The film, starring Prithvi Medavaram, Koushik Reddy, Kalapala Mounika, Sai Kamakshi, is directed by Rama Raju
A small-town girl Divya grows up without the love of her parents and lands in Hyderabad to prepare for her GRE. In the same apartment where she lives with her friends, Divya meets a handsome hunk Madhav, a media professional. Divya and Madhav are instantly attracted to each other and grow closer over a series of incidents. Their rapport blossoms into a romance soon until Madhav reveals a secret in his life that nearly derails their relationship. Another love story unfolds between a married watchman Satyam and a maid Saritha in their apartment too. What connects these two love stories?
Priyuraalu is a hard-hitting relationship drama that doesn't beat around the bush and is straightforward about what it wants to convey. What if one finds love after marriage? Is physical pleasure a must to sustain a relationship? The film debates the idea of extramarital relationships on a psychological level beyond vanilla terms like 'right' and 'wrong' and external factors that affect them. What starts as a raunchy tale about passion and desire progresses gradually into a gripping drama with a shocking climactic twist that turns the film on its head.
The film draws an interesting parallel between relationships across different generations and economic backgrounds in all its complexity. Divya resents her father's relationship with another woman that destroys her childhood but ends up falling for a married man when she is an adult. Madhav has a loving wife, a father who sticks by his physically challenged wife through her thick and thin. Madhav, though, cannot resist his attraction towards another woman after marriage. In a similar case, the watchman in Madhav's apartment openly admits to having an affair with a maid in the presence of his wife.
The director Rama Raju weaves in complex scenarios that keep you glued to the story. Those who've watched his earlier works, Mallela Theeramlo Sirimalle Puvvu and Oka Manasu, will truly be surprised and even mildly shocked by what he has to offer here. For those unaware, the above-mentioned films are intense romances that unfold in a near-pristine setting with submissive, honest characters. With Priyuraalu, the director liberates himself from the idea of idealistic love and deals with a story that's raw, racy and rooted in reality.
There's a drastic change in the way the director looks at love, he treats his characters and structures his screenplay. It shows that he has consciously worked to enhance the cinematic appeal of his well-rounded story. The relationships are way messier and complex. The characters are uninhibited in their expression. The dialogue is more casual, relatable and even has a massy touch in places. There may be occasional references to quotes by Chalam and also Lolita (the book and the film), but they aren't indulgent at least. The television media backdrop to Madhav's character doesn't tell anything beyond the obvious.
Good music is so integral to a romance coming alive on the screen, there's nothing that a good song can't do. Composer Sunil Kashyap, who delivered his career-best work with the same director (Oka Manasu), yet again comes up with a masterly album that contributes to the poetic ambience of the film. Even with the background score, he carries the soul of the film forward so organically. Cinematography P Mahi Reddy uses nature and natural light so efficiently within his limited backdrops. The cinematography and the music make for a delicious cocktail that lingers on your mind long after the viewing.
The new faces Prithvi, Mounika, Kaushik Reddy and Kamakshi Bhaskarla, are promising and lucky to have gotten such distinct, unusual parts in their very first film. Prithvi fits the bill perfectly as an urban youngster smitten by a neighbour while Mounika exudes elegance in her portions. Koushik Reddy and Kamakshi's raw on-screen chemistry is a delight to watch. Jogi Naidu, Sravya Duvvuri, Varsha Sagar and others make for a formidable supporting cast.
Priyuraalu is a raw relationship drama revolving around multiple couples across generations and different socio-economic backgrounds. The film presents a realistic take on extramarital relationships and explores the thin line between love and desire. Rama Raju's ability to portray desire sans vulgarity, Mahi Reddy's superb cinematography and Sunil Kashyap's terrific music are the cherries on the cake.