Hello! is a cute little film.
The film is a simple love story of Seenu – a street kid adopted by the lovely duo Ramya Krishnan and Jagapathi Babu – and a girl Junnu from a wealthy family. These unlikely childhood sweethearts must stand the test of time and distance until destiny plays its part to make them meet again, years and years later.
First things first, camerawork in this film is just so good. PS Vinod (whose notable earlier works in Telugu include Manam and Soggade Chinninayana) teams up as the man behind the lens for yet another Akkineni venture to recreate the magic from his earlier works. Each frame overflows with beauty. Hello! is a story, for the most part, set in the world of the rich. While there are no direct references to this fact, it’s obvious from the lavish houses to BMWs and Mercedes and grand weddings and PS Vinod makes sure he captures them in beautiful light and angles. Even in the darker settings, not a detail is missed. It’s just a treat to the eyes. The costumes department does an excellent job as well. Add to this a few ridiculously good-looking actors and we have a film that LOOKS too beautiful to be true.
The first half of the film is quite engaging. I don’t remember looking at my phone, and that’s basically saying I enjoyed the first part thoroughly. The second half is no trouble per se, but it does stretch a little bit. But rest assured, the film’s back on track within no time. At a run-time of a little over 2 hrs, Hello! is simple and entertaining.
Hello! isn’t as complex as Vikram K Kumar’s earlier ventures 24 and Manam. This is a much simpler film, but the director’s marks are aplenty. Be it a cross-roads that’s of importance to the story, or something as simple as a mobile phone that plays its part in the happenings, there are some elements that have rubbed off from Manam and 24, and it’s quite alright because Vikram is telling a different story here and these are just instruments.
Akhil Akkineni gets to do an awful lot of stuff in this film. Thanks to his younger self’s tree-climbing, he goes on to become some sort of a parkour expert (we’re never told how he gets to learn these amazing stunts). This basically means there’s a lot of running, chasing, jumping over the rooftops. A lot of action in the initial portions of the film. It also looks like Akhil’s on his way to be labelled as the best dancer in the Akkineni family. He gets to show his moves and boy, is he good! On the acting front, while there’s a lot more to do and this is only the beginning, he is decent if not exceptional. His best scenes are the casual ones, where he gets to be this rich guy doing normal stuff. That said, there’s potential to tap into here.
Kalyani Priyadarshan (d/o director Priyadarshan) seems confident overall but struggles in some scenes. I wondered how an established good performer would have suited for this role. Ramya Krishnan and Jaggu put on a good show – a sleepwalk for actors of their caliber. Anup Rubens gives some really nice tunes in his 50th film as a music director.
Overall, Hello! is a really good one-time watch. You may want to watch it at the theaters this weekend! I’m going with 3.5 out of 5! 🙂