Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5
Aadavallu Meeku Johaarlu Movie Review : Humorous at times, passable at best
Review: Kishore Tirumala’s Aadavallu Meeku Johaarlu (AMJ) seems terrific on paper. You have a sensitive man and an independent woman as the leads – breaking stereotypes that are oh so often seen in Tollywood. There are comedians who exist in the universe just for comedy, nothing wrong with that. Families run by women who know their mind, acceptable. But despite having such terrific scope in hand, the director ends up delivering a film that’s passable at best.
Chiranjeevi aka Chiru (Sharwanand) is the apple of everyone’s eye. He has been brought up by five women, including his mother (Radhika) and aunt (Kavitha Ranjini). There are men in this family, the husbands, but they don’t matter in the bigger picture because it’s the women who take decisions in this family. Decisions like who Chiru should marry, because no girl is ever good enough for him. Aadhya (Rashmika Mandanna) comes across this wacky family and seems to blend in just fine. But there’s one big hitch – her single mom (Khusbu), also an independent woman, doesn’t even want her to get married.
We’re told Chiru runs a kalyana mandapam. Ironic, given how he’s unmarried, we’re told. Aadhya is a lawyer and her profession has no bearing to this story. This story is set in Rajahmundry, also nothing to do with the tale at large. We don’t know what Chiru’s mother and aunts do but Aadhya’s mother runs her own small-scale industry, ably aided by Jhansi. We’re never told why Chiru lives in a household run by overbearing women, where the men feel like a ‘backdrop’ and by the time we’re told why Aadhya’s mom is the way she is, it comes as no surprise, because the film is riddled with clichés. The only thing remotely fresh in the film is how Chiru is not toxicly masculine and Aadhya has other things to do other than fawn over him.
After a point in the film you wonder if AMJ will ever bring forth the conversation of how children, especially if they’re legal adults, should be allowed to make their own decisions, for better or worse. Especially when side tracks show said children choosing whom to marry and coping with the reality of everything a marital life entails. But that discussion is never brought up. Instead, the film seems to want to pass the message that a ‘good child’ is only one who thinks of their parents first and everyone else, including their lover later on. Snore! Not exactly novel messaging. It’s ironic that later in the story a man is judged for not giving his child his blessings.
Putting that aside, the film has some humorous moments, thanks to Brahmanandam, Vennela Kishore, Satya and co. who manage to keep things light even as the melodrama is hitting its peak. Sharwanand and Rashmika Mandanna are a delight – they’re the only reason you manage to sit through the film. They’re both naturals at their roles and Rashmika looks absolutely gorgeous. However, there’s zero chemistry between the lead pair and you wonder what they even see in each other to warrant everything they go through. Radhika, Khusbu and Kavitha get stuck in roles that are run of the mill and don’t really give them scope to perform – they breeze through it. Devi Sri Prasad’s music has nothing much to write home about, it’s neither bad nor good.
Aadavallu Meeku Johaarlu has moments that are relatable but the film runs on a paper-thin storyline that does not warrant even its short run-time. If only the film had something novel to tell.