terrific job with the background score, which blends extremely well with the visual imagery created by PS Vinod. It has a fantasy-like glow to it and the warmth of the story translates into its music and cinematography as well. Action choreography by Bob Brown is top-notch; however, the action set pieces are edited so haphazardly that you are never in awe of what they have done.
In the end, the film is testimony to Vikram Kumar’s power to move you when you least expect it. He paints the canvas with people you often dream about. At first glance, it might seem quite obvious and not so surprising, but the longer you stand there and try to figure out what he’s trying to convey, it all begins to make sense. The way light falls in the corridors, or how someone smiles at another person, or how the presence of a special someone brings peace. You stop judging it after a point because when you watch a film that makes you want to fall in love, there’s hardly anything left to say after that.
Two big thumbs up for Hello. If this film doesn’t convince you that Vikram Kumar is one of the masters of romantic genre in modern era, then nothing else will.
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