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“Aa Okkati Adakku”: A Comedy That Misses the Mark

Imagine plucking random comedic sequences out of a film and finding them amusing in isolation. Now picture these moments within Allari Naresh’s latest flick, ‘Aa Okkati Adakku’, and anticipating a satirical masterpiece that probes societal norms with hilarity and sharpness. Naresh, famed for his comedic chops, lands meta lines with ease while comedians Viva Harsha and Vennela Kishore seem poised to deliver a laugh riot. At the heart of the film supposedly lies a message with the gravitas of social commentary, but don’t be misled; what unfolds is a tiresome comedy crammed with lackluster writing that is anything but self-aware.

There’s a scene that epitomizes the film’s chaotic spirit and humor that’s gone stale: the beach scenario is crafted to force the hero into an encounter with the heroine. As the protagonist, along with his comic sidekick Kishore, bask in a photoshoot on a rocky shore, a scheme unfolds. The heroine, in a contrived attempt to demonstrate the predictability of men, dupes the comic figure into getting himself into a drowning situation. She boldly declares she’ll embrace and peck the rescuer — a challenge that unsurprisingly propels every man except our hero into action. The cringe that this scene induces sets the precedent for the entire experience.

From opening to closing credits, the film’s writing never elevates beyond the mundane. What amplifies the disappointment is the film’s pretense of wrapping this comedic package around a seemingly important cause: the exploitation of young Indian men by matrimonial websites. Yet, it barely scratches the surface of social norms pervasive in Indian matrimonial pursuits. Topics such as the societal pressures that unmarried individuals encounter are, at most, superficially grazed. The main character, Ganapathy, alias Gana, played by Naresh, is a registrar of marriages who himself is cajoled to marry after being turned down by numerous prospects. Turning to a platform called Happy Matrimony, Gana’s mission to find a wife becomes the vehicle for a series of jokes and a cringeworthy musical celebration of his ability to now reject women—a painfully misjudged attempt at humor.

Despite his parade of rejections, Gana finds himself offended when the one woman he favors among his matrimonial options, Siddhi (played by Faria Abdullah), regards him as merely that—an option. This brazen perspective kicks off a relentless campaign for her affection, only to pivot into a second act that minimizes the forced comedy in favor of spotlighting a scam within the Happy Matrimony company.

The film throws in a few more desperate subplots, including a hit-and-run by Gana and a disappearing groom, but these narrative additions come off as gimmicky afterthoughts to an already troubled script. ‘Aa Okkati Adakku’ feels disjointed with an ever-degenerating screenplay that tests the patience of its viewers.

Success, if any could be attributed to this film, would lie in its ability to convince the audience of the sincerest hope never to encounter its one-dimensional characters — whether on matrimonial sites or elsewhere in life. As it stands, ‘Aa Okkati Adakku’ is a misfire in the genre of Telugu comedy, offering little in the way of intelligent satire or genuine laughs. It stands as a testament to cinematic comedy gone wrong, currently playing out its run in theatres across India, leaving audiences questioning the essence of what it aimed to critique or entertain.