Shaurya (Naga Shaurya) and Divya (Malavika Nair) decide to get temporarily married so that they can pursue their dreams without disturbance. But that leads to complications.
It is important to stress here that Kalyana Vaibhogame has an interesting premise - mirroring the constant pressures that two different generations face and the resultant conflicts that could eventually disrupt normal lives. All this, is done with the help of a girl and a boy, and their not very perfect families.
For director Nandini Reddy, the battle is half won because she has the perfect cast. Shaurya (Naga Shaurya) is averse to marriage because he just isn't ready yet. Divya (Malavika Nair) doesn't want to get married because she feels that she will just have to lead a life of compromise just like her mother (Raasi in an extremely underplayed and amazing comeback), who was athletic as a youngster but just settled for being of service to her husband after marriage. Her father (Anand) is a politician and thinks marriage is a girl's duty. Shaurya has a brother who suffers from Down 's Syndrome and his mother (Aishwarya) is obsessing over him as well as her grandmother, whose only wish is to see her grandson married; also she cooks (a lot) when she goes through an emotional upheaval. His father (Raj Madiraju) is a retired guy who looks at retirement as his route to freedom and the means for experiencing everything he couldn't because he lost his childhood due to an early job.
And the best thing is all of them nail it, in terms of performances, and bring to life every character. But that's where the problem lies. Because with so many interesting characters around, the story still falls flat and doesn't have anything new to tell, turning them into caricatures.
The film begins on a rather interesting note with the would-be-bride and would-be-groom telling each other in their pelli choopulu that they aren't interested in marriage. But when they are forced to meet some rather weird prospective spouses, the happen to meet each other and device a "temporary marriage" plan. And that concept is where we are reminded of Happy. They live in the same house to keep families happy, and they become good friends. But eventually, love is obviously destined.
And from hereon, the film takes a route downwards. With a very slow narrative, the film touches on jealousy, possessiveness, trust, excitement, disappointment and eventual shock. And despite so many emotions, for some reason, it just feels too stretched.
You might hope that this film would probably explain to parents what the kids want and vice versa. But that doesn't happen, and we are just taken into the typical Telugu movie mode where love takes over every other emotion.
The film doesn't even give you something new to take home and you are left with the predictable scenes like the families finding out about the truth, the duo eventually falling for each other and in the end, they apparently will live happily ever after.
Kalyana Vaibhogame is a feel good film with some beautiful musical renditions and commendable camera work. But that's not enough because it doesn't give you anything new and constantly leaves you in the feeling of deja vu of several love stories you've seen over the years. If Nandini Reddy's Ala Modalaindi was the pinnacle, this one is just halfway up.