'Mem Famous', bankrolled by Anurag Reddy, Sharath Chandra, and Chandru Manoharan on Chai Bisket Films and Lahari Films, was released in theatres today.
Mai, Durga and Baali are unemployed, reckless youngsters notorious for lazing around. A teen nicknamed Lipstick Spoiler is their underage buddy. Mai is in love with his 'maradalu' Mounika, whose father hates him for obvious reasons.
After a shattering event that leaves them with no hope and mounting debts, the trio must finally pull up their socks and do something worthwhile despite their incompetence. What will they do when they are royally inept?
Sumanth Prabhas, who also wields the megaphone, thoroughly understands his character, its sympathies and traits. The graph of his performance is in tune with his measured talent. Mani Aegurla doesn't make his character's qualities boring. Mourya Chowdary is good.
The female leads (Saarya and Siri Raasi) are effective. Saarya gets a better deal between the two by virtue of the fact that she is the main lead's GF. Muralidhar Goud plays a routine irate father once again. Anji Mama Milkuri as a single middle-aged uncle is endearing. Shiva Nandhan as the teen companion of the trio is enjoyable in the second half. The rest of them get sketchy characterizations and therefore are boring.
Shyam Dupati takes us to the everyday ambience of the village. The rural atmosphere comes through, more so in the initial phase. There are some generic moments where the cinematography doesn't do the heavy lifting, though. Editor Srujana Adusumilli shows talent in the first half, where the screenplay was written tightly (on the face of it).
Usually, we don't expect much from the songs in small movies. Kalyan Nayak's songs, nevertheless, attempt to entertain in bits and pieces. Rahul Sipligunj's rendition of 'Ayyayyo' and 'Minimum Song' sounds average, though.
The sound design by Nagarjuna Thallapalli doesn't lift the overall quality of the film. The sync sound technique delivers a mixed result.
The characterization of the male lead Sumanth Prabhas (who is also the film's story writer, screenplay writer, dialogue writer and director) is steeped in cliches. He is combative and can be seen as needlessly belligerent. One of his friends comes with a relatively less energetic mien and he predictably has a heartbreak moment (thankfully, there is no break-up anthem from him). There is a pathos song but it is a tribute to the decades-old friendship among the three.
The first half might be entertaining to a large chunk of the audience, but it is packed with conventional ideas. This reviewer could see how the interval block would end once the sub-plot of political rivalry was introduced.
It is in the second half where 'Mem Famous' succeeds in presenting a couple of unexpected elements. People might find the second half to be lengthier, but if you are engaged by the plausibility of the creative idea the lead man comes up with to become "famous", we are on the same page. This is also a phase where Anji Mama and Lipstick Spoiler get very good scenes and arcs.
The film needed an unanticipated, curious climax. Instead, it has a YouTube-ey ending where a conflict arises and gets resolved in a span of a few minutes.
'Mem Famous' is fun to watch despite the familiar conflicts and situations. Watch it for the vibes, not the story.