Middle Class Melodies star cast: Anand Devarakonda, Varsha Bollamma
Middle Class Melodies director: Vinod Anantoju
Middle Class Melodies ratings: 2 star
The thing about a movie based on India’s middle-class families is that it is relatable. You are likely to find in the film a fair share of events that happened to you or someone you know. It turns out that after all, the middle-class life is not that dynamic and dazzling. It is very predictable. That doesn’t mean it has no drama worth telling. The scope for drama in middle-class lives is limitless, but it takes a strong will to dig deeper and go beyond the tropes. Which, I am afraid, debutant director Vinod Anantoju has not managed with Middle Class Melodies.
Raghava (Anand Devarakonda) nurtures entrepreneurial aspirations. He takes pride in his ability to make the best ‘Bombay chutney’ in his town. And he also strongly believes that his ‘Bombay chutney’ recipe, which he inherited from his mother, is his ticket to good fortune and success. He wants to take Guntur by storm by starting a tiffin centre in the city. However, he is short of cash. His father Kondala Rao (Goparaju Ramana) is not particularly fond of his business idea. But, his father is also his best chance. He won’t find another venture capitalist who would break his bank to fund his start-up, which hinges on the belief that Guntur will fall in love with ‘Bombay chutney.’ And things don’t go according to plan, obviously.
Kondala Rao is duped of his life-savings, and he’s also tricked into selling his property at a lower than market price. In both instances, Rao’s family unjustly suffers for things that others do. It demonstrates that lives of middle-class people are not in their control. It is shaped by things that people in power do. And middle-class people spend their lives fixing the crisis created by powerful men.
Director Vinod Anantoju and his co-writer Janardhan Pasumarthi come up terribly short on capturing the predicament of middle-class people. They resort to stereotypes, hoping to draw some laughs. The humour lacks punch, the conflicts fail to throw up drama and observations lack depth.
Vinod could have benefited from fine-tuning moments that define the very nature of the middle class.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines