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National Awards Row: All hurdles cleared for C/O Kancharapalem

Couple of days ago, Paruchuri Praveena who produced Telugu recent classic and critically acclaimed film C/O Kancharapalem, revealed that the film has been rejected and disqualified from the National award nominations after the committee found that Paruchuri Praveena is not an Indian national. As per Praveena’s request, Telangana leader and TRS Working President KTR took his official twitter handle to inform Rajyavardhan Rathore. Soon Rathore informed KTR that the issue has been resolved and his office spoke to Paruchuri Praveena.

C/O Kancharapalem has been asked to apply for the National Film Awards through the film’s presenters Suresh Babu and Rana Daggubati. Praveena expressed her happiness on resolving the issue and wanted the Centre to permanently amend such rule. C/O Kancharapalem is a small budget film that featured a bunch of fresh faces that received critical acclaim from all the corners of Telugu states.

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‘C/O Kancharapalem’ rejected for national award over foreign producer

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Telugu independent film ‘C/O Kancharapalem’, which wowed audiences and critics alike last year, has been denied nomination for National Award because it has been produced by Praveena Paruchuri, a US citizen of Indian origin.

Directed by Venkatesh Maha, the film revolves around four stories of love and longing, set in a small town.

On Wednesday, Praveena took to twitter to express her disappointment.

So sorry Venkatesh Maha. Care of Kancharapalem, your hard work and talent is not eligible to be recognized at the Indian National Film Awards because it was produced by me – a US citizen although of Indian origin. I failed you (sic),” she wrote.

Netizens were quick to shower support and express their disappointment over the film being ineligible for the honour. They also reminded her that the film had won the hearts of the people.

Responding to Praveena’s tweet, Maha replied via a tweet: “It’s not you Praveena; it’s the outdated rules and regulations of our country. I don’t understand why an Indian film, made by an Indian director, in India, acted by Indians and for Indian audience is not eligible for Indian National Awards (sic).”

He also tagged the Directorate of Film Festivals and said that it was ‘time for change.’

Made on a shoestring budget and featuring over 70 debutant actors, ‘C/O Kancharapalem’ emerged as one of the most loved Indian films last year.

Before its theatrical release in 2018, it had its world premiere at the New York Indian Film Festival.

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C/O Kancharapalem : Hope and Humanity prevail…

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Sreekanth Devarakonda
dkshrekanth@gmail.com

In Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne is serving a life sentence. He has one goal in his life – escape to freedom. After suffering a solitary confinement for 2 weeks, Andy tells Red – “there is one thing they can’t get to, they can’t touch, it’s yours’ and it’s called hope”.

In Castaway, Chuck Noland is marooned on an island. The only thing that keeps him alive is a hope that one day he will meet the love of his love, his fiancée.

As audience, we travel alongside Andy Dufresne and Chuck Noland in their respective quests and root for them. We empathize with their state, are enthused by their positive attitude in dire straits, feel depressed when they fail and rejoice with joy when they emerge victorious in their ambitions. And finally we pompously walk out of the theatres with our heads held high as though their triumph is ours.

Watching C/O Kancharapalem gave me a similar feeling.

Few minutes into the movie, I found myself in Kancharapalem alongside the characters. I inadvertently became part of each character’s journey from start to finish. I did not leave their side for one bit. I laughed and cried with them. I kept rooting for them all along. And as I headed out of the theatre, I walked out like a monarch…

I watched the premiere of this movie in March 2018. Ever since, I have been haunted by this movie and its characters. The characters and situations kept knocking my senses regularly. It was although the entire story happened in front of my eyes and I was a real witness of those events. And shockingly, I don’t recall when I felt like this after watching a movie in the last decade or so…

Spoiler Alerts Ahead…

From a high level, C/O Kancharapalem is an ensemble of 4 love stories set in a town of Kancharapalem. The movie navigates through love stories of 4 lovestruck characters belonging to different ages…

Innocent love

Sundaram, son of an idol maker, has a crush on his classmate Sunitha. Like most of us did during our school days, Sundaram waits for Sunitha on the way to school, buys a pink shirt (because it’s her favorite color), buys her song lyrics book and brims with joy when she gets an applause for her singing. He even makes Sunitha the object of his desire during the inauguration prayer of his father’s ambitious project building of a 30 foot Ganesh idol.

Rebellious love

Joseph works as a goon for a gym owner and falls for a traditional brahmin girl called Bhargavi.

Selfless love

Gaddam works at a wine shop and develops feelings for Saleema, a regular customer who buys mansion house from him. Gaddam learns that Saleema is a sex worker but that does not deter his love towards her.

