Home > Telugu Movie Reviews > Classmates|
Average But Clean Family Entertainer
APK | April 20, 2007
Rating: **.5 (***** Very Good, **** Good, *** Fair, ** Average, * Bad)
Cast: Sumanth, Sada, Kamalini Mukherjee, Sharwanand, Ravi Verma, Sunil, Siva Reddy, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Giribabu, Sudha, Tanikella Bharani, Uttej and Others.
Art: Peketi Ranga.
Choreography: Shankar & Suchitra Chandrabose.
Cinematography: Hari Anumolu.
Dialogues: Abburi Ravi.
Editing: Srikara Prasad.
Lyrics: Sirivennela Sitarama Sastry.
Story: James Albert.
Screenplay & Direction: K. Vijaya Bhaskar.
Producer: Sravanthi Ravikishore.
Banner: Sri Sravanthi Movies.
Release Date: 20th April, 2007.
Vijaya Bhaskar is back with Classmates, a remake of the Malayalam film by the same name, while Sumanth returns after Madhumasam.
Plot A college's batch reunion over the inauguration of their friend Murali's memorial hall brings back memories, but the festivities are dampened when one of them is hospitalized after a murder attempt. The flashback unfolds-Ravi (Sumanth) and his gang is a part of one student organization, while Satish (Ravi Verma) and his group belong to another. Raji (Sada) is the MLA's daughter, who Ravi likes, but Satish desires to be a politico one day and always sides with Raji. Ravi and Raji are rivals, always trying to be one up on another. They obviously fall in love, but are estranged due to the college elections where they stand against one another. One thing leads to another, and college politics leads to violence, where accidentally everyone's favorite guy-Murali, is killed. This death and the murder attempt on Ravi now are linked-how and what happens, how old friends reconcile and bury differences is the rest of the plot.
Story, Screenplay and Direction The story is simple enough, and the screenplay makes the story fit like a jigsaw puzzle, filling in till the end. It sometimes moves along predictable lines, but 'surprises' spring up keeping the interest alive. The theme itself is interesting, and with better known actors instead of the usual fresh faces cast for themes like these is an advantage. College elections, politics played and the violent outbursts do not have a realistic look about them-they are all shot like a steady narration of once-upon-a-time stories. It drags here and there and tends to get repetitive-nothing we haven't seen before.
The protagonists are many-from Ravi, played by Sumanth (for obvious reasons) and Sharwanand. The focus at times shifts even to Satish (Ravi Verma) and while Sada dominates in the female cast, Kamilini's role blossoms only at the end. There are a variety of characters, as is the case in any college, and we meet the stereotypes and the flat comic characters here and there. The main leads are either sympathy seeking hard-exterior soft-interior types or cunning youngsters who turn civil with time.
The character of Murali-the comedy and tragedy of it, is good and runs the story. The usual one-liners and packaged comic fare is belted out, and the love story begins and ends, and begins again without much conviction. The climax is a bit corny but doesn't let the second half deflate.
Performances Sumath is good at some points while he remains stone-faced and stiff in other scenes. Sada is earnest, but has very little screen presence. Sharwanand has the role of a lovable peacemaker with a tragic end, which he portrays to perfection. Kamilini has very little to do, and the character itself is not explored much, and she does little to better it.
Sunil does more than comedy here, and he makes his presence felt. Ravi Verma has a tailor-made role for him, and does justice to his role. Tanikella Bharani, Kota Srinivasa Rao and all the other 'regulars' wade effortlessly through their characters.
Song and Dance (See music review) The songs' picturizations are nothing unique or interesting. They do not hold the movie but do not let it sink either. Not bad, but nothing new.
Last Word Classmates comes under the bracket of clean family entertainer-though there are some incidents the students indulge in to corrupt their own reputations. But overall, it can be safely watched with the entire family without feeling embarrassed. The tiny problem here is-you got to keep awake throughout and that's slightly tough.