One of the most beautiful feelings in this world is to fall in love with someone. You may have imagined your love to be in a certain way but often things don’t go as planned. To add to that multiple stigmas attached to our society whether it is caste, religion or even the colour of your skin that unfortunately decides your fate. Recently, there was a huge uproar in the US with hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter trending. It was astonishing to see so many people sharing instances wherein either themselves or people they knew were subjected to discrimination based on their skin colour. This movement had collectively bound people together and rightly so. And I have just finished watching the Telugu film, Colour Photo on the brand new Aha app which deals with the above set of emotions and issues. Is this film worth your time, lets find out.
Set in the 90s, Colour Photo is the story of a guy from a lower caste falling in love with a girl from an upper caste. To add to that the skin colour plays a major part in the story. The story is novel and relevant, coming from an industry that may have been guilty of promoting some of the most regressive practices and cliches in love. The screenplay is so so well written. While the first hour introduces the characters and the worlds that they come from, and also the guy eventually falling in love with the girl that he thought he could just admire from a distance amidst some confidence issues due to his skin colour, the second half adds so much substance to it, by highlighting so many problems that the guy faces in this bitter sweet love story. Mind you, the year in the film was 1999 where the main lead says, we still are fighting over skin colour. Cut to 2020 and nothing has changed has it? It just forces you to think. Such is the treatment. And that ending just breaks your heart into a million pieces. No amount of words will ever do justice to tell how well the screenplay is penned. The dialogues are excellent, some of them funny and some of them hard hitting. I don’t understand telugu but if I was laughing and connecting with the dialogues means that the film has broken the language barrier. The music and BGM will just melt your heart and stay with you long after the film is over. Director Sandeep Raj has done a phenomenal job, his direction tackling such a delicate subject is devoid of cliches and outstanding throughout.
The performances are outstanding. Aadarsh Balakrishna as Chandu is endearing in a cameo. Vidya Maharshi as Rama Raju’s wife has her moments to shine. Divya Sripada as Paddu has good screen presence. Sunil as Rama Raju is intimidating and can send shivers down your spine. Viva Harsha as Balu has impeccable comic timing and he also is excellent in some of the scenes where he is required to emote. This is a rare combination in any actor. Chandini Chowdary as Deepthi and Suhas as Kittu are the two stars of the show. It is their acting that makes you root for them till the very end. Chandini adds an emotional layer to her character so effortlessly and she is someone that I would want to watch in future too. And Suhas, his vulnerability and his emotions are put to test and he comes out with flying colours. Some of the most heartfelt scenes feature him and they will leave you teary eyed with a lump in your throat. All actors have successfully transitioned from stars of the digital space(they have short films on youtube) to now stars of the silver screen.
Who says the Romance genre is fading, it is very much alive and kicking, it just needs to be soulful with some strong writing. Colour Photo is a modern day masterpiece and the best Telugu language film of 2020, it needs to be watched NOW. A word to Bollywood – please do not remake this classic. Colour Photo available on the new Aha app and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!