‘Chaavu Kaburu Challaga’ hit the cinemas today (March 19). Produced by GA2 Pictures, it is presented by seasoned film producer Allu Aravind. Can this film save the sagging career of Kartikeya Gummakonda? Is it worth a watch? Let’s find out in this review.
Basthi Balaraju (Kartikeya) is the driver of a dead body service vehicle. When he spots Mallika (Lavanya Tripathi) at the funeral of her husband, he immediately falls in love with her. He starts wooing her, much to the irritation of her father-in-law (Murali Sharma). At home, Balaraju has to confront a unique situation involving his mother Ganga (Aamani). How the two segments are tied together forms the crux of the second half.
Kartikeya, after playing superficial characters in ‘Guna 369’, ‘Hippi’ and ’90ML’, essays a fairly well-developed role in this film. In a thickly-beared avatar, he is quite engaging. Lavanya Tripathi, who usually looks glammed-up a bit even in thrillers like ‘Arjun Suravaram’, is a bit deglam in the role of a widow.
Aamani, known for breakout hits such as ‘Subalagnam’ and ‘Jamba Lakidi Pamba’ in the 1990s, surprises us in the role of an emotional mother. Murali Sharma is another superb talent, proving his mettle after ‘A1 Express’ and ‘Jathi Ratnalu’ this month. Srikanth Iyyengar fits the bill, while the comedy by Mahesh Achanta and Bhadram fails.
Jakes Bejoy, who debuted in Telugu with ‘Taxiwala’ in 2018, scores impressive BGM. The songs, too, make the cut. ‘Ayyayyo’ outshines ‘Paina Pataram’, ‘My Name Iju Raju’ and ‘Fix Ayipo’. Karm Chawla’s and Sunil Reddy’s cinematography captures the coastal town of Vizag well. Production design by Manisha A Dutt is authentic.
It was made clear by the trailer of the film that the premise is ‘hatke’. The male lead falling in love with a widow is unique for the Telugu film industry. Kartikeya and Lavanya make do with a lot of scenes germinating from this premise.
The first half is mostly an extension of what this premise entails. Director Koushik Pegallapati, who is a debutant, peps up the drama by introducing a narrative involving the male lead’s mother, her paralyzed husband and another character.
Right up to the interval, the film sort of stays at where it began just before the titles. Three songs play out in this milieu. At the interval, an emotional scene involving Balaraju and Mallika arrives.
The second half offers some serious drama, with the pre-climax throwing up an unexpected event. The climax makes the cut. The film could have been much better in the run up to the last moments.
The situational comedy is okayish and much shouldn’t be expected in terms of sentimentality.
‘Chaavu Kaburu Challaga’ has a unique premise as its biggest merit. But the story, as a whole, is less than impressive.