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C/O Kancharapalem – Movie Review

Talking about something beautiful is really difficult. Because sometimes you cannot string those words together that do justice to it. C/O Kancharapalem is one such beauty.

When I first watched the trailer, even though I liked it, I was skeptical about it as I wondered if this movie was for everyone. This looked like an art film and I believed (wrongly so) that no matter how good it is, it might struggle for commercial success. But after watching the film, I can put my weight behind the film and say that this movie belongs to that rarest of rare plateaus where an art film meets mainstream cinema. I say mainstream because, after watching it and after observing audience reactions in the theater, it’s absolutely clear that audience not just embraced this film but also loved it. 

Because this movie has something for everyone. There is honesty in the writing, innocence in the dialogues, rawness in the characters, reality in it’s cinematography, folklore in its music, and most importantly, ample amount of love in the air.

The characters written are not something that you usually find in a movie, yet they are people you find in your everyday life: it could be about that guy that sat next to you on a bus, or that kid that is goofing off with his only friend at school, or that lady you might find in a boring government office. To treat their stories on the big screen with as much panache as treating a cliched character with big stars is no mean feat.

The little known actors step up, own these roles and are your ‘big stars’ in this movie. You almost wonder if they are acting, as it sometimes feel so real that you will be forgiven for mistaking it for a documentary here and there. But don’t be alarmed, the movie isn’t a ‘documentary’ nor does it bore you like one.

The dialogues are not a laugh riot but rather something that will make you have a constant grin on your face. You will remember this movie on the whole, as much as you would remember the individual elements of the characters and the story. I loved it so much that I am pretty sure it is a movie that will remain with me when I look back. There is a constant theme in the film that runs like a spine throughout the film that sticks the various threads of this movie together.

The movie takes you through that village of Kancharapalem and it almost feels as if you are there. Do you remember the feeling that we get when we read a well written novel that transports us to a different place? Yes, C/O Kancharapalem does precisely that. It’s like an exquisite read of a novel. The cherry on top is the screenplay that makes it such a sweet film to look at and enjoy. How did the director/writer ever do it? I bow to you sir! This is a gem!

Even the music, which is quite unconventional, ebbs and flows with the stories, seamlessly gliding along and sometimes carrying it at crucial junctures. I specifically remember one song that came right before the interval that had the heart of the entire film wrapped in a single cone that just elevated the narrative.

If I have to nitpick, I could say the pacing could have been better in the latter half of the movie but it doesn’t really matter to be honest. The rest of the film more than makes up for it.

The scenes are endearing. The story is heartwarming. The smile is ever present for the audience. But the truth never leaves the screen. What more do you need in the name of art?

The movie has a soul that breathes unexpected and unparalleled freshness into the characters and their stories. Drop everything you are doing this weekend and watch this gem of a film 🙂 You wouldn’t be disappointed.You cannot skip this masterpiece in Telugu cinema. I am going with 4.5 stars out of 5 for this film.

PS: All the images are screenshots from the film’s official trailer on YouTube.

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