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Hello! is a Telugu romantic thriller written and directed by Vikram Kumar and feature Akhil Akkineni and Kalyani Priyadarshan in lead roles. Avinash, in his childhood meets a girl and believes that she is his soul mate and patiently waits for her. Written by
Peculiar storytelling and excellent visuals make this film an interesting watch.
Story: Destiny somehow brings Seenu (Akhil) and Junnu (Priya) closer in their childhood who grow a lot closer in a very short time. After 14 years, Seenu gets an opportunity which could potentially take him to his soulmate. So, did he utilise that bink and a miss opportunity? How do they finally meet is what Vikram crafts for us on the screen.
Screenplay: I always credit him for being the most creative storyteller and even this time, he mesmerises with his writing, but he ain't so flawless either. There is one big plot hole or a blunder, I'd say, which can potentially take away most of the action from the film and cut short the story to around 1 and half hour run time, but that plot hole can't be disclosed without going into the spoiler arena, so I'll refrain from doing that. Another issue I had with the writing was the lack of depth in character. I know that it is difficult to establish character depth with children, but it's not impossible too because it was done many time previously in TFI, be it 'Little Soldiers' or 'Anjali' or many many more. This flaw with 'Hello!' is a major setback because finally when they both meet at the end, obviously, you don't feel for them. You don't feel the gravity of their agonising 14 years of separation.
Direction: In this film, Vikram tries to convey the story in a single day of the film reality. A really good attempt I must say. Despite the flaws, the direction was really good and nothing felt like it was dragged. At times, the way few things go remind you of 'Manam' and that is something not expected of Vikram. He should've either avoided them or could've come up with better ideas to convey them.
Cinematography: Excellent visuals from Vinod. There's always this kind of freshness in his takes. Always great to see. Action sequences were shot really well, though they could've been made better, as per TFI standards, this was way better anyway. One or two long shots and POV shots were the best of them. The lighting in 'Merise Merise' was very much inspired from the way 'Deewani Mastani' was set up in 'Bajirao Mastani', a very good attempt actually. Few shots looked even more beautiful because of good editing from Prawin Pudi.
Music: Probably after 'Manam', this is the best Anup has ever been. A really great background score, an engaging one and that violin theme tho!
Performances: Akhil has done a really good job here. An impressive one, especially after a horrendous debut. The stunts he performed were excellent to watch. Great stunt choreography by Bob Brown was seamless. Kalyani also performed equally well. Her expressions in few scenes were simply spot on. Impressive debut. The girl who played childhood Junnu was fabulous with her expressions. Ramya Krishnan and Jagapati did their part well.
Production Values: Top notch. No issues at all. The sets, locations, props, everything was top class.
Mass Appeal: This is not that kind of a massy film where the hero slaps his thigh and few cars blow up in the background. Vikram tries to keep his films classy and stylish. I don't think the mass audience would appreciate such a love story. But the action sequences could possible please them though.
Class Appeal: Pure class. The taking. The feel. Everything is class and stylish. I found no flaws here. Only that the childhood portion might look a bit over the top for the audiences.
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