Critic’s Rating : / 5
Aa Ammayi Gurinchi Meeku Cheppali Movie Review : A simple yet beautiful ode to cinema
Review: Mohan Krishna Indraganti writes an ode to cinema and love with Aa Ammayi Gurinchi Meeku Cheppali (AAGMC). And that’s about where the film’s similarities to Sammohanam end because the director ensures to tell you a whole new story this time around. It’s a different thing that the narrative features some tried-and-tested tropes. While the film starts off shakily, leaving you scratching your head and wondering where he intends to take this story, everything makes sense by the time the end credits roll around.
Naveen (Sudheer Babu) has scored six back-to-back hits in six years with commercial films, one of which is hilarious titled ‘Kasak’. While his movies might rake in massive numbers at the box office, he often faces the ire of critics, including his co-director Bose (Vennela Kishore) and friend, writer Venkataramana (Rahul Ramakrishna). Naveen chances upon a reel featuring a beautiful girl (Krithi Shetty) one day and he’s mesmerised. He’s suddenly no longer interested in following the same old punch dialogues-special numbers-fights-et al formula he used to. Tracking down the girl in the reel might just end up giving him something much more than he anticipated.
A lot of films usually suffer from the ‘second half syndrome’ wherein a director gets so enthusiastic in revealing so much that the pay-off pales in comparison. With AAGMC, it’s the other way around. Mohan takes his own sweet time setting up Naveen’s life and showing us how Dr Alekhya (Krithi Shetty) and her family detest films, even if we don’t know the reason why. There are also conversations revolving around art – if it’s only worth it when it gives the artist fame and money, an ill-placed special number that the director tries to make a point with and fails, scenes featuring gold-hearted producers and even the pitfalls in a film industry that’s considered oh-so-glamorous. There are a few glimpses however of how all of the characters he’s setting up are real, flawed, most importantly – human.
But it’s the pre-interval where a twist is revealed, that the film truly kicks into focus. Naveen goes from behaving like a masala hero to a compassionate person. The film’s tone also changes with him, kudos to Mohan for making it subtle rather than jarring. Because the film’s music (by Vivek Sagar) also goes from numbers that sound same old to something beautiful like Kotha Kotha Ga. Dr Alekhya’s hesitation and her father’s (Srikanth Iyengar) ire suddenly make so much sense. Mohan does a good job in particular of fleshing out her parents’ characters. It’s an odd dichotomy to be the parents of a girl, he seems to say. You’re so busy protecting her from the world, you forget to be proud. The director also deserves appreciation for handling certain social topics with sensitivity instead of going over-the-top.
Sudheer Babu, Krithi Shetty and Srikanth Iyengar carry the film on their able shoulders, delivering performances that mature as the layers of their characters are peeled back. Vennela Kishore is a delight, so are Rahul Ramakrishna and Srinivas Avasarala. Rest of the cast also does a good job. AAGMC is not a perfect film by any means because there are scenes you wish would’ve been written better and conversations that delve deeper. But it ends up doing what Mohan intended it to be – a love letter to cinema and even a peek behind why certain things function the way they do in the film industry. Watch it this weekend if you don’t mind a film that slowly unfurls.