Movie Review: Tej I Love You

RATING: 2.5/5

OVERVIEW: Tej (Sai Dharam Tej), technically a parentless child, is part of a joint family. As a pre-teen boy, he murders a rapist in order to save a woman. He ends in jail for the next seven years. After serving the jail term, he is banished by the head (Jayaprakash as the hero’s uncle) of the family for helping his sister elope with her lover. We next see Tej as a consummate dancer, who falls in love with the most beautiful girl out there (Anupama Parameswaran as Nandini).

Nandini starts seeing him as a friend but love blossoms a little later. A tragedy strikes the heroine, who now forgets the last 3 months and 12 days in her life. She opens her eyes and calls Tej a doctor (hell, he is a dancer). Tej is heartbroken but his mind is sharp. He discovers that Nandini is there in Hyderabad for a purpose.It’s now up to our hero to befriend Nandini all over again, find out her past, save her from any danger that she might be in, and be loved back.

REVIEW: Sai Dharam Tej has tried to play a soft romantic boy next door kind of role and has partially succeeded in it. There are only a few moments where a sincere actor turns up, otherwise, Sai Dharam Tej overdoes the typical Karunakaran style hero parts. The imitation of stars from family doesn’t help the cause for Sai Dharam Tej. The emotional acting at times evokes unintentional laughter. Another major issue is the physicality. Sai Dharam Tej appears overweight and out of shape for most parts. It causes hindrance in the dances and action sequences as they don’t look that appealing on screen.

Karunakaran’s ideas and direction still remains to be stuck in the nineties. Many scenes in Tej are either rewritten or inspired from his previous films. There is a sort of desperation in his approach to make this work, which added to the pressure and affected the overall product. Characters, situations and conflicts all make it pretty clear that Karunakaran hasn’t updated much.

A good soundtrack is a must for a love story and Gopi Sunder fails to score one. Andamaina Chandamama song is the only catchy one in the film. Background score also is uninspiring. There is so much stuff to edit out from the final cut. Cinematography is good with vibrant visuals. Production values are just okay.

Final verdict of the film is ‘Tej I Love You’ is the same old love story which Karunakaran has made many a time in the past. There is nothing new which this film showcases. Bad songs, lack of interesting romance and forced elements sidetrack the film.