Review : Life is Beautiful – Boring reboot of Happy Days
Release date: 14 September 2012 Rating : 2.75/5
Director : Sekhar Kammula
Producer : Sekhar Kammula
Music Director : Mickey J Meyar
Starring : Shriya Saran, Amala Akkineni, Anjala Zaveri

Sensible film-maker Sekhar Kammula has come up with ‘Life is Beautiful’ after a very long gap and the movie has released across the world today with considerable expectations. Made with an all new star cast, the movie also has Amala, Shriya and Anjala Zaveri in important roles. The movie has been directed and produced by Sekhar Kammula. Let us see how the film is.

Story :

The story of the film revolves around the B phase block of Sunshine colony. Srinu (Abhijith) and his sisters Sathya(Rashmi) and Chinni are sent to stay with their maternal grandparents and uncle by their mother (Amala), who has to go away for an extended period of time. They soon become thick friends with Abhi (Kaushik) and Nagraj (Sudhakar) and go about their daily life, experiencing small joys.

Youngsters of the B phase block have a long standing rivalry with the arrogant rich kids of the Gold Phase of the Sunshine Colony. Paru (Shriya), an aspiring Miss India contestant, stays here but she is soft and gentle. She has a huge admirer in the form of Abhi, who is head over heels in love with her. Srinu also falls in love with his maradalu Paddu (Shagun) while Nagraj falls in love with Lakshmi (Zara). He also has a huge crush on Maya Aunty (Anjala Zaveri), who is a glamorous beautician in the colony.

As the rivalry between B phase and Gold phase intensifies, the story takes many emotional twists and turns. Relationships keep going through a roller coaster ride and the usual pangs of teenage love take over. But the lives of Srinu and his friends get a rude jolt when they come to know about an uncomfortable truth regarding Amala. What is that truth? What happens to the relationships of these youngsters? Will they succeed in their goals? That forms the story.

Plus Points :

Amala Akkineni is simply superb in the role of a single mother who fights destiny. She looks gorgeous in the first few minutes of the film, but really comes into her own in the dying moments of the film. Her restrained and classy portrayal in the emotional moments is a major highlight.

Shriya looks sufficiently glamorous and is a good fit for the role. She does what is required of her. Anjala Zaveri makes a welcome comeback and she still has the glamour and the oomph. Among the newcomers, Abhijeet steals the limelight, followed by Sudhakar. Shagun and Zara are decent. Surekha Vani does her job well.

The climax of the film is a major highlight, and brings tears in everyone’s eyes. The mother sentiment in the film has come out well. A few scenes and some dialogues have been written well, especially in the opening few minutes of the film. Nagraj’s dialogues are humorous. The little girl who performed as Chinni is simply brilliant and she does a great job in the climax.

Minus Points :

There are two major issues I have with this film. The first is its length. It is unpardonably long and quite a lot could have been chopped off on the editing table. Narration tends to drop off to dangerously boring levels at a number of junctures in the film. Tauter screenplay and good editing could have really helped matters.

The second issue I have is with the film’s writing. It is nothing but a rebooted version of Happy Days and though Sekhar Kammula gave many hints about this in his interviews, I did not expect it to be this similar. The character of Abhi is a carbon copy of Tyson’s character from Happy Days and in this film too, he falls in love with an older woman. Nagraj’s character is a carbon copy of Rajesh’s character and his behaviour is the same. There are too many such similarities for comfort.

What was Sekhar Kammula thinking when he wrote that plane crash landing scene? This is not what we expect from someone like him. Also, there is no proper emotional justification in the romantic tracks. You will not empathize with even one single pair’s love story in the film.

Some scenes have no connection with the overall plot and the rivalry with the Gold phase is killed off abruptly. Even the feel of the music and the picturization is very similar to Happy Days.

Technical Aspects :

Cinematography in the film is good. Editing is not upto the mark as I said earlier, and a lot of the film should have been chopped off. Dialogues are good in places. Micky J Meyer’s music is ok but background score is good. Production values are good.

Sekhar Kammula is a good writer but sadly, he is not in his elements here. He has shown his brilliance in a few scenes and in the climax, but screenplay has gone for a toss in the film.

Verdict :

Sekhar Kammula is understandably nostalgic about Happy Days, but it is time he moved on. This film is essentially a boring reboot of that long gone success. A brilliant performance from Amala in the climax and a few good scenes are the film’s assets. Bad screenplay, excessive length and lack of entertainment will work against the film at the Box Office. A center crowds may take to the theaters because of Sekhar Kammula’s brand name, but B and C center crowds will find it tough to appreciate the movie. Overall, this film is not what we expect from a man of Sekhar Kammula’s calibre.

123telugu Rating : 2.75 / 5

Reviewed by Mahesh S Koneru

Click Here For ‘Life is Beautiful’ Telugu Review


5 – Flawless
4 – Must Watch
3 – One Time Watch
2 – Wait for the DVD
1 – Stay Away

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