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Review : Onamaalu – Noble attempt
Release date: 27 July 2012
Director : Kranthi Madhav
Producer : Kranthi Madhav
Music Director : Koti
Starring: Rajendra Prasad, Kalyani


‘Onamaalu’, starring Natakireeti Dr. Rajendra Prasad and Kalyani in the lead roles, has released today across the world. The film has been promoted as an ‘Accha Telugu Cinema’ and Kranthi Madhav is the director. He also happens to be the producer and Koti has scored the music. Let us see how the movie is.

Story :

Narayana Rao (Rajendra Prasad) is a patriotic and simple village school master, who takes immense pleasure in working for the betterment of his students and his village. The movie shows Narayana Rao returning from the USA to his native village after a long gap. While sentiments and affection used to be the guiding forces in the village he left, commercialism and greed are the dominant forces in the village he returns to.

Stung by the changes his village has undergone and ashamed with the rapid decline in human values due to urbanization, Narayana Rao sets about repairing the damage time has caused. In between, flashback episodes show the life Narayana Rao used to lead in his village and the bonds shared between members of various communities.

Will Narayana Rao be able to arrest the damage and bring about a realisation in people? That forms the story of Onamaalu

Plus Points :

Onamaalu is a noble attempt by director Kranthi Madhav to showcase what life in pre-urban India used to be. Emphasis is placed on showcasing human relations and the rich cultural traditions that were a part of our lifestyle. And for this one reason alone, Kranthi Madhav needs to be applauded.

Rajendra Prasad is one of the finest actors to have graced the Telugu Silver screen and his class is apparent in this movie. He is perfect for the role and we can see that he enjoyed himself while shooting for this movie. Chalapathi Rao, Siva Parvathi and Kalyani do a good job

Minus Points :

Though noble in concept, the film does tend to get very preachy at times. Also, people are unnaturally good. Perhaps that really was the case many generations ago, but it will be difficult for this generation to believe and relate to it.

Also, people tend to change instantly after listening to one sermon from Rajendra Prasad. It is a bit too much, even when cinematic liberties are taken into account. For example, the village mineral water supplier feels compelled to give up his business after Rajendra Prasad delivers a short monologue that extols the abundance of water in India.

Pace is slow.

Technical Aspects :

Hari Anumolu’s cinematography is good and it shows the beauty of the countryside neatly. Kadir Babu’s dialogues are good in places and they will strike a chord with people who grew up in villages. Editing could have been crisper.

Verdict :

Onamaalu is a brave attempt from director Kranthi Madhav and it has a commendable performance from Rajendra Prasad. This is not your average commercial film and it will not have any masala elements.It suffers from being too preachy and some of the scenes are way too idealistic, without taking into account ground realities. Watch it if you want to see something different and wish to experience the simplicity of village life in a bygone era. Rating : NA – This movie cannot be rated within the parameters used for assessing regular commercial cinema.

Reviewed by Ashok Reddy


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