Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule (The Words of Women Have Different Meanings) is a 2007 Telugu romantic comedy starring Venkatesh and Trisha.
I don’t know what makes me connect with a film. Sometimes it’s a single scene, a dialogue, a song or a look. But when I connect, that film gets stored in my long term memory and at a point in the future, something reminds me of it. Suddenly the scenes of the film come alive in my mind and I am left yearning to see the film again, much like one craves a favorite dessert at strange hours of the day.
The same thing happened recently with me and Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule. This was one of the first Telugu films I had seen. I remember enjoying it. In fact, I had seen the Tamil version around the same time and remember thinking that the Telugu version was better. But I hadn’t thought of the film for years. Lately, I started remembering the film often, especially the look of Trisha in business clothes, bossing over Venkatesh in the film. I knew I had to see it again. To my surprise, I didn’t remember many things about the film, so it was much like seeing it for the first time.
Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule is definitely one of the best Telugu films I have seen. It’s not just the on-screen chemistry between Trisha and Venkatesh, but the wholeness of the film in general. This film has a little bit of everything in the right doses. The film is really about family values, but the romantic angle is well developed and the comedy scenes couldn’t be better.
Did anyone not enjoy those scenes when the women go shopping for sarees? Fifteen or more women force into a single SUV to go to the saree store. People are getting crushed on the way, sitting on each other’s laps, children passed around like popcorn at the theater. When Ganesh is asked to wait in the room in the store, he finds a roomful of men, all waiting for their wives. One is feeding his daughter, another reading a paper and yet another brushing his teeth and smirking. One man says he’s been waiting for two days.
The Telugu films of today could learn a thing or two about screenplay from this movie. I love the way the scenes carrying different emotions are woven together in this film. For example, after getting a good dose of comedy at the beginning of the saree store scene, we have a romantic moment where Ganesh talks about Keerthi wearing a green saree and she comes wearing one. While showing her saree to her aunts, she then looks at Ganesh for a moment, asking for his approval with her eyes. Nowadays, in most Telugu films, it feels like each scene was written separately by different people and then pasted together. There is a scene with just comedy, followed by a scene with just romance, followed by a scene with just fighting. It looks and feels unnatural. But in Aadavari Matalaku, we see the story as it would have been in real life, human intentions mixed with life’s circumstances.
The music of the film is another winner. The songs fit in to each and every scene and emotion, giving us very separate tastes, yet still in unison with one another. All songs are equally good. Yemaindhi Ee Vela is a romantic song sung by Udit Narayan and picturizes the scene when Ganesh first sees Keerthi and how seeing her literally changes his fate. Naa Manasuki is another romantic track showing Ganesh on cloud nine as he works with Keerthi and feels that she is reciprocating his affection. I love the intro of that song because it has an obvious Middle Eastern, Arabic sound. And then there is O Baby, which is another great song, it’s a song of pain where Ganesh talks about the price he has paid for love and it also shows Keerthi’s remorse. The middle part of that song has Anatolian-Turkish beats. Allantha Doorala is about Ganesh still loving and longing for Keerthi despite everything and Keerthi’s recognition of that. Manasa Manichamma is the final song when Keerthi finally realizes and reveals her love for Ganesh, but gets rejected.
This film gets most things right. What Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule doesn’t get right is the contradiction in the lead characters. Ganesh will do anything to win over Keerthi whom he’s fallen head over heels for. And yet is rude to her in some scenes in the beginning of the film and in fact, threatens to burn her face with acid because she yelled at his father and wouldn’t apologize. Keerthi isn’t any better. The girl who ran away from marriage with her cousin so that she can work and make a career, and who loves her job dearly, leaves it all behind after marrying Ganesh. Or so the last scenes of the film imply. The filmmaker obviously wants women in their usual gender role of homemaker. It’s disappointing for viewers who loved the vivacious and accomplished Keerthi in the beginning of the film.
The film also has a slightly unconventional and strange ending. The first time I saw the film, I couldn’t understand how the whole family moves in with Keerthi and Ganesh in another city, leaving their home behind. I still haven’t understood that. And the film gives us a bitter dose of life at the very end showing Keerthi and Ganesh’s relationship like that of any other husband and wife. A wife up early in the morning cooking for the family and telling her husband that he can’t even afford a car. And the man going to work, and working over-time to meet the needs of his household. Moreover he has to be indebted to the family for letting him marry “their daughter” and serve them too. It’s not exactly the typical way to end a love story.
I think the film Namo Venketesa, also starring Venkatesh and Trisha, wanted to copy the success of Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule. In that film again there are family sentiments and Venkatesh winning over everyone’s heart, but that story is poorly done and the romance is underdeveloped. The plus side of Aadavari Matalaku Ardhalu Verule is the first half which developed the romantic angle in preparation of the family sentiment angle in the second half. So when the girl suddenly has a change of heart, we have enough reasons to believe her.
I highly recommend this film, a light-hearted, realistic and also funny romantic story. The film is no doubt, one of the best performances of both Venkatesh and Trisha. It’s a must watch.