The film is a rib-tickler with great performances from the cast.

Ami Thumi Review Screwball comedy at its finestFacebook
Flix Tollywood Friday, June 09, 2017 - 18:04

Mohana Krishna Indraganti is mostly known for his 2008 film Ashta Chamma, which brought Nani and Srinivas Avasarala into the limelight. He has made several films since with varying degrees of success.

After almost a decade, he has come back with a film that burns the house down with laugh-a-minute jokes. Ami Thumi is a screwball comedy, a genre which doesn’t have a mighty presence in Telugu cinema. And it scores largely because of the fresh humor it brings to the table.

Adivi Sesh, Eesha Rebba, Srinivas Avasarala, Aditi Myakal, ‘Vennela’ Kishore, and Tanikella Bharani headline the cast. All of them dance to the genre’s tunes perfectly. However, it’s Kishore who enjoys the largest share of the pie. He’ll win a great number of awards next year for his zany character, Sri Chilipi. Nobody else in his place could have broken the viewers' ribs in two with mere lines like, “Every kg, you’re crazy.” It’s cheesy and outright ridiculous. Yet, this is what works in the film’s favour the most.

Srinivas and Eesha play siblings who are in love with people their dad, Bharani, doesn’t approve of. Eesha’s boy, Sesh, is a not-so-rich man, a reason good enough for Bharani to cast him aside; and Srinivas’s girl, Aditi, comes from an enemy family (Bharani and Aditi’s dad, Kedar Shankar, are friends-turned-rivals).

Kishore, as the groom-to-be, chosen for Eesha, by Bharani, has one wish: to marry a pretty lady. His forefathers have a reputation for marrying not-so-good-looking-women in exchange for pots of dowry. His dad tells a rip-roaring story about the links between money and beauty, with some philosophical garbage. This particular story gives Kishore the chills. His horrendous face, while listening to his father talk about the dirty story, should rightfully be framed for memes.

Indraganti has worked with Srinivas and Bharani on numerous films. Though Srinivas usually plays roles with a touch of comedy, he stays away from being a caricature. He belongs to a different cup of intelligentsia. Hence, even in Ami Thumi, he doesn’t go overboard like his fellow actors.

It doesn’t, in any way, bring his performance down. Look at Bharani, for instance. He dances and sings like he’s in the bathroom, with nobody watching him. That sort of a lining is absent in Sesh, too. The sober acts of Sesh and Srinivas are in contrast to Kishore’s Sri Chilipi. Perhaps, Indraganti wanted a bag of craziness (with varying degrees).  

Aditi carries forward her goofy self from her web series, Posh Poris, quite effectively. And, Eesha surprises with her big smiles and quick-tongue. It’s a delight to watch her fool Kishore in a restaurant scene where she’s posing to be somebody else. Shyamala, the maid who twists Kishore’s arm in the final few moments, is well cast. The screen captures the bonhomie between Eesha’s character and Shyamala’s character succinctly.

The entire plot unfolds in a day. But, it doesn’t, for once, feel like the characters are running against time even though there’s a sense of hurriedness in the screenplay. The ending, where all the characters (some in merriment and some in disillusionment) meet up at a temple, is eccentricity taking the king’s chair. Mani Sharma’s music is top-class. His score will keep the film from fading for ages to come.

If filmmakers, in the future, mime this genre without the necessary quirks, it may not really turn out to be a blast. It may even come off as a lackluster product. Indraganti should hold classes for those filmmakers if he doesn’t want his pet genre to die of a cardiac arrest.  

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