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Prayanam : Movie Review

May 29, 2009

Prayanam, which means “Journey” is the latest film by critically acclaimed director Chandrashekar Yeleti, whose resume has some of the finest Telugu films in recent times like Aithe, Anukokunda Oka Roju. This time he teams up with Manchu Manoj Kumar, Payal Ghosh ( Harika) and bunch of other artists and technicians and the result is “Prayanam”. And what a journey it turns out to be! This will probably be one of the  best journeys you will endure on silver screen this year. In a way the film is also a guide on how to fall in love in 2 hours…

The film is about Dhruv (Manoj Kumar) who along with his friends is on his way to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur. He’s adventurous, a big prankster and one who believes in living his life to the fullest. At the airport he bumps into Harika, a Lifestyle Design grad who’s aspiring to be a Hair Stylist. The rest of the film is about how Dhruv falls in love with Harika in the airport and how he manages to propose her…and all he’s got is 2 hours.

The outline of the story is very simple, but what’s outstanding is Yeleti’s brilliance is weaving a convincing and interesting plot with only 7 characters. With an extremely short running time of 2 hours (for Indian Film Standards), the film also has one of the best screenplay and editing work we have seen in the recent time. Yes, the storyline is predictable. You know exactly what’s going to happen in the end. But the film is about the journey till the end and that’s where it excels.

Manchu Manoj Kumar is hardly the kind of guy who would end up starring in an Yeleti production! I guess it was his recent film, “Neenu Meeku Telusaa” which seems to have done the trick. His energy levels are high and at the same time, he restrains himself to a great extent in other scenes. A huge yet pleasant definace to his father’s (Mohan Babu) legacy.  Harika delivers a credible performance in her debut role. However it’s the other 5 artists to whom the movie owes a lot to. The two guys  Janardhan and Tamim who star as Manoj’s friends are fantastic in their roles. The one liners and the ease with which they have carried themselves in almost every scene is exemplary. Kalpika who dons the role of Harika’s friend is good.  Brahmanandam makes his presence felt yet again. His career has been on a roll  and now it’s almost like an unstoppable juggernaut. Check him out in that scene about “Tigerman”. Woah! I bow to this master….

The film wouldn’t have been as good as it is without the crisp narration, screenplay and direction by Chandrasekhar Yeleti. This kind of storyline is almost unheard of in Telugu film industry, although we do have plenty of them in English. To pen a script which has to be shot in a confined space (the airport is a huge city within itself!!) is a brave attempt in Telugu film industry and Yeleti does it with finese. The dialogues are the soul of the film. They set the tempo and hit a crescendo for most part of first half. Cinematography by Sarvesh Murari is nice. And yes, again Malaysia is the flavour of the season. This is the fourth film in a row after Billa, Mitrudu, Kick to have been shot in Malaysia, although the film is mostly restricted to the airport. The animation part in Telugu films is slowly making its prescene felt. It started off with a small snippet during the titles segment of “Ashta Chemma”, graduated to a 3 minute clip in “Kick” and here, there’s a 3 D song and some wonderfully well made 2 D work as the titles scroll. We definitely are not in tune with Pixar, Dreamworks but it’s great to see that we are going in the right direction.

For every love story, there has to be a cliched ending and that’s where almost all films falter. After a brilliant beginning, the film slightly loses its tempo towards the end.  This film also has a cliched ending, which is kind of expected but the “Seven” fundae makes it interesting. On the whole, “Prayanam” is a wonderful film, which has an authentic Tinkle comic book feel to it. Chandrasekhar Yeleti adds another feather to his cap and a pat on his back with “Prayanam”! Watch it for the wonderful dialogues and story. I haven’t laughed so much in ages, like I did watching this beautiful film…:) If you are searching for a good logical flick, this is where your journey ends. Two thumbs up!

P.S: I wonder if the 2 hour guide on “How to Fall in Love” really works?! I think I might be going to that Airport quite soon…:P

16 Comments leave one →
  1. svr permalink
    May 31, 2009 9:27 am

    wonderful review sir some websites are writting pretty bad things on this beautiful movie may be they didnt want to change

  2. June 1, 2009 4:11 pm

    @ svr: Probably the lack of commercial aspects in the movie is one reason for such average ratings for this movie. But everyone has to realise that good stories don’t have to be pounded with commercial elements to please the audience. This movie falls in the latter category…:)

  3. Vinay permalink
    June 1, 2009 7:31 pm

    even i haven’t laughed so much in the recent times after watching a telugu movie.. Super cute film. 🙂

    and yes, a “commercial” website mentioned that, if there were more songs in the movie.. the movie would have been much better!!

