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Ashta Chemma Review

Ashta Chemma
Deepa Garimella / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
7.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
8.0
8.0
6.5
6.0
Suggestions
Can watch again
Yes
Good for kids
Yes
Good for dates
Yes
Wait to rent it
No
It is a movie that promised to be different. And it does deliver. Ashta Chemma stays true to its promise, right until the closing credits, where director Mohanakrishna actually reveals the source of his 'inspiration', an act rarely performed by our filmmakers - Ashta Chamma is loosely based on Oscar Wilde's play, The Importance Of Being Earnest.

Indeed, Ashta Chamma is made like a well-orchestrated play - all spunk, earnestness and sincerity to perform. For its spirit, it scores. And wins, hands down.

Lavanya ('Colours' Swathi) is an ardent fan of Mahesh Babu, and along with thousands of female fans all over, is shattered at the news of his having tied the knot. Her aunt, Mandira Devi (an over-spirited Jhansi), dreams of an NRI groom for Lavanya. But our lady is so besotted that she resolves to marry only if the groom is named Mahesh.

Enter her neighbour Anand (a fantastically well-timed performance by debutant Srinivas Avasarala), who chances upon Mahesh (Nani, a former RJ), and brings him into Lavanya's life. Bubbly, pretty, excited Lavanya and suave, polished Mahesh fall in love with each other.

But as Lavanya reveals her little quirk - that is, that she worships Mahesh Babu and that the reason she fell in love with our Mahesh was because he was named so - Mahesh panics. Because he's not really Mahesh; he discloses to Anand that he is Rambabu, and that he and his sister are actually rich heirs to their deceased parents' fortune, back in their village Lakkavaram. The family is revered by the villagers there, and he started making frequent sojourns to Hyderabad so that he could get away from the claustrophobic, do-gooder life he has had to lead in the village.

Afraid to reveal his past to Lavanya, he lands into yet another dilemma when Mandira Devi wants to do a background check on him. Meanwhile in Lakkavaram, his sister Varalakshmi (Bhargavi) has started falling in love with his 'friend' who he pretends to meet in Hyderabad, and who he draws a vivid picture of. The fictitious friend is, you guessed it right, Mahesh.

Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy as the impasse is broken through a hilarious turn of events masterminded by Anand. The music is interesting, but may not be unforgettable. However, the retro-graphed 'Hello Antoo' has already charmed listeners and is one tastefully done song.

Nani shines through with his spontaneity, and his diction and language are refreshingly fluent. Srinivas with his cool, ready-to-pun Anand, is a perfect foil to the fraught Nani. Swathi is good as the vivacious Lavanya. Her excitement at meeting Mahesh for the first time is oh-so-perfect and real, as is the indignation at her aunt's stubbornness. However, her school-girl effervescence proves to be her one weakness in the end - she is dressed in a saree but looks hopelessly too young to be wearing one.

The script is replete with satire. From rich absent parents to Tollywood cliches, to the Telugus' fixation for NRIs, there are pot-shots at many things - little reminders for us to laugh at ourselves.

The film has its share of weaknesses; but you would do well to overlook them. Don't be put off by the excessive in-film product promotions thrust into your face (HSBC, too - through a much-too-obvious T-shirt worn by the servant!) - they don't last beyond the first half. Don't be deceived by the traditional filmi hero's welcome in a pub, with song, dance and girls. Don't rack your brains over what these kids do for a living (Lavanya is a copyrighter, but you don't really see her going to work) - the director has solved that problem by making them all stinking rich, so they don't have to do anything for a living, just spend. Don't expect Tanikella Bharani to make you laugh as much as you wish he did. Don't expect a brilliant solution to solve the stalemate at the end, in this Ashta Chamma.

In a comedy that is so reminiscent of Jandhyala, there is perfect comic timing, fluent Telugu (thanks to the producers picking only Telugu-speaking actors), splendid performances and delightful, peppy songs. What more could you want in a film?

Redefining romantic comedy, Ashta Chemma is a pleasant and fun-filled picnic. Watch it to savour the experience that only great cinema can give.
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ASHTA CHEMMA SNAPSHOT
Ashta Chemma (telugu) reviews
USER RATING
8.2
5 USERS
RATE
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Nani (debut), 'Colours' Swathi, Srinivas Avasarala (debut), Bhargavi, Tanikella Bharani, Jhansi, Hema, Ragini, Shivannarayana, Ramakrishna, Vasu Inturi, Goparaju Ramana, Srinubabu
  • Music
    Kalyani Mallik
  • Director
    Mohanakrishna Indraganti
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
ASHTA CHEMMA USER REVIEWS
1 - 4 OF 4 COMMENTS
POSITIVE  |  NEGATIVE |  NEWEST  |  OLDEST  |  MOST HELPFUL  |  LEAST HELPFUL
USER RATING
8.2
5 USERS
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
7.6
8.4
7.2
7.2
Can watch again - Yes
Good for kids - Yes
Good for dates - Yes
Wait to rent it - Yes
KrisRay on 9th Sep 2008, 2:21pm | Permalink
All Telugu-speaking people and Tollywood lovers must watch this movie at least once and realize what we are losing in the name of "Star-studded" movies. There are no over-rated stars and their egos (build-ups) here, there are no cheap graphics to convey what the actor is trying to show, there are no ultra-superman type of stunts, no blood flowing, no chopped limbs thrown all over the screen, no TV-anchor's Tegulu... hmm, i.e., Telugu, no nude Mumbai models.
All you get to see is some clean entertainment, light-on-ears music, decent visuals of true Telugu land and a simple story told in a straight narrative without boombastic flash backs... Two thumbs up for the director.
Welcome to the new TELUGU cinema.

Pros: Nice script, clean visuals, good acting
Cons: nothing
RATING
8
Raghu on 8th Sep 2008, 3:33pm | Permalink
A very refreshing movie, with fresh actors, fresh comedy. Can potentially become one of the biggest hits (if promo'ed more) of the year.

Pros: Script, Performances
Cons: Music
gopal gopal on 7th Sep 2008, 9:11pm | Permalink
asta chamma is da clean movie dat u can go for.it has some best performances good music n a feel good movie.no suspense,horror,supernatural fights n all those stuff in a regular one.just sit back n njoy 4 two and half hours
RATING
9
Sastry on 6th Sep 2008, 8:08pm | Permalink
Man, one thing i dont understand, why most of the reviewers always reveal 75% of the story? This review raises the bar and tells 90% of the stroy. Deepa, do you really think after reading this review anybody would be interested to watch the movie?
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