Friday, April 6, 2012

Oh My FRIEND (Telugu, 2011)

Poor Siddhu. He can never get it right. No matter what movie he´s in, HIS HAIR IS ALWAYS WRONG. This time it´s in his face. When I started watching Oh My Friend and they showed Sid for the first time, I burst out laughing. Sadly, I was drinking a glass of orange juice. My poor notebook, all the things it´s been through by now, it should start its own blog...

Anyways, like every other good Tollywood movie, OMF starts with a flashback. Little Chandu and Little Siri go through the initial I-Don´t-Like-You-And-Will-Steal-Your-Dolls-phase like all of us but it all gets sorted out after wining a contest together and becoming Best Friends Forever And Ever.

Some ten years later and we find Siri and Chandu still being friends and Chandu sporting some very good goatee-free hairstyles. (Apparently becoming involved in the music business does bad things to your common sense concerning facial hair). Despite their progressed age of some 20-22 years, Siri-Chandu still behave like kids, spending every minute of their available free time with each other. Because their relationship is of the very affectionate and touchy-feely type of occasional physical abuse, people around them are tending to think that Siri-Chandu are more than just friends. (Considering the amount of chemistry Siddhu and Shruti share, I must say, I´m not surprised). But to everyones surprise, Siri already has a boyfriend who although currently MIA, is still very much in contact with her through the helpful tools of internet and mobile phone.

Together and very, very cute.
Chandu too couldn´t care less about the charms of his pretty friend and early in the movie he meets Reetu, a shockingly NOT obnoxious Hansika Motwani. He falls in love immediately and after some help by his BFF, he finds Reetu working as the most clueless salesgirl in the entire history at a local book store. Not minding her apparent ignorance concerning the world´s most important invention, he pursues her like every other good and proper Tollywood hero through plain stalking, until she finally falls in love with him and they begin a relationship where he teaches her about the important task of decision making.

Spending his entire time now with Reetu, Siri understandably feels neglected and decides to go to Chennai for some dance internship. Chandu rushes to stop her and they finally come to terms about the priorities in their lifes. That means, although having different partners, their friendship should always come first. Hm. I wonder how that´s supposed to work out. Of course, such peace and harmony that early in a movie cannot last long and still at the same spot, Siri´s boyfriend, who is none other than a really good-looking Navdeep, shows up and ruines... everything?

The entire conflict of the movie is whether Hansika finally decides to eat Siddhu who has a great resemblance to candy. E.g. sweet and addictive.
OMF really showed me how much I am influenced by having watched hundreds of romantic comedies in my life. Especially the ones that are about a couple who starts out as friends. You just KNOW that they will come together at the end. And when I put OMF in my DVD player, blissfully unaware about the film´s plot and ending, I expected a pretty predictable movie where not the plot matters but the performances and the chemistry between the main characters. But, and HERE COMES THE SPOILER: although the chemistry is very much there, you should NOT expect the two leads to come together. Through the whole time I was watching, I was waiting for Siri and Chandu to develop feelings for eachother. With only ten minutes left, I was literally talking with the movie telling it that it should better hurry up now or I will have to deal with a VERY rushed ending. (Which I really don´t like).

I must admit, at first I felt a little cheated, after all I invested a lot in my (now I know) imagined relationship between Siri and Chandu, rooting for them and treating Hansika and Navdeep as a plot device of keeping them apart and not as the actual love interests. But then I thought about it and realised that nowhere in the film is it alluded to a possible romance between them. It´s just me with my imagination ful of rom-coms à la Hollywood where the two leads ALWAYS come together at the end. (Katherine Heigl or Jennifer Aniston anyone?)

Nevertheless I had a very good time. All of the four protagonists deliver pretty well, with Sid and Shruti shining through. I must admit I fell in love with Shruti Hassan, who is not only very pretty in a rather unconventional way but who did an awesome job portraying the independent and willful Siri. The only thing that bothered me was that when Siri is about to go to Chennai for that dance thing, something she has been waiting for for three years, she immediately gives it up when Navdeep arrives. I understand that in terms of narration it wouldn´t make a lot of sense to let Siri go away for such a long time but it seemed out of character to me.

She was just SO COOL.
Siddharth does his usual thing, his chemistry with Shruti made me wonder if there is really something about the rumors. His character is designed as an aspiring musician but I never got the "musical artist" vibe from Chandu especially since his musical ambitions seemed to come and go. For example to serve as a convenient excuse to let Sid have a Rock On! inspired stage song complete with band and cheering audience and the most stupid lyrics EVER. I was a little disappointed that the conflict with his disapproving father got solved so easily, I was expecting that the constant belittling of his success would have Chandu explode one day and lead into a heated argument but it didn´t seem to have any lasting effect on him whatsoever. That was a wasted storyline.

Hansika and Navdeep are okay with what little they are given. This was my third adventure with Navdeep as secondary hero and I must say he gets better and better. I was horribly anxious when Hansika got introduced by a shot of her cleavage, that she would be as unbearable as in the one where Bunny is just Superhot and Supersexy but she was actually okay and didn´t annoy me as half as I feared. Seemingly gaining a little weight and dying your hair does have an effect on acting abilities.

I can´t remember but two of the songs which is a clear sign that I didn´t like them much considering I saw the movie only a week ago. But the two which are good are VERY VERY good. I liked that the movie based them in Hyderabad rather than setting them in an imagined dream world because it gave the movie a very grounded and realistic touch. It gave me the feeling of watching the "real" Hyderabad, showing not only the well known land marks but simple streets and shops and people.

In the beginning the movie asks the question whether a boy and a girl can be friends forever. I, in my western approach, would say of course, I have a lot of male friends whom I never shared romantic feelings with. But I don´t have any idea of how the society in India handles those things. If I would believe the movie than yes, boy and girl cannot be friends if they are above a certain age. Everyone around Siri and Chandu seems to have a problem with their relationship, be it parents, lovers or strangers. Everyone thinks that they have to be in love. This made me wonder if this was a realistic portrayal of these things. I just cannot believe that girls and guys cannot be friends in India especially in a westernized and educated environment like modern-day Hyderabad. It would be nice to have a little clarity on that.

Out of Siddharth´s latest movies I would say that this is one of his better efforts, with a Shruti Hassan to adore, good supporting cast and a story that if not new, is at least fresh in its approach. There is plenty to look at and the songs are...okay so I would say that´s definitely a rewatch.


  1. The only time I liked Siddhart's hair was in Rang De Basanti, and I just fell for him and was so disappointed when I saw his looks in other films :).

  2. I can totally emphasize. RDB is ´til date Siddharth´s best look. I just don´t know what happened with him afterwards. *Makes wondering face* The only movie in which he also looks very good but more in a mature way is 180. If you want more of Yummy Sid you should check it out if you haven´t yet.

  3. I meant *empathize*, of course. :)

  4. Thanks for the recommending - he does look handsome on the posters!

  5. Oh, so you watched this one!! I think I can safely avoid it. :D

    I'm not a huge Siddharth fan but Shruti really is growing on me.

  6. @Mette: He does, doesn´t he? :) The story is not really the hit but at least something different than Sid´s usual loverboy roles.

    @Filmigirl: Yeah it´s not something really different.:) I´m really becomeing a fan of Shruti too! :D I haven´t read your "3" review yet because I didn´t want to spoiler myself but it sounds as if she is really a talented girl. Can´t wait for the DVD!


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