'Ori Devuda', brought out by PVP Cinema and Sri Venkateswara Creations, was released in theatres today.
The film is an official remake of 'Oh My Kadavule' (Tamil). Arjun (Vishwak Sen) seeks divorce from his wife Anu (debutante Mithila Palkar). Although Arjun and Anu were long-time friends before their marriage, their marital alliance has been marred by incompatibility.
In a twist, Arjun has a cosmic meeting with God (Venkatesh), who offers him a boon to return to his past and see if he gets to change the course of his life. Arjun is more than happy to go back in time and weigh his options. Will he marry Anu if given a second chance? Or, will he opt for Meera (Asha Bhat), who was his childhood crush and is now into movies?
'Ori Devuda' is the right film for Vishwak Sen after a film like 'Ashoka Vanamlo Arjuna Kalyanam' earlier this year. Both as a husband and a lover, both as a frustrated guy and an eventually satisfied soul, he is natural.
Mithila Palkar may be new to Telugu but she is an experienced artist; she shows ease in most of the scenes. Model Asha Bhat is not good and doesn't actually better her Tamil counterpart Vani Bhojan, unlike Mithila.
One feels Venkatesh shouldn't have F3-ised his character too much. Rahul Ramakrishna is routine, while Murali Sharma in the role of Anu's father is superb. Puri Jagannadh's cameo is interesting.
Leon James's songs sound hardly original, especially the Anirudh-sung 'Gundellonaa'. 'Avunanavaa', sung by Sid Sriram, is melodious but doesn't stay in our minds. Vidhu Ayyanna's cinematography is adequate, while Vijay Mukthavarapu has taken care of editing.
The film is not a rom-com or a romantic drama but a romantic fantasy. In the end, it is romantic but not fantastic.
Director Ashwath Marimuthu builds an engaging premise and constructs the whole of the second half based on the interval plot turn.
It is good that Meera is not a typical professional but an assistant director. Had she been a doctor or a software engineer, there wouldn't have been much scope for drama. So, she had to pursue something unconventional. Another positive is that the writing doesn't take an emotional stance on the choices made by its protagonists.
One feels the friendship angle between Anu and Arjun was explored in a better way in the remake. The director had so much opportunity to improvize upon the Tamil original.
The film doesn't give us a reason why Arjun has been given the rare boon by God Himself. The design of Venkatesh's God is also not fantastical. It all plays out ordinarily.
Tharun Bhaskar's dialogues are sincere to the story and faithful to the Tamil original.
The Love Court and the actual court are juxtaposed with subtlety. The pay-offs will work if have not watched the Kollywood original.
'Ori Devuda' is a watchable remake that can keep you engaged with its story. There is a trace of novelty. However, there is no noteworthy betterment here compared to the original.