In a storyline filled with loopholes and unimaginable circuits, the audience is not left with much to cheer for.

Tej I Love You review A template rom-com riddled with mindboggling coincidencesFacebook/Anupama Parameswaran
Flix Tollywood Friday, July 06, 2018 - 13:42

It is hard to believe that the man who made Tholi Prema as his debut movie has given us a flick like Tej I Love You. While Karunakaran’s filmography after Tholi Prema doesn’t boast of a lot, coupled with Darling, another wonderful rom-com, it established his credentials. That probably explains why this outing generated some interest, not to mention the rapidly rising stock of Anupama Parameswaran.

However, Tej I Love You disappoints in many ways. While coincidences always play an important role in Karunakaran’s movies, Tej I Love You uses coincidences like deo ads use obscenity.

The pivotal point of the movie is a usual trope, a story twist, which multitudes of directors have used in the past. A girl (Anupama) who has come to India to fulfil her promise to her dying mother meets Tej (Sai Dharam Tej), the usual happy-go-lucky guy we are used to seeing in almost every movie. Why do so many heroes like playing characters that are aimless, jobless and ambitionless beats all logic. Has it got something to do with the target audience?

Yet, the charming, well-educated lady from abroad eventually does fall in love with him (does she even have a choice?) only for a cruel twist that is as predictable as Neymar tumbling in football games. The way the director takes us from the knot to the all-is-well, hero-is-great ending is almost comical due to the bizarre coincidences it leans on.

The movie uses so many well-known set pieces – the jobless gang of friends who are there only for comic relief; the unnecessary, out of place make-up and styling; the annoying costumes in foreign locales for imagined songs; the over-affectionate family who treat the hero as the apple of their eye – they could have recycled scenes from other movies.

Anupama’s screen presence does save the day to a certain extent but one feels it is not the same girl who so effortlessly portrayed her role in Sathamanam Bhavati. The overdoing of expressions for the extra dose of cuteness our rom-coms often yearn for, one hopes, doesn’t become a norm and ruin the promise the actor showed in Premam.

Sai Dharam doesn’t look as fit as he did in some of his earlier movies (we probably shouldn’t question the physical appearance of actors, but have we spared heroines in the past? Double standards much?). He drawls his lines almost mechanically and one would expect more from someone who has been in the industry for a while now.

In a storyline filled with loopholes and unimaginable circuits, the audience is not left with much to cheer for. The hero and his friends playing musical instruments like the guitar and violin, which they obviously have no clue about, offers the only entertainment. Thank god for the unintentional comedy!

All in all, at a juncture when Telugu cinema is moving forward with some brilliant movies enthralling audiences in the last few months, this storyline is a throwback to a mindless decade of template rom-coms, the kind that should be banished for good in the storyboarding session itself.

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.

Also read: A lot of 'romance' in Telugu cinema is criminal and I'm tired of it, a viewer writes

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