Life companionship

Raju is a 49 year old unmarried bachelor who works as an office attender. Enter Radha, a newly transferred officer from Orissa. She is a widow with a 20-year old daughter, who doesn’t believe in classism at work. The two bond over a few morning walks, Telugu tutoring sessions and a trip to the holy shrine of Simhachalam. During on such trips, Radha asks Raju to marry her.

Hope

  • In all the above love stories, there is one common point – hope.
  • When Sunitha stops coming to school, Sundaram misses her dearly. He helplessly goes around her house with a hope that he will get to meet her.
  • Joseph intends to turn a new leaf by accepting a decent job. His hope is he can convince Bhargavi’s father and ask for her hand in marriage.
  • Gaddam proposes marriage to Saleema and hopes to lead a happy life with her.
  • Raju, although hesitant at first, agrees to the Radha’s proposal with a hope that the two lonely souls, tired by life’s vicissitudes would accompany each other during the remainder of their lives.

Each character hopes that their love story will reach it’s shore of happily ever after. Not just the characters, the audience members also hope that characters are able to find success in love.

When the character and his love interest are having a good time, we relish them as our own. And when a character’s love story hits a turbulence, we feel agitated and begin to fret.

Humanity vs God!

While essentially C/O Kancharapalem is a romantic drama, the director touched on philosophical aspects such as faith and humanity.

Sundaram (innocently and) fervently prays to Lord Ganesh for Sunitha’s affection. Joseph prays to Jesus for better life with Bhargavi. Gaddam, while initially stating to Saleema that he does not believe in god, visits a mosque with Saleema and prays for a better life ahead.

Each time a character faces an anguish in love, his faith is shaken. He renounces that faith either by pelting stones at a statue, throwing away the cross in a church after silently questioning the Lord and grieving over his lover’s grave.

No matter how hard a character prays, god does not seem to come to his rescue. And not surprisingly, the character shuns faith in god and turns into a believer of humanity, his fellow human beings.

In an intriguing turn of events, fellow humans from Kancharapalem come to Raju’s rescue when he is being beaten by the henchmen of Radha’s brother at a railway crossing.

What god could not do despite vehement prayers, fellow humans did.

Humanity over god – thus proved ☺

Feminism

Sunitha’s father does not appreciate his daughter singing a song with questionable lyrics at a school function. He forcibly takes her away.

Bhargavi’s father disapproves his daughter falling in love with a boy from another faith much to the annoyance of Bhargavi who rebels but then succumbs when her father attempts suicide.

Saleema, although a sex worker, possesses integrity and inherent honesty. She wants Gaddam to introduce her to his friends and drop her at the “pick up” spot just to test his sincerity towards her.

Radha, a widow and mother of a 20 year old daughter, decides to get married to Raju, an attender in her office. She wants someone traverse the remainder of life journey with her. Aditi, Radha’s daughter, questions her uncle as to when a woman gets to take decisions in her life.

The director talks about how a society’s perception changed towards women over time. It is evident the women folk in this movie have traversed from being a woman meekly surrendering to a man’s order to an independent one who stands up for her life choices brazenly against all odds.

Love beyond measure…

While love is beyond measure and an apprehend within a few words, at times love can be measured by simple things. Sundaram goes through great pains to get song lyrics book for Sunitha while Raju brings sugar water for a diabetic Radha. Gaddam buys condoms for Saleema’s safety while Joseph gives up his bad ways to lead a better life with Bhargavi.

Actors & Technicians

Most of the actors are newbies but they acted like seasoned professionals. Subba Rao who plays the role of Attender Raju is a show stealer. He is very endearing as an unmarried bachelor and entertains us with his funny one liners as well as deep-thinking dialogs. I liked the dialogs where he explains to Radha how he became a believer of humanity.

Mohan Bhagat (Gaddam) and Karthik (Joseph) suit their roles to the T while Keshav (Sundaram) portrays subtle emotions very well. Kishore Polimera as the idol maker with speech impediment did an excellent job. He also sang 2 bit songs in the movie.

Amongst the actresses, Nitya Sri is very cute as the romantic interest of Sundaram. Her cute smiley expression while overhearing Sundaram garnered applause from the audience. Pranitha as Bhargavi and Radha Bessy as Radha are realistic. Paruchuri Praveena as Saleema did a gutsy role as a sex worker and she is wonderful.

All the supporting cast from Kancharapalem did very admirable job.

