'Intinti Ramayanam' is an Aha original film released in theatres this week by Sithara Entertainments.
In Telangana's Karimnagar, Ramulu (VK Naresh) is a good-natured, middle-class person whose daughter Sandhya (Navya Swamy) is in love with an orphan named Seenu (Rahul Ramakrishna). Just when Sandhya and Seenu plan to go public with their love affair, Ramulu faces the shock of his life when a valuable ornament goes missing from his house. The rest of the film is about what losing a material thing means to Ramulu and how disharmony envelops the family with the entry of a cop.
The film begins with a ritual involving a lamb. Ramulu and the rest of the family members are introduced as naive, doting or meek people with humble desires in life. This is also a scene that establishes Gangavva's character. As the plot advances, we slowly realize that almost half the characters in the family are drama queens. This aspect is milked way too much by writer-director Suresh Naredla, who makes his love for slapstick comedy pretty clear.
Although Rahul Ramakrishna's character is more important than most others, we never feel invested in his struggles. Just because the story is set in a small town, routine elements such as boozing, cricket betting and game of cards are introduced in a banal manner. The comical tone of the narration refuses to fade and you grow tired whenever the comedy becomes over-the-top.
There is a police station scene where the members of a family are treated by the cop as though they are strangers who are suspecting one another. The dynamics in the family are sketchy, and the equations between the family members are underwritten. The family members behave as though they have no self-respect and are not angered by the needle of suspicion pointing at them.
When the film wants to look a bit heavy, it relies on the idea of introducing the caste discrimination subtext. The way the caste element is introduced and withdrawn in a hurry, we feel sorry for the way Seenu's character is treated. There is a tumult, followed by instant reconciliation. VK Naresh and the guy who played his 'bamardi' are the only ones who look at home. Rahul's Seenu is the embodiment of bad luck but he never makes us feel for his plight.
On the positive side, the love story is not overdone. Sandhya is a well-meaning girlfriend who is aspirational and doesn't hide her infatuation with material comforts. She is poor at studies and her belief in fatalism explains her indiscipline.
This Aha original makes for a difficult watch if you are someone who doesn't like over-the-top humour.