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Aalayam Review

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Director Mutyala Subbaiah chose an age-old theme for his latest film Aalayam and has tried to promote combined family norm, when the entire world is opting for nuclear family system. These are the days where in a regular family of wife, husband and a couple of children, who do not listen to each other's words and fight for supremacy. In this backdrop, five to six families staying together is almost impossible. Making attempts to prove that it is possible is like blowing conch before a deaf person.

Rajayya (KB Tilak), has three sons and two daughters. His sons (Ranganath, Chalapati Rao and Naresh) stay in the US. However, Rajayya calls his sons to return to India to develop their own village, as all of them earned sufficient money for their family. Being very loyal to Rajayya, his sons accept his words and settle in the village and establish a sugar factory, a spinning mill, a super speciality hospital and jointly look after all the properties by staying together. Even their wives (Geetanjali, Sita and Ragini) are very cooperative and never fight with each other on any occasion. All their children play together. Once, Rajayya's granddaughter falls in love with one of their employees called Sai (Raghu). Irked over this, all the brother thrash Sai. The same day, the girl elopes with Sai. Though Rajayya's sons realise their mistake, they can not trace where Sai and his family are staying. Rajayya successfully completes 100 years and the entire family plans a grand celebration. At this juncture, Rajayya expresses his wish to one of his great grandsons (Sivaji) that he wants see his granddaughter, who eloped with her lover. He reveals that he got a clue that his great granddaughter (Honeyrose) is working as an anchor in a private channel. So, the grandson assures him that he would unite the family and goes to her aunt and reveals his identity and convinces them to attend the birthday function. So, Sai, his wife and his daughter visit the family and everyone in the family feel very happy. Sai also pretend that he has forgot everything and joins the family. When his daughter blames her father for ignoring the humiliation, he reveals his intention that he agreed to stay there only to separate all the families. One of Rajayya's neighbours (Jayaprakash Reddy) also encourages Sai, and the latter makes several attempts to separate the families but fails every time. Once, Rajayya gives a signed blank stamp paper to Sai and tells him that he can take any property of his choice. This makes Sai's work easy, who acquires the house and sends a notice to Rajayya to vacate the house. The entire family has no other house to go but to leave the house. They take shelter in the orphanage developed by Rajayya himself. Later, Sai sells the house to his neighbour and his sons plan to demolish the house to build a factory. But they come to know that Sai can acquire the property but can't sell or demolish it. Unable to bear his acts, Sai's wife takes poison in a bid to end her life and at the same time gives poison to her husband. However, both of them survive in the hospital and find the entire family by their side anxiously waiting for them to open their eyes. The incident opens the eyes of Sai that the family is so good that it looks for the welfare of those who attempt to do harm to them. Again the entire family returns to their happy home which is like a temple (Aalayam) for everyone in the family.

PLUS: The director's attempt to promote combined family norm is the only plus point in the film. Though no one is ready to accept because such things are possible only in villages and not in the concrete jungles, where people struggle for survival. As far as performance, every character has its own importance and each of them have done justice to their roles. Even as Sivaji and Honeyrose have claimed to be the hero and heroine, there is nothing much to talk about them as they have no major role to play in the film but for shaking legs in a couple of songs. It is Raghu, who plays a role with negative touch, who has some scope for performance. But, he has failed to convince the audiences with his performance.

MINUS: All through the film the director tried to explain how a combined family stay together and the happenings in a family with a boring screenplay. The audiences feel bored to watch the same scenes which occur in their families and regular life. Entertainment and comedy are almost nil, though there are senior artistes like Brahmanandam, Jayaprakash Reddy, Mallikarjuna Rao, Gautamraju and others are present in the film. The director has failed to utilise the huge star cast to bring out a good entertainer. Though KB Tilak has given the role of the grand old man of the house, he could not please the audience with his performance. The senior director might have learnt a lesson that it is not so easy to act. Music is very old fashioned and is not at all appealing.

REMARKS: The audiences, who go to the theatre for entertainment, face embarrassment as they once again have to watch the regular family episodes on the lines of a TV serial on a big screen. The film proved that time has come for the senior directors to relax and guide the juniors on film-making instead of bringing out old-fashioned films, which do not suit the taste of the current generation audiences. In the absence of any mass masala elements and interesting love, romantic scenes that could attract the youth, the chances of the film becoming a hit is almost nil.

Cast: Sivaji, Honeyrose, KB Tilak, Raghu, Ranganath, Naresh, Chalapati Rao, Jayaprakash Reddy, Mallikarjuna Rao, Brahmanandam, Babu Mohan, LB Sriram, Uttej, Tirupati Prakash, Sivaji Raja, Gauthamraju, Sita, Annapurna, Gitanjali, Kovai Sarala, Pavitra, Rajitha, Hema and others.

Credits: Story – Bhupati Raja, Dialogues – Nivas and Mohan, Lyrics – Vanamali and Ananta Sriram, Music – Koti, Camera – N Sudhakar Reddy, Editing – V Nagireddy, Art – B Venkateswara Rao, Presents – Smt Indumati, Producer – R Anoop Chakravarthy, Screenplay and Direction – Mutyala Subbaiah.

Banner: Trendset Films

Released on: August 2, 2008

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