Review: Oka Chinna Family Story

‘Oka Chinna Family Story’, a five-episode web series, is now streaming on ZEE5. The Telugu-language series is produced by Niharika Konidela. Let’s find out what are its hits and misses.

Story:
Mahesh (Sangeeth Shoban) comes from a lower-middle-class family whose father Haridas (VK Naresh) has died after borrowing Rs 25 lakh from a bank. Mahesh, who is both jobless and lazy, is clueless about how to repay the EMIs. His mother (Tulasi) is comically shocked and becomes his emotional anchor in tough times. Meanwhile, Mahesh is also in love with a neighbour Keerthi (Simran Shetty).

The rest of the series is about how the son-mother duo survives the severe financial crunch and makes peace with their shared past with Haridas.

Performances:
This one is the budding actor Sangeeth Shoban’s second web series in less than 60 days. He was superb in ‘The Baker & The Beauty’ (Aha) in a non-lead role. In the series under review, he gets to play the lead role. Seen in almost every scene, he gets his comedy right. Tulasi gets a full-fledged role and she shines with her comic timing. Naresh’s screentime is limited but he makes his presence felt in every frame. 

Simran Shetty doesn’t get much space, while ‘Getup’ Srinu’ is ordinary. Prameela Rani plays the grandma in the protagonist’s house.

Technical Departments:
The series is set in Telangana’s Warangal and the production design deserves applause. The locations are authentic. PK Dandi’s songs and background music are measured; they don’t overdo the montage songs. Raju Edurolu’s cinematography is another plus.

Analysis:
The show is written by Manasa Sharma and Mahesh Uppala, the latter of whom has also wielded the megaphone. Since it’s about 190 minutes long (minus the time consumed by the opening and end credits), it can be finished off in a day, if not in a single sitting. The episodes are named aptly: ‘The First EMI’, ‘Of the Money, by the Money, for the Money’, ‘Ousting Days’, and ‘Truth Or Dare?’ 
The first episode establishes the premise, a job that was done by the trailer itself. At about 40 minutes, it draws laughs. The second episode should have got better emotional beats. 

The real issue envelops the series in the third and fourth episodes, where the writing is sloppy. The portions involving Mahesh and his crush don’t sell. The urge to prolong the proceedings shows itself here. 

The series comes into its own only in the final episode, where the emotional quotient is engrossing. The conversations are impressive here. Revealing the nature of the conflict would kill your excitement.  

Bottomline:
‘OCFS’ is one of the most watchable web series in Telugu despite the boring middle portions. 

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