Mathu Vadalara - This trippy comedy thriller is something to root for!
Ritesh Rana's Mathu Vadalara opens with the camera moving almost in a daze as it captures a dilapidated room occupied by three bachelors. This almost trippy dance like movement of the camera seems more like a style statement at first but this opening does make sense much later in the film. A TV in the room is playing a Chiranjeevi film even as one of the guys is gearing up to watch Breaking Bad in his laptop. This is exactly the kind of film Mathu Vadalara turns out to be. At various points, it keeps showing these glimpses of Chiranjeevi's flicks from the past, probably as a tribute to the kind of cinema that the filmmaker grew up watching but this film is as far as it gets from mainstream formulaic Telugu cinema.
The initial portions quickly introduces us to the three central characters. As we get to know their jobs and daily routines, we realize that they are struggling to make ends meet. When one of them under the influence of another makes his first attempt at a petty crime that seems risk free, he gets into a quagmire of sorts and we are as clueless as him as to what is actually happening.
Ritesh Rana steers clear of compromises and has made a film that is probably very close to what he might have set out to make. Forget romance, this is a film that doesn't have a heroine in the first place. The maker has a strong hold over humour and it comes through. The comedy isn't consistently great and there are misfires but as a whole there are sufficient laughs.
Ritesh Rana keeps the film logically tight. The big reveal works, the dots are joined and there is no real gaping hole. We do feel intermittent lags at places but the film keeps us invested. Technically the film is sound with the music, cinematography and editing working in tandem to produce a visual narrative that is funky but it never goes overboard as well .The CG isn't tacky but the budget limitations are obvious. The acting all around is pretty neat from the newcomers.
Devoid of cliches, this is a solid attempt from a young team that is enjoyable and warrants attention. .
Rating : 3/5