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 1, 2009 8:23 pm

      @ Vinay: Obb ra!!..:D Comedy aspect was so nicely handled. In the theatre where I saw this film, junta were clapping and whistling the moment they saw Brahmi on screen!..:)

      I think people have got used to the 150 minute concept that anything less than that would mean that the film lacks something! Hope we soon realise that worldwide the normal length of a movie is only 90-100 minutes!..:D

  4. vinod permalink
    June 2, 2009 10:53 pm


    gd jb. i like dis movie but i thnk it is js for multiplex audience.

    To be frank dis movie is gd and ur review on d movie is gd dude.

    All d best for ur near future, ur work is excellent

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 2, 2009 11:00 pm

      @ Vinod: Thanks!…:). Yeah, I think it’s more of a Multiplex oriented flick.Nevertheless a very well made movie…

  5. varun permalink
    June 3, 2009 1:00 am

    well, contrary to all the views above, I’ve found this pretty much an average flick.i think what really takes the graph down is the acting or to say the over acting.the dumbness displayed by the heroine and the irritating display of overacting by the hero just let me down. The others did less to compensate for the same. Brahmi starts off on an extremely humorous note and then its just average slapstick humour.
    A neat flick in the present times but doesn’t leave a mark either with the storyline nor the humour.
    And i guess the director wrapped up in a hurry and cared the least about ending the movie.I guess it made no sense absolutely. The reasons were just not convincing enough.

  6. Srk permalink
    June 3, 2009 11:38 am

    Last week, when i was in Chennai, I wanted to see this movie(only gult movie running there, and, the poster looked good). After reading the review, i feel its worthwhile to watch the movie. Tcha, missed a chance

  7. Ash permalink
    June 10, 2009 12:42 am

    I stayed away from watching this moview due to bad reviews. Today I watched it, good movie. And now I see this review. I guess lots of movies get reviewed by “commercial” critics who review based on the probable commercial success!

    Good show!

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 10, 2009 11:11 am

      @Ash: Yeah…you are right. I have observed this phenomena as well…as long as there are “commercial” elements in the movie like fights, songs, etc., they have a chance of getting a better rating.

      Perhaps, it’s high time that people realise that there’s hardly any story in these “commercial” flicks.

      Thanks for dropping in…hope you have liked my other posts as well..:)

  8. June 23, 2009 1:41 pm

    I decided to read your post only after watching the movie. Finally got a chance to see it on Saturday and here I am. Good review as always. Brahmi kicked ass. One thing that irked me through out the movie is that Mr. Vishnu has just one expression in the movie all through out.

    • June 24, 2009 4:16 am


      hero is manoj..vishnu’s younger brother..i donno how you ppl see movies without knowing name to hero..

      • June 29, 2009 10:17 am

        Hola Miss Jasmine. I guess there is nothing wrong in watching a movie without knowing the names of the actors and actresses. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen a single movie in your life without knowing the name of the actors. If your answer is YES, I am damn sure you are lying. Although, addressing Manoj as Vishnu is a mistake and I apologize for that.

  9. Anirudh permalink
    July 24, 2009 6:58 pm

    firstly, great review !!
    I don’t remember anyone giving a good review to this movie… but still i went on to watch this movie because the trailers looked good. And i must say, i wasn’t disappointed at all. Brahmi was awesome… his track along with the other guy was hilarious.

    It was evident that the actress was chosen just for her looks .. she had a dumb expression all throughout the film. The actor tried hard, though unsuccessfully. At times, i thought, he was trying to imitate Colin farell (In Bruges) … he wanted to put up those really cool expressions. Poor guy!! he ended up looking like an ape.

    The director did a commendable job and came up with a good end-product with limited resources.

    Overall, a neat flick.

  10. shreekanth permalink
    May 3, 2010 6:06 pm

    The worst movie that i have seen last year…….


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