Title: Pitta Kathalu
Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Abhay Bethiganti, Saanve Megghana, Lakshmi Manchu, Amala Paul, Jagapathi Babu, Sanjith Hegde, Shruti Haasan, Satyadev, Eesha Rebba, Ashima Narwal, Srinivas Avasarala
Directors: Tharun Bhascker, Nandini Reddy, Nag Ashwin, Sankalp Reddy
Streaming on: Netflix
Story: This anthology consists of 4 different stories which do not share any common theme. Tharun Bhascker’s Ramula deals with a quirky love story (between Abhay Bethiganti and Saanve Megghana) and the turns it took after the entry of a politician (Lakshmi Manchu) into it. Nandini Reddy’s Meera deals with the disturbed relationship between a mysterious wife and an insecure husband played by Amala Paul and Jagapathi Babu respectively. Nag Ashwin’s xLife is the story of a fantasized world where people are ‘love-less’ and live in a virtual reality. Sankalp Reddy’s Pinky deals with the complex relationship dynamics between a man and his ex-wife who are again attracted to each other after their divorce.
Performances: Among the several talented performers in this anthology, the ones who stand out are Jagapathi Babu, Amala Paul, Abhay Bethiganti and Saanve Megghana. All four of them have delivered memorable performances. While Abhay and Saanve appear in quirky roles, Jagapathi Babu and Amala Paul impress in bold roles. The others too like Satyadev, Eesha Rebba and Lakshmi Manchu have done well. Shruti Haasan and Sanjith Hegde appear in poorly written roles and their performances felt artificial.
Technicalities: Camerawork and music score are good across all four stories. The color tone in Nag Ashwin and Tharun’s portions deserve a mention. All stories have a slight slow pace but that cannot be considered as an issue in a 35 minute short story.
Analysis: None of the four stories share any common theme and all are respective unique ideas of the respective directors. The only common point lies between the stories Meera and Pinky, both of which deal with post-marital complexities. Tharun Bhascker’s Ramula is undoubtedly the pick of the lot. The treatment is offered in his typical style. The performances and funny moments made it engaging and worth remembering. Nandini Reddy’s Meera is bold and shows Jagapathi Babu in a new dimension. Though this part feels lost for a long while, the performances and the ending saved it and comfortably made it the second best among the four stories. Nag Ashwin’s xLife has an interesting idea but the weak execution, artificial performances and an outdated twist ruined it and made it the weakest of the four stories. Sankalp Reddy’s Pinky sticks to it’s four main characters and the conversations and relationships between them. It’s not boring but it does not carry any surprise element or awe factor either. It is plain and the performances made it watchable. While the stories Ramula and Meera are fairly engaging, the other two xLife and Pinky require a bit of patience and expectations in check.
On a whole: Pitta Kathalu has a couple of decent stories and a couple of ordinary ones and ends up as a partially satisfying attempt.