'Merise Merise', produced by Kothuri Entertainments, arrived at the cinemas (August 6). From the teaser and trailer of the movie, it was clear that the movie is a rom-com that is given to a host of relatable situations. Does the film have something watchable in store? Let's find out.
Siddhu (Dinesh Tej) has lost all zest in life after a business experiment fails. He migrates from Bengaluru to Hyderabad to while away time with his friends. As destiny would have it, he crosses paths with Vennela (Shweta Avasthi), who is ambitious and wants to carve a niche for herself in the fashion industry before she gets married to a doctor and moves to London. In the process of helping her realize her dream, Siddhu falls in love with Vennela. Obviously, this has some consequences. What are they? Will Siddhu and Vennela end up getting married? That's what the story is about.
'Hushaaru' fame Dinesh Tej eases into his character and is adequate in emoting well in the serious scenes. His comedy timing needs improvement, though. Shweta Avasthi looks beautiful but her acting chops are found to be wanting. She is reduced to one or two expressions, probably because the director was content with extracting superficial performances
Sanjay Swarup and GuruRaj are seen in dignified roles and they pull it off well. Sandhya Janak as the hero's mother is limited to a few scenes. Bindu as the heroine's friend shows some promise. The hero's friend is a sidekick to watch out for.
Karthik Kodakandla's songs are wasted by a screenplay that clearly has no clue how to make the emotions work. The lyrics are cool but they work as standalone lines. Nagesh Banell of 'Pelli Choopulu' fame takes care of the cinematography. But the locations are barely sprawling and one feels the pandemic may have constricted the location choices of the makers. The visuals just don't work and the film comes across as immensely dull.
Right at the outset, we see Siddhu talk about creating services for farmers. He fails to impress the venture capitalist and thank God for that. Had his business idea clicked, we would have ended up listening to 'Sreekaram'-level monologues on farming. Jokes aside, 'Merise Merise' is actually about how Siddhu loses the spark in life after this failure and decides to just relax and booze at the drop of a hat. Writer-director Pawan Kumar K lets the character put all his skills at the service of Vennela instead.
At 121 minutes, the film teaches us more about terms like 'Bring Your Own Booze parties' than anything else. Siddhu and Vennela have absolutely zilch chemistry. This robs the story of whatever little potency it has. The heroine, who seems to be conscious of her beautiful looks, seems to convey this emotion throughout: 'I have got awesome dimples that will melt away all the problems I am facing.'
The trajectory of the story is utterly predictable. Even a kid will tell you that when the heroine gets engaged to someone in our movies, the fiance turns out to be a cheap fellow. And she, for all practical purposes, will eventually fall in love with the bindaas cool dude male lead who supports her dreams come what may.
But the biggest problem with 'Merise Merise' is not its predictability and the endless stream of routine elements it throws up. It's that its characters crack silly jokes but feel that their repartees are rocking. When someone wonders if he is gay, Siddhu says that he is not one. As proof, he says that his name is the same as Pawan Kalyan's name in 'Kushi'.
It's weird how Siddhu starts developing feelings for Vennela and the director crams two songs after that as he starts running out of run-time. As the climax inches closer, one issue after another gets resolved in the dullest manner possible.
'Merise Merise' is not only massively predictable but is also packed with wafer-thin situations and jokes that don't land.