The writing gets a bigger thumbs-up than the performances of the leads, played by Akhil and Kalyani.

Hello Review A fun film on serendipity and soulmates
Flix Tollywood Friday, December 22, 2017 - 18:46

While I was watching Vikram Kumar’s concoction of destiny-and-serendipity, I was reminded of the decade-and-a-half-old Manasantha Nuvve starring Uday Kiran and Reema Sen. The soul of Hello and Manasantha Nuvve belong to the same body. A young boy and girl become friends, and are separated within a short period of time as the girl moves to another city (because of her father’s job) and the boy gets adopted by wealthy parents.

If you haven’t guessed why the boy gets adopted, you are probably new to Telugu cinema’s storytelling techniques. Let me break it down for you – the kid is from the streets and has a heart of gold. Ramya Krishnan, who has paired up with Akhil Akkineni’s father (Nagarjuna) several times, puts on the face of a mother who yearns to be called “Amma” as her adopted son, Avinash (Akhil), calls her aunty. It takes him a lot of time to call her “Amma” as familial connections are alien to him. These sentimental touches, which are aplenty in the movie, work well within the scope of the narrative.

Another favorite of mine was the phrase “I hate you”. No, it’s not the literal meaning that comes into play here. Once upon a time, Avinash, in his school-going days, witnesses his mom throwing the “I hate you” sentence at his dad (Jagapati Babu) when she catches him smoking. Avinash, who doesn’t understand the words, asks his mom about it. The explanation that she comes up with is excellent. Of course, it turns into a tiring in-joke as they keep repeating it throughout the movie. But, that dialogue does great justice to the scenes.

Akhil’s debut movie, titled Akhil, ate more than it could digest and the results turned out to be negative. Almost every department in the actor’s previous film tanked. Hello changes it all. Call it Vikram Kumar’s charm, or destiny if you will, Hello has action, romance, and comedy in equal proportions. Though the romance sequences feel gooey, the movie promises bucket loads of cool action.

The parkour-style choreography, especially, deserves whistles. Hello, in fact, takes off immediately after the hero-introduction song with a chase-and-fight episode. For some of the scenes, the camera seems to have been attached to the body of the person performing the stunts (à la the 2015 film Hardcore Henry).

Hello welcomes newcomer Kalyani, daughter of filmmaker Priyadarshan and actor Lissy, with a role that kind of flies away with the arrival of strong winds. Her baby-looks help her pull off the character she’s given easily, yet her inexperience in handling humour and romance shows on her face. To an extent, the same goes for Akhil. Since the movie depends more on the themes of soul-mate and destiny, the inefficiency of the leads didn’t prick me too much.

And when the storytelling doesn’t leave any time for the viewer to ponder over the nitty-gritties, it’s better to enjoy the fun the movie delivers. Nevertheless, more than the chemistry created by the adult versions of Seenu and Priya (Akhil and Kalyani respectively), the innocence and gullibility of the actors who played their younger versions stood out.

Vikram Kumar, the main man behind Hello, is on a roll. Yavarum Nalam, Ishq, Manam, 24, and now Hello – all these movies belong to different tried-and-tested genres. Still, he works around them and bakes something good every time. His association with Anup Rubens, composer, and P. S. Vinod, cinematographer, is reaping wonderful benefits.

The score and visuals add weight to the proceedings. If Akhil shines under the hands of brilliant filmmakers, he’ll have a chance at taking the Akkineni legacy forward along with his brother, Naga Chaitanya. And Kalyani should watch herself on screen and learn what’s missing from her performance. That might give her ideas for her upcoming films.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.