The party just won't end. The least obvious films won't stop entertaining like born blockbusters. The newcomers won't stop performing like veterans. The stories won't stop reminding you of life as you knew (or know) it.
Lav Kumar (Tanish) spends all his time checking out girls waiting at bus stops, girls drying their hair on balconies, girls carrying books at colleges, even girls sweeping the roads!! His utter carelessness in life is explained to you in the first half-an-hour, by showing the fractured relationship he has with his dad. However, his attitude towards girls cannot be explained by anything, not even the fact that he's adolescent, since he's been leering at the species ever since he was 5.
He runs after the responsible and caring Anu (Madhavi Latha), who initially looks down upon him as a roadside Romeo. But roadside Romeos have hearts too, so when he saves her dad's life when the latter has a stroke, they become friends, and Lav asks her to be his girlfriend. Since it isn't even intended to be a long-lasting commitment, Anu agrees, and lays down some cardinal rules of friendship - no holding hands, no hugging, no kissing.
Lav has no such intentions anyway. All he wanted was to land one piece of arm candy so he can use corny pick-up lines (Telugu versions of 'Is your father a terrorist? How did he create a bomb like you?' 'My mobile has a problem - it doesn't have your number') and land some more. You can guess the kind of women who will fall for lines like those, especially when random guys on the road mouth them, but Lav isn't particularly looking for any kind of depth in the women he wants to go out with.
Anu however is starting to fall in love with Lav, starts breaking each of her own rules, and finally kisses Lav, the act getting accidentally recorded on his cell phone. Even as Lav breaks her heart by playing crude Casanova, the MMS somehow finds its way to every nook and corner of town (and no, Lav didn't send it across), finally wrecking her so much she wants to leave town.
The rest is a long-winded climax to show how maturity dawns on Lav. It has the villain progressively acquiring stronger shades of red, and the film messes up, literally. Faces get disfigured by live burning coals, people get stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, and vengeful goons with daggers run loose on railway stations.
Unfortunately, this is supposed to be a family film, and this isn't the best time to expect audiences to enjoy cinematic depictions of passion crimes anyway. But barring the violence and the couple of illogical sequences, Nacchavule is entertaining and largely pleasant. Only, watching it is like playing point-the-differences between this one and Kotha Bangaru Lokam
. Nacchavule is less colourful, and has much less powerfully characterized parent figures, but it is honest all the same, and has a stronger point than the latter.
Tanish is the most mature performer in the film, and being a teen himself, fits into the character. He treats the role with a depth that few newcomers could possibly be capable of. He has a ready smile, a screen presence that grows on you in seconds, and a hopefully long stint ahead in the industry, starting today.
Madhavi Latha looks good and acts pretty well, but looks slightly ill at ease in the songs. Kasi Viswanath hams it out as Lav's father, and the other parents in the scene are very inadequately portrayed.
The music is a treat, with Pavu Thakkuva Thommidi criminally infectious. The songs as well as the background music keep pace with the story. The film was shot in the RFC, so what you find throughout are faux-faded sets that are brightly lit. The songs are creatively shot, though.
The big fish vs small fish battle produces yet another painless victory this week. Watch Nacchavule and enjoy one of the last of this year's kind offerings.