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Review Telugu

Middle Class Melodies review: Anand Deverakonda's film is a charming story of life in a small town 

Release Date: 20 Nov 2020

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Karthik Kumar

With its simplistic yet spellbinding storytelling, the film is populated by memorable and lifelike characters.

First-time filmmaker Vinod Anantoju’s Middle Class Melodies is undisputedly one of the most charming Telugu films in recent memory. Set in a small town near Guntur, the film realistically tells a tale of love, dreams and togetherness. At a time when most filmmakers are contriving larger-than-life extravaganzas on astronomical budgets, this film proves that when you tell a simple story as honestly as possible, it will definitely strike a chord.

Middle Class Melodies follows Raghava (Anand Deverakonda), who works for his parents in their family-run hotel in Kolakalur, a small village near Tenali. Raghava, like every other youngster these days, dreams of city life and plans on setting up a hotel in Guntur but his father (an excellent Goparaju Ramana) is against the idea. Will Raghava make his dream a reality?

But Middle Class Melodies is also about the key inhabitants of Kolakalur such as Raghava’s friend, the astrology-obsessed Gopal; the elderly Anjaiah, the local milkman who toils to send his granddaughter to college; Sandhya who is fond of her ‘bava’ Raghava; and Lakshmi and Kamala, two matriarchal characters and their role in their husbands and children's lives. It’s also about Gautami and how she singlehandedly supports her family while dealing with her drunkard of a father, and Nageswara Rao, who's on a mission to get his daughter married into a decent family.

What really makes Middle Class Melodies unique is that it isn’t a story just about the hero. It’s about all the characters who aid him in his journey. The film gives ample screen space and importance to the supporting characters that make the film so memorable and highly entertaining. The small-town milieu is captured beautifully and as authentically as possible. It’s so close to reality that you feel like you’re sitting with the characters and having a heart-to-heart with them when viewing them on the screen.

The film takes a very light-hearted approach, which works in its favour. It has the heart of Venkatesh Maha’s critically-acclaimed C/o Kancharapalem (2018) and is another great example of simplistic yet spellbinding storytelling. Both Anand and Varsha Bollamma are aptly cast and they highlight smalltown vulnerabilities quite convincingly in their performances. It’s interesting that Anand is charting his own path and not walking in the footsteps of his brother Vijay Deverakonda. Vinod is an exciting addition to the latest crop of next-gen Telugu filmmakers who are quietly making a strong impact.   

Middle Class Melodies is being streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

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