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Ulvacharu Biryani: Cooked Coincidences

Posted on the 06 June 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Ulvacharu Biryani

Director: Prakash Raj

Cast: Prakash Raj, Sneha, Tejus Kancherla, Samyukta Hornad

Rating: **1/2

Ulavacharu Biryani is simply the case of too many co-incidences packed together to be dubbed as an optimist-friendly outing dosed with liberal entertainment. Mistakes happen, people bond, identities are confused and the ambiguity surrounding it all is unwrapped rather too easily to be believable. Of course, this is a formula that films belonging to this genre are uncomplaining to follow suit, courtesy a Bodyguard or the better example, Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde. They aren’t bad if they don’t create initial promise and stoop low later. The other category is the actual issue. There’s a flurry of hope to begin with. The windows for fresh air are unlocked and just when they allow you to breathe well, they are shut by thunders. It’s as if all seasons occur on the same day where you don’t get enough of anything to take home.

Gowri (Sneha) is a dubbing artiste. Kalidas (Prakash Raj) is an archaeologist whose name may have been an implicit attempt to indicate the legendary mythological figure and the relation to the protagonist’s profession. Oorvashi owns a beauty parlour. A few other characters too are constantly in quest of jobs, food,love and ultimately marriage. The diversity in the arena is pleasing. You feel their career choices are an indication of their inner desires. Prakash Raj, to dig deep (archaeology) into his heart to find an answer about his need for a companion and Sneha to find her inner voice (voice-artiste) that’s so lost in a crowd. Oorvashi may have taken up that initiative (beautician) to hide the plasticity in her life.

Food as deceiving as the title is only an excuse to bring them together on a single platform. The unmarried at the latter ages feel it better to talk about good food on phones while the younger lot bond in coffee-shops. The milieu is totally urban. With so much variety at stake to explore in the early parts, Prakash Raj looks to be in control of the effort. The sub-plots then open up. The characters are shown to have a humane side, especially Kalidas who makes statements about a forest-fed native and an Ayurveda apprentice being milked by the supposed goons. For sometime, you are worried if the lead actor is waiting for a chance to slip into an action-avatar. It doesn’t happen but nothing substantial materializes with the basic plot either. Sneha has a similar series of incidents where she is mentally harassed by a director. In addition to these, the celebration of coincidences don’t help.

The lead pair enjoys the conversations where they share recipes, especially the making of the French cake that gets all the cinematographic attention. They have something very sensitive that connects them. They are in their 40′s, have marched beyond mere eye-to-eye attractions and want a mature soul-partner to feel complete. Taking all this into consideration, the maker embeds too many emotional strings in the latter half at the cost of the delicate details. Food-love isn’t anymore the priority. Neither is the social activist in the self-denying arrogant man nor the feminist in the independent traits of the disturbed woman. The structure of the film gets very mechanical. There’s not a speckle of magic when Kalidas and Gowri get to meet.

Prakash Raj’s performance echoes with a lot of heaviness for what’s supposed to be a simple heart-tugging outing. He gets able company in the form of Sneha who is a contemporary Konkana Sen in the making. There’s a lot of freshness in spite of the supposed age-gap between the pair. The track between Tejus and Samyukta Hornad is a balancing act the script-writer does so as to balance the former unconventional romance. The music is generally used in the backgrounds in an attempt to make the dishes more lip-smacking. These aspects don’t quite integrate when they come together though. The kid who laughably tells we live to eat doesn’t care about it when he grows up. A gay wears a t-shirt that reads ‘I am happy with myself <3′ and justifies the same with a reason that god wanted him to be single. An irrelevant hotch-potch like Ulavacharu Biryani gets you hungry, not for food but for quality and consistent cinema that delivers what it promises.

Review by Srivathsan N. First published in Cinegoer.net


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