November 11, 2011 Y. Sunita Chowdary
When you are showing a film to establish a point that friendship is possible between a man and a woman, one can do it without emphasising, re-emphasising so much from the first scene to the last, that you would arrive to a conclusion that something is being forced on you which is not actually normal. Venu Sriram shows immense promise but he got carried away by filmi dynamics, making it too dramatic.
The entire last part of the film, where the couple have babies, etc., is not needed at all. To show the level of proximity, Siri (Shruti) addresses him as Falthoos (luckily the filmmaker kept it very decent, in real life we see people (read as man and a woman) using profane language to address each other to show how cool their relationship is) and uses certain words like Sampthu Bidda, Maa Gang Lo Aadinistha Lera..which appears superficial.
For those who have seen Vasantham, Jaane Tu.. Ya Jaane Na or even Iddaru Mitrulu, this one won't surprise. Shruti is the fulcrum of the film, she had no choice but to act this time and she is quite good in her work. The film is an explanation to people who think and believe that a man and a woman can never be friends and by the end of the film does it serve the purpose? There is a beautiful analysis in the last 15 to 20 minutes but again the film remains a film for a film's sake and finally one ends up empathising and agreeing with what Uday (Navdeep) says and feels.
The story is about Siri and Chandu, who love each other, enjoy each other as a person, but not enough to date or marry them. What does this mean? It is absolutely a platonic relationship, there is only love, no sexual attraction. The conflict develops when their respective lovers begin to demand their presence, feel possessive. Ali appears for a brief period and is indeed a great comic relief but for him there was a tendency to wonder why one is being made to sit and listen to their justification that they are friends and not lovers.
Oh My Friend is strictly average, Shruti looks beautiful as a dance teacher, her involvement in her work is very visible. If her combination and rapport, the chemistry with Siddharth brings out this many expressions then one would definitely wouldn't mind seeing more of her on screen with him. Both of them do good work but it is the writing, those extra scenes that go over the top. Screenplay could have been better.
The role given to Hansika was uninteresting, she appears as a bimbette, beautiful but no mind of her own and the hero drools over her for obvious reasons which again makes the viewer forward their bias for Siri and not Chandu. Navdeep is flawless.
A bit outdated story though, you could watch it for the pretty Shruti and talented Siddharth, for whom this role is another extension. Lyrics by Krishna Chaitanya impress and those by Sirivennela Sitarama Sastry overshadow the story. Good music, good performances but overall a pretty average film.