Hari (Naga Shaurya) loves getting into fights just for the sake of it and his father (Naresh) is tired of dealing with the consequences. But what happens when Hari is thrown into a situation that even his aggressive self doesn’t want to deal with?
Right from the first scene of ‘Chalo’, featuring a frustrated Naresh in a jail cell, it is made clear that this film, despite based on a sombre subject, refuses to take itself too seriously. Hari (Naga Shaurya) is a typical college kid from Hyderabad, except he has the quirk of getting into fights. He loves beating people up and sometimes, gets beaten up. Pretty early on it’s established that if there’s a fight, Hari is going to get himself involved in it and escalate the situation.
When his parents, inspired by a Rajinikanth dialogue, send him to Tiruppuram, a village suffering from regional disputes between the Telugu and Tamil clans hoping he’ll wear himself out there, Hari meets the bubbly Karthika (Rashmika) and falls in love with the fact that she loves chaos just as much as he does. There’s Achyuth Kumar as Kesava, head of the Telugu clan and Mime Gopi as Veera Muththu, head of the Tamil clan. But when the disorder in Tiruppuram begins to affect their relationship, will Hari manage to change for the better or will be escalate the situation further like he always does?
Naga Shaurya is great in his role as Hari, the college student with way too much energy to spend on conflict. He is as addicted to fights as a druggie would be to his choice of poison. Rashmika is good enough in her role as Karthika, a geeky, bubbly girl who is split between her love for family and Hari. Despite the story of ‘Chalo’ being somewhat a cliché, director Venky somehow cleverly manages to turn the tropes into a fun and interesting ride (thanks to the opposing clans fighting each other complete with swords and knives and a fence running right through the village diving them). Kudos to that!
The story of ‘Chalo’ is downright inane, but the best part is it doesn’t even pretend to be otherwise, not even for a second. The twists and turns all come laced with a generous helping of humour and the final, big reveal is so awfully bad that you can’t help but wonder how they could even come up with such silliness. But that is not to say, the film is bad at all. On the contrary, it’s actually a mindlessly enjoyable ride.
The first-half establishes itself as a campus comedy and the second, veers more towards the conflict in the village. However, the shift isn’t jarring, even if the second-half makes one impatient about what the conflict between the clans is really about. The first half is breezy and fun, while the second half too holds back from getting too heavy anywhere. While Naga Shaurya and Rashmika pull off their roles well, the supporting cast featuring Satya, Vennela Kishore, Raghu Babu, Viva Harsha and Posani Krishna Murali are a gem to behold. They lift up the story when it begins to sag and fire off one-liners with ease; it’s hard not to love them.
The dialogues do their bit well to tickle your funny bones and the cinematography by Sai Sriram is pleasing, featuring lush locales and a beautiful campus. On the whole, ‘Chalo’ is the film you want to watch this weekend if you’re looking for a popcorn entertainer. If you’re looking for something that makes sense, give this one a miss.