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Times of India
: Oohalu Gusagusalaade has just about the right proportion of romance and comedy to call it a film which has its heart at the right place.
: There are films which rehash every known cliche there is in a genre to strike a chord with the audience and then there are films which take you by surprise for the sheer ingenuity that's too hard to miss as the story unfolds. Srini Avasarala's directorial debut film Oohalu Gusagusalaade belongs to the latter category and he makes sure that the film doesn't lose its charm and innocence till the end.
Adapted from Edmond Rostand's French play, Cyrano De Bergerac, Oohalu Gusagusalaade stands as a testimony for the filmmaker's sensible approach towards romance, especially in the first half of the film, which is heart-warming to say the least. A section of the plot is set in Vizag, where Venky (Naga Shaurya) meets Prabhavati (Raashi Khanna), and soon, sparks fly between them. Srini captures the platonic relationship of the young couple with great elan and treats the two characters with so much love that you begin to empathise with them instantly. When the two meet few years later, it's easy to understand why Prabhavati yearns for him so much. There's love, pain and battle of egos in the process and it's peppered with so much situational humour that it'll leave you smiling in the end.
Apart from writing and directing, the first time director also shines as the overbearing boss, Uday who tries every trick in the book, with plenty of support from Venky to impress Prabhavati. Naga Shaurya and Raashi Khanna deliver commendable performances and some of the best scenes in the film revolve around their budding romance. Take that scene where they find themselves all alone in the elevator and neither of them is sure how to break the ice. It's constructed quite beautifully and both of them live their roles to convey the intimacy the two characters share, without even confessing their feelings towards each other. That most part of the story revolves around just these three characters and still holds our interest is indeed noteworthy. Posani Krishna Murali, Harish Koyalagundla, Rao Ramesh and Pragathi are good in their respective roles.
There are times where the film resembles the setting of a play and the pace of narration dips a bit occasionally, but such moments are few and far between. Kalyani Koduri's music and background score is beautiful and it captures the essence of Srini's sharp writing. At a run time of 143 minutes, Oohalu Gusagusalaade has just about the right proportion of romance and comedy to call it a film which has its heart at the right place. It's undoubtedly one of the better feel-good-romantic films in recent times.