: Raja Ram, an athlete, falls in love with a Muslim girl Nazira, who studies in the same college; however, their budding love story takes a dramatic twist, following a tragedy in their respective lives.
: Malli Malli Idhi Rani Roju is a throwback to a time when love was pure and innocent, when people still believed in the timelessness of love, and endured the insatiable pain that follows the separation between two souls. And in doing so, filmmaker Kranthi Madhav manages to paint the canvas with great delicacy, at least for the most part, and lets the film's lead actors, Sharwanand and Nithya Menen, sweep you off your feet through their onscreen chemistry. It's a delight to see both the actors fill each frame with poignancy and earnestness, that's so rare to find these days. Despite all this, the film leaves you in a quandary, where you can't help but wonder if it buckles under its own ambition to be profound.
Quite rarely do we come across a film where magic is in the air, right from the moment the two lead characters meet and this is precisely where Malli Malli Idhi Rani Roju is leagues ahead of so many other romantic films in recent times. Nithya Menen proves yet again why she's one of the finest actors in the industry, and thanks to her performance in this film, she has set a new benchmark for herself. There's something enchanting about her eyes that takes your breath away and for all you know, even if the camera was focused on just her eyes, she would still have managed to impress you. And Sharwanand is equally terrific in his role as a youngster, who believes that his lover is as beautiful as his mother. The actor has mastered the art of evoking sympathy from the audience, and along with Nithya, he holds the film together till the end. Every time these two actors come together on screen, you know that sparks will fly and Kranthi Madhav doesn't let us down.
There's a scene in the film where Nazira (Nithya) tells her daughter Mehak (Tejaswi) about the frivolousness of love in contemporary times compared to the sacred feeling it once evoked. "Sex is the ultimate expression of love," Nazira says, while driving home the point that relationships shouldn't be treated casually. Elsewhere, Raja Ram suggests something very similar to a girl, who isn't sure if she is in love with her boyfriend. Incidentally, at this point, Nazira and Raja Ram haven't met each other for several years and yet, their thoughts are on the same plane. Throughout the film, we are given hints that Nazira and Raja Ram are made for each other and it's only a matter of time before we find answer to whether they'll meet or not.
The film unfolds in its own pace, which begins to test your patience, and, particularly in the second half, the dialogues about love almost sound like riddles. That's not to say that Sai Madhav Burra, the dialogue writer, has missed the mark. In fact, the film is strewed with plenty of good and thought provoking lines; however, after a point, it's too much to take them scene after scene. Perhaps, the film's only undoing, so to speak, is its lack of conflict. While Nazira is driven by an oath which she takes to honour her father's wish, Raja Ram has nothing to look forward to, except to be lost in his memories and wait to find out what his destiny has in store for him. It's a race against time and a belief that few things will remain intact is what drives the lead characters forward. As inconsequential as it may sound, this aspect doesn't quite let the film, in the second half, to break free from its need to sound profound at every stage.
Apart from the performances, the film also owes a lot to music director Gopi Sunder's work in the film and the song, Varinche Prema takes the icing on the cake. VS Gnanasekhar's cinematography is pleasant on the eyes and director Kranthi Madhav shows great promise. That a filmmaker can evoke at least a bit of awe while dealing with romance, amidst scores of sex-crazed rom-coms, is no mean feat. Between its simplistic approach to romance and lack of a strong conflict, there's a layer of magic in Malli Malli Idhi Rani Roju. That's more than enough to make you crave for more, especially for Nithya and Sharwanand's crackling chemistry.