In the real world, people who get angry don't call up a bunch of thugs, drive a bunch of Sumos and go about brandishing weapons at their "enemies". People swear, scream and argue, but actual physical violence is neither as murderous nor as commonplace as our movies would have us believe.
One of the things Solo does differently from its counterparts - "romantic" movies where parental opposition to love affairs must necessarily mean terrible things happening to innocent people - is the fact that it has normal
people doing and saying normal
things. This, despite circumstances that are far from normal, as we shall see. And the lack of bloodshed isn't the only thing refreshing about Solo. (Spoiler alert)
Gautham (Nara Rohit) is an orphan, and all he has ever aspired for is to get married to a girl from a large, loving family. After years of bride-hunting, he falls in love with a medical student, Vaishnavi (Nisha Aggarwal), who eventually reciprocates.
Things quietly unravel when Vaishnavi's father (Prakash Raj) comes to know of their affair. The man wants a family for his daughter, and not an orphan. Separation isn't the only thing Gautham has to deal with. Vaishnavi is being married off, and her future father-in-law (Sayaji Shinde), having noticed her glumness, is concerned.
His very absurd demand is that Vaishanavi's ex-boyfriend be present at her wedding, so that "problems aren't created in future" (read: so that the ex won't harass her after she gets married).
Not very reasonable a request, but sure can be fulfilled, yeah?
Apparently not. Gautham, who consistently maintains admirable self-control throughout, agrees to come to Vaishnavi's home, is constantly humiliated by Vaishnavi's father, who hates him for his guts. Much drama ensues before the happy ending.
Amazingly enough, the movie works in spite of that ridiculous twist. The screenplay is glitch-free. The dialogues amid the melodrama are quite intelligent, and conversations are mature. For example, Prakash Raj, who can rightly be suspected of making up his own dialogues on the go, has some very valid arguments to make as a father looking out for his daughter. And Gautham's is a well-written role, with meritable characteristics that finally get Shinde to say, "Nuvvu yey family ki aina correct
However, what could have been a fantastic film is marred by the lead pair's lack of energy. Nara Rohit exuded commendable poise in what has been a widely acclaimed debut
, and it sure looks like it is only quiet roles that suit him. In Solo, he seems camera-conscious, and lacks the zest required of a commercial "hero". His dialogue delivery has issues, with the lip sync being completely off-phase, and the rural dialect not suiting his persona.
That said, Rohit has an agreeable personality, an infectious grin and an easy charm, and building a female fan base is not likely to be one of his problems. Solo's first-day-first-show fireworks and hoopla at Odeon Deluxe can be partly attributed to the weight of his surname, but it does look like he will eventually live up to it.
And watching Nisha Agarwal is like watching a less charismatic Kajal Aggarwal. This is a far better film than her disastrous debut
, and she does look and act sufficiently cute, but needs some more work.
One of the true stars of this movie is Srinivas Reddy, who plays one of Gautham's friends, and must be lauded for his amazing comic timing. He mostly yells in frustration, unable to take the insults meted out to his friend, and his sarcasm is truly well-scripted. In fact the comedy, in general, is pretty good - Ali, MS and a few others make brief appearances.
The dependable Prakash Raj is Solo's other star, delivering the sentimental parent speeches he is so good at. Jayasudha sheds a few dignified tears, and Sayaji Shinde, interestingly, is made to shed some very undignified ones (as part of the comedy). All of these actors lend the film lots of solidity and meaning.
Manisarma's tunes are actually impressive, and songs like "Ammammammo" will play on FM for quite some time. Also, Mumaith Khan's item song has some fun lyrics. The movie's visuals are nothing to complain about.
In all, not one of the classics, but a good date movie for the college crowd. And surprisingly, family-safe, despite Mumaith Khan. The women might want to carry handkerchiefs, though.