‘Aaha Kalyanam’ is an intelligent romantic-comedy told through the eyes of both an aspirational, career-oriented woman and apparently devil-may-care man who is really not reckless when it comes to that special relationship. Love may seem to have been triggered by lust but even that is true only outwardly.
Shakthi (Nani) is enticed by city life and eschews going back to his village to do farming (He, too, personifies aspiration). He is good-for-nothing in the eyes of his father, whereas deep inside, he yearns to achieve something. By an accident, he meets Shruthi Subramanyam (Vaani Kapoor), a part-time marriage organizer and who plays haughty in the presence of Shakthi. It’s love at first sight for Shakthi and therefore he chases her. She reveals her dreams, he immediately latches on to her idea of ‘Getti Melam’ and, before you know, makes her passion his own.
By a quirk of fate, the wedding planner whom Shruthi most admires (Chandralekha, played by Simran, who is seen in a cameo) finds Shakthi quite funny. The two enter into a partnership of convenience but Shruthi, a stickler to business ethics, finds Chandralekha’s dishonesty too repulsive to stomach. Shakthi stands by Shruthi’s side in her hour of near shame and this makes their relationship even more stronger.
They set their own shop with the aim to pip Chandralekha. In no time, their collaboration reaps a windfall as they think big, start small and scale fast.
While Shruthi comes across as doing her best to appear to Shakthi as a 20-year-old who has no time for anything else other than achieving as much as she can till she gets married, she seems to shrug off Shakthi’s subtle overtures with all the required bluntness.
In a new for Telugu cinema, the practical-minded girl, who is definitely not someone who would find a one-night stand affair as anything acceptable, seems to express her as yet undeveloped emotions for Shakthi through physical intimacy.
The incident brings in its wake complications in their relationship and how they patch-up is a treat to watch.
The biggest plus of the movie is the neat characterizations. Shakthi may be a moron who believes that a super-rich industrialist would be enticed by a 50 pc discount. In dire need, the ‘tube light’ can cleverly lit the fire for his self-interest. Shruthi starts off saying ‘naku antha time ledu’ for almost everything and her persistence with it even in the emotional scene where Shakthi asks her why she is shying away from confessing her love to him is a masterstroke. The way she reacts to Shakthi’s description of an intimate moment that they shared together as “session” enlivens her character. Once Shakthi is back in her fold, she seems to enjoy his presence, but her secret self-joy is too subtle to a fault (for the audience).
It’s a semi-conversational love story, but the dialogues are not lengthy except to the requisite extent.
Given that Nani is a much-liked spontaneous actor, you will hear most of them giving him A-rate certificate. But to be fair, it is Veena Kapoor who steals the show from the word go. (Nani’s best-ever act is ‘Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu’ and he himself may not better that act in the near future, that is in a similar role). Veena looks like Kareena Kapoor and acting-wise, she is Bollywoodish.
The rest of the cast do not impress much (but nobody would complain because the film is mainly a story of one couple), mainly because of the limited screen space that they get. The conflict point doesn’t involve anyone else other than the main leads.
Shashank Vennelakanti’s dialogues (original version written by Rajiv Rajaram) are intelligent.
Dharan Kumar’s music is classy. Loganathan Srinivasan’s cinematography is nimble. So also Bavan Sreekumar’s editing.
Verdict: A visual treat, ‘Aaha Kalyanam’ is a rom-com for the mature audience.