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A...Aa Anasuya Ramalingam vs Anand Vihari (Telugu) - Review - Subtle and effective, but meanders

A...Aa Review

*ing - Nithin Reddy, Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Anupama Parameshwaran, Nadhiya Moidu, Rao Ramesh, Ananya

Trivikram Srinivas started as dialogue writer and ventured into his actual interest of direction. Trivikram is a good writer and, a good director too, to an extent. His biggest strength is the subtlety that he brings in the movie, be it comedy or romance or family emotion, subtlety is his style and that stands out in the not-so-subtle Telugu film industry. But he lacks in two things - one is the lack of creativity in the plot/story and the other is the ability to bring out the best performances from the actors. In A...Aa too, his trademark subtlety and sharp, intelligent dialogues are there, so are his trademark wafer thin story and the inability to bring out the best in the actors

* Spoiler Alert *

Anasuya (Samantha Ruth Prabhu) is the only daughter of affluent couple, Mahalakshmi (Nadhiya Moidu) and Ramalingam (Naresh Vijaya). Mahalakshmi is a successful businesswoman but also a control-freak as a mother. She decides the groom for her daughter from an affluent family in which Anasuya is not interested. When Mahalakshmi is away on business, Ramalingam sends Anasuya to Kavulapudi, his native village to be with her aunt (Eashwari Rao). She is accompanied by her aide Mangamma (Hari Teja) and her aunt's son Anand Vihari (Nithin Reddy). Anasuya likes the family and also falls for Anand who is being forced by local landlord Pallam Venkanna (Rao Ramesh) to marry his daughter Nagavalli (Anupama Parameshwaran). What is the enmity between the two families, will it be solved and will Anand and Anasuya unite forms the rest of the story.

Though the story is wafer thin, Trivikram has tried to play to his strengths mostly, wherever he has tried to deviate from his strengths, the film falters there. The film then recovers and falls again. The movie also has some unnecessary scenes here and there like the death of a old lady and the prolonged scene in a shopping mall. The comedy is subtle and is enjoyable when it is subtle and is immature when it is not. Another inconsistency in the movie is the inconsistency in the characterization. Just when the character is built into something, the character goes on to do things that are very unlike the character build up - for example, Ananya who until the point portrayed as submissive, home bred character suddenly goes all ballistic.There are also some cliched scenes in the movie that the audience have seen in every third movie.

Nithin Reddy as Anand Vihari has tried to give a sincere performance. Though it is one of his better performances, he seems to struggle in quite a few emotional scenes. Emotional scenes are not his strong forte. Samanth Ruth Prabhu's acting has improved leaps and bounds in the movie. Though the acting cannot be termed as excellent, but it is very good in comparison to the other movies she did. She should keep up the work and in a few years she will be a decent actress, but alas she is planning to quit the movies. Nadhiya Moidu as controlling mother has given a performance reminiscing her talent and experience. Anupama Parameshwaran as Nagavalli has performed aptly to her character and within limits. The same cannot be said about her make up but it is ok when she is showed as a village belle. Though she has given her own voice, surprisingly she has done well in there too. Rao Ramesh gives a stand out performance with his quirky dialogue delivery. All other actors have done their part decently well.

Cinematography by Natarajan Subramanian a.k.a Natty is vibrant and it complements the movie beautifully. Songs by Mickey Meyer are passable - some good and some not so good, but his background score fails to make the transition from city setting to village setting and thus feels out of place. The dialogues by Trivikram are sharp, witty and intelligent, for the most part. Though the dialogues are flat here and there, the comedy and timing are enjoyable. Nothing less could be expected from the man who is dubbed as "Maatala Maanthrikudu". Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao is non-existent and the movie runtime of over two and half hours could have been reduced by 10-15 minutes. 

Verdict: A Subtle, effective but meandering "once-watch-worthy" family drama