Kudos to Venkatesh Maha for giving us a standing ovation worth movie after a long time. Maha grabs you by the hand and takes you on a tour of Kancharapalem. The screenplay is extraordinary and characters are true-to-life. Not one scene seems out of place and the detailing of each scene is near perfect. The climax is shocker and makes you either gasp or clap.

Writing is top class and organic. There is a lot of depth in each dialog and you can notice an underlying philosophy and realistic feel in every scene. It is impossible to create this level of (audience) involvement especially when none of the leads are established actors, which goes to reflect the director’s amazing writing talent.

Music by Sweekar Agasthi is top class and compliments the scenes in a harmonious manner. I loved the background score. There is a theme for each love story. Songs come as not breaks in the story but to take the story forward. Cinematography deserves a special mention; most of the lighting was natural giving you a realistic feel.

Finally…

C/O Kancharapalem is a brilliant love story; a journey of love at different ages. Not just a journey but depicts the many facets of love in a very poetic manner. This is as real as it gets. This is one of the best movies I have watched in many years. The last time I remember correlating myself so closely with the characters was in 2001 for a movie called Dil Chahta Hai!

Hail Venkatesh Maha!!!

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Care of Kancharapalem Success Meet

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Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Domestic Weekend Report: Silly Fellows Tops but Average, COK decent

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This weekend has been a mixed one at the Box-office as the notable new releases have fared ranging from decent to poor.

1. Silly Fellows : The film has collected an estimated distributor share of over 2 Crores in Domestic Markets accounting to around 40 percent recovery against the valued theatricals of 5.50 Cr. Allari Naresh & Sunil have finally talked some notable evenue as their previous releases were debacles. Though the wom is quite decent, it didn’t reflect in collections which are not up to the mark. AVERAGE.

2. Geetha Govindam : has another excellent weekend with a distributor share of 1.50 Cr in Domestic Markets taking cumulative total to 54.10 Cr. The film still has some legs and will depend upon the fate of upcoming releases to put more benchmarks. BLOCKBUSTER

3. C/O Kancharapalem : The film has a decent weekend with an estimated distributor share of over 90 lakhs in the domestic markets. Suresh Productions has acquired the film for 81 lakhs excluding expenses like prints & publicity. The film can recover those from here but getting a Hit verdict will depend up on how Well it holds in A centres where the major business for it comes from. DECENT

4. NUN : The film has taken a very good opening in Telugu States as it has even registered housefull in some centres. It has easily outpaced the other new release Manu which was a straight film. Run for the film looks doubtful as reported are very mixed. GOOD

5. Manu : The film has a poor weekend with negative reported affecting big time right after the FDFS. It will be out from most of the theatres by coming Friday. Poor

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US B.O report : C/o Kancharapalem is decent, others fall flat

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Three small films released at US box office last Friday. Only C/o Kancharapalem emerged as a decent grosser in the first weekend and the remaining films failed to attract overseas audience.

C/o Kancharapalem registered decent figures in the first weekend, thanks to the positive word of mouth and rave reviews from audience and critics alike. By the end of Sunday, the film collected close to $ 185K, which is a very good run considering its limited release and low budget.

Mystery thriller Manu has failed to sustain at the overseas box office due to its abstract content and complex narration.

Comedy caper Silly Fellows couldn’t excite trade circles as the film collected dismal figures in the first weekend. Despite the presence of actors like Sunil and Allari Naresh, the film couldn’t even recover the publicity expenses in overseas.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

US box office : C/o Kancharapalem leads the pack of new releases

Out of the three Telugu films that released this Friday, only C/o Kancharapalem is showing signs of sustaining at overseas box office in the first weekend.

C/o Kancharapalem is made on a very little budget and has all-new stars directed by a debutant. But, the rave reviews from special premiers came in very handy as the film managed to take a decent opening in overseas among other releases. The film collected $ 55K on its first day including premiers and showed good growth in numbers towards the first weekend. As of this writing, the total gross of the film surpassed the $ 120K mark.

Another unconventional film that released this Friday is Manu. Like C/o Kancharapalem, Manu also garnered good buzz prior to its release because of the aggressive promotions and intriguing trailers, but it didn’t convert into box office figures as the content didn’t appeal to all sections of audience. The film collected insignificant numbers on Friday and Saturday.

Allari Naresh and Sunil starrer Silly Fellows couldn’t excite overseas audience and the openings are very dismal.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Mahesh Babu lauds C/o Kancharapalem

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Tollywood’s latest release C/o Kancharapalem is receiving plaudits from all corners for its realistic portrayal of love and humour. The film, made on a shoestring budget, is presented by Rana Daggubhati. Tollywood bigwigs have given unanimous thumbs up for this offbeat attempt by director Venkatesh Maha.

