Sekhar Kammula is back with Life is Beautiful. This one's based on lives and mores of youngsters.
The film is about constant rift between two residential colonies - Sunshine Phase-B colony which comprises of middle class families and Gold Phase, a home for their rich neighbours. Young guns are forever at loggerheads.
Srinu (Abhijit) and his sisters move to their uncle's house in Sunshine colony as instructed by their mother (Amala Akkineni). He befriends Nagaraj (Sudhakar Komakula), a happy go lucky bloke from Telangana who plays the Good Samaritan. He also helps Abhi (Kaushik), a confident nerd who falls for Paru (Shriya Saran) from Gold Phase.
Love blooms for Srinu and Paddu (Shagun Gupta), his endearing relative from the neighbourhood. Nagaraj who's initially infatuated with 'Maya aunty' (Anjala Jhaveri), a middle aged woman in the colony, is later attracted to Lakshmi (Zara Shah), his neighbour. The story is essentially about three love stories, enmeshed with conflicting young adults.
The youngsters in the movie have delivered good performances. The director should be applauded for choosing new faces that the middle class audience can identify with. Anajala Jhaveri is convincing as a graceful middle-aged woman. Shriya does well as the rich lass but appears a tad old for the role, as Kaushik looks like a teen just out of school. Amala Akkineni is extremely believable as the mother and seeing her more in the film would have been grand. Music by Mickey Meyer is quite good but one cannot help feeling déjà vu, as the feel is quite reminiscent of Happy Days.
Life is Beautiful has the signature Sekhar Kammula touch with an emphasis on human relationships. And yes there are moments that tug at your heart strings and yes the scipt is high on nostalgia.
However one can't but constantly sense the similarity with Shekhar's earlier film Happy Days. The sub-plots and the music clearly remind one of his earlier outing.
Also Life is Beautiful, with a running time of 2 hours 45 minutes is too long. Overall, it's decent but not a classic. One can watch it for the sentiment and the middle class values it portrays.