I heard (read) a lot of good things about Sekar Kammula’s latest flick “Happy Days”, but viewing the movie is a better experience than what all of them described. I watched the movie last weekend with my family and visiting Sunitha and her kids. Before watching the movie, I thought that the movie may appeal to young, college going students. But after watching the movie, I realized I was wrong. I enjoyed the movie as much as my kids (13 and 8 ) and my niece (7).
In retrospect, I could see many reasons for the success of the movie. And many ways in which the film stands out when compared to the contemporary Telugu movies.
- Cast: This movie is a good example that you can make a successful movie if you have a good script and good actors. There is no need for big names in the cast to pull the movie.
- Relevance: The movie touches all the relevant feelings around (watch out that word “around”) the student community in the society today. Right from freshers, ragging, ambitions, goals, parents, hard work, disabilities, poverty, helping juniors, job interviews, what not. Most of them are subtly woven into the story and all of them look very natural and believable.
- Script: None of the characters get a big entrance and the script takes its own time to introduce all the lead players. But the viewers are fully engaged in that process, because the script focuses on the salient characteristics of the individuals rather than situations and comedy alone. I got a similar feeling when I watched Chak De India.
- Positiveness: The movie is full of positive energy and positive characters. Even the mother of the disabled student explores the positives and tries to establish a win-win scenario rather than portraying her son as a person that requires lot of support. Closer to the end of the movie, even the rudest of the senior batch exposes his positive outlook. The romance between the characters also takes a simple and ethical route than displaying stupidity all the way.
- Simplicity: The movie is made up of simple things that work (like Unix operating system 🙂 ). Things like characters, locations, songs, costumes, scenes and so on. No expensive foreign locations, no grandeur sets, no heavy scenes etc. Simple.
Given all these right ingredients, there are lot of people who can relate their present, past or future with scenes in the movie, hence they feel like being part of the story. That is the critical factor behind the success of the movie.
BTW, I bought the audio album of the movie right after watching the movie. All the four kids at home can now sing to the tunes of these songs. Because they play these repeatedly in the car and on the computer.