Joining the long list of admirers is Superstar Mahesh Babu who opined it as a director’s film which is driven by well-written characters. Mahesh took to Twitter to shower praises on the film and said the climax is the heart of the film. Mahesh said he is proud of Rana for encouraging talent.

C/o Kancharapalem stars a bunch of new artists in different roles.

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C/O Kancharapalem Review : Entertaining , Honest Lovestor(y)ies

Care of Kancharapalem review, C/O Kancharapalem

Telugu360 Rating 3.25/5

Story:

Raju is a government office clerk in a place called Kancharlapalem. Despite hitting 49, he is still unmarried and that obviously becomes a hot topic for everyone in the town. A woman named Radha arrives in Raju’s office after getting transferred from Orissa. She is 42 years old and a single mother of a 20 year old girl. She falls for the good nature of Raju and proposes to get married to him.

In the mean time, an eight standard school boy named Sundaram is entirely involved in love with his classmate Sunitha. This girl has a great voice and loves to sing. But her father doesn’t approve of this. After singing at independence day event in school, she is compelled to leave the place abruptly.

Coming to another character named Gaddam Babu, he works at a wine shop. Everyday a Muslim woman comes to his shop to buy a quarter of alcochol. Hhe falls in love with her. But one day he comes to realize that she is a prostitute.

The fourth story is about Joseph and Bhargavi who belong to different religions. Bhargavi’s Dad disapproves of their relationship and fixes her wedding with somebody else seeing the time Joseph is away in town.

What happens to these stories?How do they unfold? How do they fight with their challenges and come out with flying colors? What sort of lessons do they learn from the people they meet and the experiences?- forms the rest of the plot.

Analysis:

Somehow, Telugu film industry has been stuck with glamour all the way. We have been witnessing only larger than life stories on big screen because of this. Incidents which are based on real life, and experiences have become rare. When a Marathi or Bengali movie is watched on, we tend to get amazed at the realism . C/o Kancharlapalem will definitely remain to be the one of best attempts in showcasing such realism in Telugu films. There are no cinematic expressions in this flick and pre-meditated dialogues. Regular aspects like interval bang, climax twists are non existent. In fact, a determiantion to show a frame beautifully is also not seen. An honest attempt in showcasing the people of Kancharlapalem, the mindset of people were greatly shown in the film. The audience will get a feeling of witnessing the village bit by bit, sitting in the theatre seat! The film’s entire beauty lies in this fact.

The character of Raju reflects sadness and lonliness throughout but he doesn’t speak of philosophy. He has a tinge of humor , realistic attitude and progresses the story. Sundaram’s character reminds us of our childhood where we fall for a girl in a tender age and a stark innocence is seen when he abuses God for taking the girl away from him. The story of Gaddam Babu will tug the heartstrings and even make the viewer wonder whether such pure love exists these days! Can anyone really love a girl like Saleema and be devoted so much?- such questions occur in the viewer’s mind.

It is only Joseph’s love story which pales down compared to these three amazing storylines. But at the same time, the story isn’t something which can be ignored.

How are these four stories brought together? What are the twists in the tale?- are the questions which ponder in viewers mind throughout. But such screenplay has been witnessed in ‘Manamantha’ earlier. In fact, these four stories needn’t be fused in one frame. The director made sure every frame has great honesty and integrity. Without losing the realism aspect, he managed to show honest emotions with entertainment and humour, sentiments, and genuine feelings.

Coming to the flaws, there are certain few. Too much of realistic feel also showcases a bit of rawness. Somewhere in between the flick,the director falls in the trap of practicality. He chooses the regular path of happy ending like any other commercial film.

Performances:

Every character of the film has equal screen space. They acted in quite a balanced manner without over performing a frame. The realism of the film was greatly reflected throughout. Especially Raju character guy stands out

Technical Aspects:

A director’s efforts are clearly seen in the film. It is indeed a great attempt to stay in the village, understand the lifestyles of it to bring it into life. Irrespective of its commercial success, the film will remain as the most experimental flick in Telugu Cinema off late. The background score is haunting and elevates the flick. The songs are quite to the timing of the story and dialogues are very natural.

Verdict:

C/O Kancharapalem is a fun and realistic movie. These type of honest and new attempts should always be appreciated. This is a film for all those who are eager to watch a change in Telugu Cinema.

Telugu360 Rating 3.25/5

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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