Inkosari is an attempt to deliver a "different" product, and features some good performances and fairly bright music. Sadly, all it ends up as is a sorry picture of wasted potential. Not just because of it being based on a simplistic high-school fantasy, but because it is just how a rookie attempt to convert a simplistic high-school fantasy into a full-fledged movie would turn out to be.
The film opens with an intimate pack of friends in college. On their last day together they vow to keep in touch forever and meet every year at a mutually agreed place. Dissenting voices that point out that things are bound to change even one year from the present are frowned upon, and the gang parts ways with the warm buddy-buddy treaty of staying in touch no matter what.
Priorities naturally change drastically, and no one shows up one year later. 7 years hence, Ajay (Raja) rounds up his friends, who're now well-ensconced in their own lives - lives that the film firmly wants you to believe are miserable.
Bala (Vennela Kishore) is the crown comic of the gang, whose wife has just walked out on him. Sudhakar (Ravi) is trapped in his rich businessman father's shadow, Vicky (Sandeep) is the slogger and office-nobody, Deepti (Richa) is married to a workaholic husband, and Shruti (Manjari Phadnis) is engaged to a weirdo. The rest of the story is about how the 7 days together make up for some much-needed emotional release for all of them.
That there was an effort to stay away from the beaten track is quite obvious from the word go. The basic concept of Inkosari is quite refreshing, and the mood of the film is light all through, helped by the ample sprinkling of cheerful banter right till the end. In several places, the dialogues are a transplant from real-life canteen chit chat.
Unfortunately, there is no directorial genius here, and this makes the film fall flat on its face. It is slow, there's a certain lack of cohesiveness that comes across throughout, and amateurishly handled scenes lead to several awkward gaps all over - even between different dialogues within a single scene.
While Raja is the anchor of the flick and puts in a spontaneous performance, it is Manjari Phadnis who brings out the anguish of why there was not a better helmsman sculpting the film and making use of the acting skills on display. She and Raja end up having a clumsy romantic track together. Raja himself is a victim of sporadic, weak success, and despite the energy he exudes, Inkosari is hardly going to bring out the champagne.
Richa looks ravishing, but there's not much she's given to do. The other faces - Vennela Kishore, Ravi and Sandeep, in particular - look earnest, too, and in need of a good film. Gollapudi and Rao Ramesh appear in uninteresting bit roles.
Some peppy numbers keep with the "friendship" frame of mind, but will hardly top the charts. The rest of the soundtrack is quite bland, and rhere's some terrible lip-sync wherever the women are involved.
As for the visuals, it's a pretty low-budget film. There's been some emphasis on de-emphasizing the background - with sparse but modern indoor settings - and keeping to the characters. There are some pretty shots of the Vizag beaches, though.
Some of the sequences show creative ambition - for example the long beach conversation between Bala and Sudhakar seems to have been shot in one go - but the overall effort looks quite amateurish.
It's barely recommended for an inkosari watch, but go aiming strictly to enjoy yourself, and you'll find that one watch of Inkosari doesn't really drag you down if you go with low expectations.