'Most Eligible Bachelor', which is produced by GA2 Pictures, was released today on the auspicious occasion of Dasara. Described by actor Akhil Akkineni as a futuristic family entertainer, does the film live up to the expectations? Let's find out in this review.
Harsha (Akhil Akkineni), an NRI, flies down from the US to find his future wife in Hyderabad. He dashes to one house after another to find a suitable bride. His attempts fail because of his idiosyncratic thinking. In Vibha (Pooja Hegde), who is a stand-up comic, Harsha finds hope. But there is a catch. Vibha's father (Murali Sharma) is upset with him and finds him unacceptable. Vibha, too, is not fond of his unoriginal thinking. The rest of the film is about how Harsha convinces them that he is right for her.
The closest Akhil has done a genre of this kind is 'Mr. Majnu', which was more a template-driven love story. In 'MEB', he is far more actor material. He has definitely shown refinement in this film. Pooja Hegde is not only adequate but also makes us root for her character, especially because she is winsome in the songs and in the comedy scenes.
If Aamani and Jaya Prakash are apt as Harsha's parents, Murali Sharma delivers performance with ease. Vennela Kishore is fun. Ajay, Srikanth Iyyengar, Pragathi, Sudigali Sudheer, Get-up Sreenu, Abhay Bethiganti and others are also seen in different roles. Faria Abdullah and Eesha Rebba have cameo appearances, so also Chinmayi Sripada and Rahul Ravindran.
Gopi Sundar has a handful of chartbuster albums to his credit and 'MEB' is a glorious addition. Right from the irresistible 'Manasa Manasa' (in the album) to semi-melodic numbers such as 'Leharaayi', the collage is comprehensive. 'Chitti Adugu' and 'Guche Gulabi' are a treat. The BGM is somewhat less impactful in comparison to the songs. Pradeesh Varma's cinematography has the frames look sleek or lived-in, as the case may be.
Avinash Kolla's production design and Marthand K Venkatesh's editing add value to the production values.
Unlike 'Mr. Majnu', 'MEB' does not follow a template. Director 'Bommarillu' Baskar takes up a point and explores what today's youngsters might want in a marital relationship. Vibha is ahead of Harsha in her thinking and how the latter tries to catch up with her is an interesting idea in itself.
The first half goes into showing how Harsha's tryst with Vibha changes his course of life. By the time it is interval, there arrives a conflict point between the duo. Harsha is at a crossroads and how he tackles the issue at hand forms the crux of the story.
The film, to its credit, takes care of the conflict point with some maturity. The dialogues are peppered with lighter-veined lines. Up to a point, the issues cropping up between the lead pair engage the audience. The family scenes are not too dominating; they are allowed to play the second fiddle to the rom-com track.
On the flip side, the second half feels like a drag. There are no emotional highs and the way Harsha tries to woo back Vibha could have been more imaginative. The dialogues between Harsha and Vibha's father don't sound fine either.
Had the second half been less preachy and funnier (Vennela Kishore's track should have been fleshed better), the proceedings would have been far more engaging. The climax has two monologues and they sum up the film well.
The storyline doesn't sound great and the film is somewhat predictable, too.
'Most Eligible Bachelor' is well-rounded as a story. The emotional weight is also felt by the audience. More fun and less dry dialogues would have made it a sure-shot winner.