A kaleidoscope called ‘Bommarillu’

The kaleidoscope is a tube of mirrors containing loose coloured beads or pebbles, or other small coloured objects. The viewer looks in one end and light enters the other end, reflecting off the mirrors. Any arbitrary pattern of objects shows up as a beautiful symmetric pattern because of the reflections in the mirrors. A two-mirror model yields a pattern or patterns isolated against a solid black background, while a three-mirror (closed triangle) model yields a pattern that fills the entire field. Source: Wikipedia.

‘Bommarillu’ could be compared to a three mirrored, ‘designer’ kaleidoscope, with the story tracks forming the mirrors, and the heroine shining as the coloured jewel—the object of reflection. And, when the audience views this kaleidoscope through the eyes of the hero, the result is a delightful interlacing pattern on the big screen. The entire team of ‘Bommarillu’ deserves a big applause for having conceived and projected such a wonderful imagery on the big screen. Often we hear the word ‘teamwork’ in movie previews and reviews, but the word sure has lot of relevance to this movie output.

So, what are the three story tracks and what are they about? First track, forms the main theme-Father-son relationship. Second, impacts the main theme-Hero and Heroine. Third, the filler is a medley of sorts-Hero and his family, Heroine and his father, Hero and his friends, Hero and his fiancé. The center of attraction is of course the heroine, whose characterization has innocence and independence in the right measures, almost Mani Ratamesque.

The debutante director, Bhaskar, does a wonderful job in developing the two main tracks and pulls of the movie on the merit of these two, while retaining the standard structure of a love story-courtship, estrangment and return. Each scene conceived in these tracks takes them forward, ensuring there is no lag in the movie. Once he establishes the conflict in the hero, and the heroine enters the scene, he sways the hero between these two tracks. As and when, the matters are just about to get a little predictable he superimposes these two tracks to result in the necessary story twists.

If you could call them as aberrations, some of them appear in the third track where some characters seem to be waiting for sudden outbursts (like the hero’s brother or the hero’s fiancé). These under developed characters do not matter, as by that time the climax kicks in and the audience are all sucked too deep into the make believe world. Infact, it is on this immersion factor that the movie scores heavily and the audience is glued to their seats throughout. All the crafts of movie making—music, photography, art direction, editing—add to this factor.

‘Bommarillu’ is all about characters you fall in love with. And, casting is just about perfect.

It takes two high caliber actors for the lead roles that do not demand out-of-the-board histrionics but subtle and sensitive portrayal. Prakash Raj and Siddharth do just that. Siddharth is brilliant in his sway as the suffocated son in the presence of his father and relieved/enlivened person in the company of his lover. He guides the audience through the journey of his life showing up only when needed and holds you spellbound in his moment of reckoning with his father.

Prakash Raj brings the necessary dimensions to the role of a father who provides his son the best in the world.. best-as-he-wants-for-his-son but not as-his-son-desires. Yet again, he demonstrates his versatility as an actor and merges with a much younger Siddharth. Infact, the scenes between the two came out so well that one could take them to be a well-rehearsed jugalbandi. While Prakash Raj takes the role of the main singer in the first half of the movie, Siddharth starts crooning in the second half, and as their song reaches a crescendo, both are in perfect sync. As a great actor he has come to be known, Prakash Raj stays true to his character and delivers a measured performance that will be remembered for quite some time.

Genelia has an author-backed role and she doesn’t disappoint. She has a screen presence of her own, and she is pretty good in the combination scenes in the second half. The rest of the cast are adequate and do justice to their roles.

Mm.. a lot of it has already been said in the media about the novelty of this movie. So here is some stuff to mull about. The movie’s take off point is reminiscent of Bapu’s ‘Pellikoduku’ (a remake of his ‘Bangaru Picchuka’) that deals with the parent-son conflict and the aftermath after a girl’s entry. Bommarillu’s second half sure brings back memories of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s evergreen classic ‘Khoobsurat’ in which heroine visiting her sister’s in laws, wins over everyone except her future mother-in-law. Now, just substitute the mother with the father in the both these movies. Well, if you consider these two a bit remote, the speaker phone scene in the second half is heavily inspired by a scene from Krishna Vamsi’s ‘Ninne Pelladata’.

Let’s make no mistake. In this era of remixes, these are little things and take nothing away from the movie or the talented crew. And, the runaway success of the movie proves this point beyond words. If he maintains such a streak, producer Dil Raju, might well be our answer to Karan Johars and Yash Chopras.

Speaking of the success, one of the biggest reasons one might attribute to such a good run at the box-office is that after a long time; audiences have flocked to this movie in ‘groups’. Not just the usual college or office gangs but a motley of them—kitty party, celebrities, grandparents with grandchildren, etc., chipping in their might and providing wild fire kind of mouth publicity.

If you doubt this ‘group’ factor for any reason, just walk into any nearby theater where ‘Bommarillu’ is playing and see it in action. A word of caution though! You might be so immersed in the kaleidoscope that you may not observe anything else. 😉

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