Critic’s Rating : / 5
Itlu Maredumilli Prajaneekam Movie Review : An honest social drama narrating the plight of a tribal village
Review: School, hospital and a bridge over a river connecting the remote village to civilisation were all the people from gudem (a small village) needed. Nobody solves their problems for thirty years. And they don’t exist for the outside world unless there is an election around the corner. Under such circumstances, these teachers on election duty experience a hostile welcome, and they need to wade through and convince people from twelve villages in the tribal agency to vote. Director AR Mohan puts together a story that needs to be told. While he delivers a decent film, it could have been taken to another realm with better writing and screenplay. Kantara stands as a perfect example in recent times. The film had a few instances that would engage emotionally, during the scenes when Appanna’s death was narrated and when the whole tribe comes together to help a mother deliver a baby. The element of faith and belief, Veerabhadra, the local god and protector in the form of Nandi, needed better CGI.
Allari Naresh, as Sripada Srinivas, a teacher on election duty, once again proves himself as a versatile actor by donning an intense and sincere role. He carries his intense demeanour throughout the film, except for the songs where he tries to ease up and break a leg. Naresh succeeds in holding the film together. Vennela Kishore as his co-election officer makes for a few laughs. While his comic timing is sublime as ever, his humour lacks freshness. Anandhi, as Lachimi, a seventh-pass girl who seems to be the most educated among the lot from the tribal village, looks good playing her character. A bit more screen time and depth to her character could have worked in the film’s favour. Sritej as Kanda and Kumanan as Pedda, prominent people from the village, played important roles and did a commendable job. Praveen as an assistant, Sampath Raj as a collector, and Raghu Babu as a crony businessman justify their roles. It’s a visually appealing movie with a decent background score.
The technical crew included music by Sricharan Pakala, cinematography by Raam Reddy, editing by Chota K Prasad, art direction by Brahma Kadali, dialogues by Abburi Ravi, stunts by Pruthvi, lyrics by Kasarla Shyam, Sree Mani, Abburi Ravi and choreography by Sekhar and Vijay.
Overall, Itlu Maredumilli Prajaneekam, written and directed by AR Mohan and featuring Allari Naresh, Anandhi, and Vennela Kishore, is an honest film with its heart in the right place. While the film impresses with its premise, cinematic locale and performances by the cast, its slow-paced narration and predictable second half are a letdown. The movie could have been more intense. Watch it for its honesty.