Rajendra Prasad delivers yet another heartwarming performance which nearly saves Kranthi Madhav’s Onamalu from being too preachy.
Kranthi Madhav’s Onamalu is about one man’s journey to connect with his roots and why we should not leave our past behind as time goes by. It’s a thought provoking film by all means and an honest attempt to tell a story which we can relate to; however, in the course of this journey, one can’t help but feel that the storytelling and the characters are still stuck in a time warp.
Narayana Rao (Rajendra Prasad) is a school teacher in his village and he takes on the onus of being the guiding force in the lives of his students. He believes in harmony which is the prime motto of almost every one in the village. It’s a picture perfect depiction of how our lives were a couple of decades ago when urbanisation had not set in. Few years later, Narayana Rao goes to the US to live with his son, but he can’t stop thinking about his glorious days and wants to get back to connect to his roots before he dies. When he comes back, he’s shocked to see how much things have changed. Every memory which he had cherished all his life is gone with the wind. How he handles this change forms the rest of the story.
Prasad delivers yet another heartwarming performance as a school teacher who believes in harmony. He fits the bill so well that he’s the single biggest reason why the message which Madhav has tried to convey through Onamalu is worth pondering upon.
There’s absolutely no tinge of negativity in the first half of the film, which isn’t a bad thing but it’s too sweet to digest. It’s only when Narayana Rao returns to his village to see how things have changed that the real crux of the film is revealed.
Dialogues written by Khadeer Babu are good especially those related to how people have forgotten about their roots. The film questions the moral choices of the current generation and throws light on why there’s a disconnect in relationships and emotions which were the very foundation of our society few decades ago.
The film gets too preachy at times and its slow pace, especially in first half, tests our patience. Keeping all this aside, the film, despite all its flaws, has an important message to youngsters today.It does feel like a moral science lesson. Perhaps, we need someone to remind us again and again about what we are missing.