'Oke Oka Jeevitham' will hit the cinemas this Friday (Sept 9) in Telugu and Tamil. The film is produced by Dream Warrior Pictures.
In 2019, Aadhi alias Kutlu (Sharwanand) and his two friends Chaitanya (Priyadarshi) and Seenu (Vennela Kishore) have their own set of problems. Aadhi is a struggling singer who can't get over his stage fear. Chaitanya is not satisfied with any of the matches his mother has been looking for him. Seenu, a house agent, is suffering from an inferiority complex.
When the trio bumps into a scientist named Paul (Nasser), they have the golden opportunity of revisiting their past by going back to 1998 in a time machine. The time-travel, in its wake, throws up a new set of problems after the three friends meet their younger versions in 1998. Aadhi's mission is to prevent his mother's (Amala Akkineni) death in an accident. The other two guys have their own set of aims. Can the trio change their destiny?
Sharwanand's performance is a mix of his likeability that was on display in 'Shatamanam Bhavathi' and maturity that was seen in 'Malli Malli Idhi Raani Roju'. After a series of flops, the actor's acting is right on the money in this film. He cements his position further as a bankable actor.
Amala Akkineni enlivens some of the most personal moments of the film by approaching her character with nuance. Her return to the Telugu big screen after 10 years is elegant; her performance as the male lead's mother is soulful. Nassar looks typical at the start but goes on to deliver a solid act. Ritu Varma is fine as Aadhi's girlfriend.
Priyadarshi and Vennela Kishore don't get run-of-the-mill roles. Their screen time is on par with that of Sharwa. They don't nail it but they are watchable. Ali and Madhunandan are seen as a cabbie and an auto driver, respectively.
Jay Adithya as the younger Aadhi is lovable. Nithyaraj as younger Seenu and Hitesh as younger Chaitu are apt.
Sid Sriram's song on the mother is one of the last songs penned by the Late Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry. 'Okate Kadhaa', written by Krishna Kanth, is appealing. 'Maaripoye', sung by Karthi, is well-placed in the larger scheme of things.
Cinematographer Sujith Sarang delivers solid output and considering he cranked the camera for a movie like 'Dear Comrade' (which had beautiful frames), the expectations were high from him. Jakes Bejoy's background score complements the story's emotional beats. Sreejith Sarang's editing is skillful, although the run-time being longish is not on him.
Art Director N Satheesh Kumar's work is effective, although it is not novel.
Before the film's theatrical release, director Shree Karthick described the movie as an emotional story that is also racy and a fun sci-fi drama to watch. The proceedings live up to the description.
The film uses its songs to enrich the narration and its quality. Since Sharwanand's Aadhi is a singer, the story had to assume a musical quality. Wedding musical drama and the sci-fi genre must have been a tough writing task.
The second half is somewhat slow and, at one point, the pacing issues do test your patience. But the final stretch makes up for the lag. The last 10 minutes define the film's maturity. The climax, without being loud about it, deals with questions like this: Can destiny be altered?
The 'You live only once' philosophy of the film is delivered without preachiness. A complaint is that the staging of the first act should have been far more effective and smart. We don't feel much for Chaitanya and Seenu despite the fact that they are on par with Aadhi.
Writer-director Tharun Bhascker's dialogues are not exactly memorable. They seem to have been translated from the film's Tamil script.
Every time the film seems to suffer from somewhat underwhelming writing, the mother-son sentiment redeems it.
'Oke Oka Jeevitham' marries emotional drama with the sci-fi genre.