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Mallesham is a biopic of a weaver who had struggled a lot to come up with his own innovation which is now celebrated by the weaving industry and Mallesham has also earned a Padma Shri award for his impeccable work
CRITIC

3.5

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Storyline

Chintakindi Mallesham (Priyadarshi) is from a poor weaver's family. Notwithstanding being resourceful from a growing age, Mallesham had to quit school right after the seventh grade to help his dad out with his job. As he grows up he observes his mother and a lot of different women in his village undergo shoulder pains, their bodies exhausting out by doing the traditional and outdated method of weaving. Since then, it had become his prime goal to solve that problem. 

In the Pochampally method of weaving, the women help the men by meticulously winding a silk thread, which whirls around one bolt on one side and 40 on the other sides. This is a process that is fundamental for any pattern. Without this support, the weaver lags down exceedingly. Mallesham persists a strenuous challenge for several years, as he is mocked at by a lot of people, who discourage him from attempting his goal to design the ASU machine which will make the weaving method mechanical and save the women the misery of shoulder pains and body exhaustion. This innovation made him earn the Padmashri Award, yet he also became an inspiration for many weavers.

Critic Review

1 year ago | TIMES OF INDIA

4

Mallesham Story: A sixth-standard school drop-out faces many ups and downs in life when he decides to design a weaving machine to ease the plight of his mother and many like her in his village, who take up Asu work. Mallesham Review: Mallesham is the biopic of Padma Shri awardee Chintakindi Mallesham, but it doesn’t just show how he succeeded at completing the famous Asu machine, it also showcases the journey of many a Pochampally handloom weaver of Telangana who are deprived due to lack of livelihood from the art. Despite the numerous hardships the protagonist and villagers face, the film never lets the audience lose hope and instead keeps their confidence by finding solutions and searching for light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not an easy task to recreate a person’s life or tell the story in a novel manner – especially when the story of someone like Mallesham is known to all, thanks to the TEDx talk he delivered. It’s even more difficult to do so without taking cinematic liberties or caving to the usual tropes. But Mallesham manages to pull off just that, adhering to the story in hand and staying away from glorification or emotional gratification. The film delivers what it promises – the story of a common man who dared to find a practical solution to the issue at hand, a man anyone can relate to. Director Raj Rachakonda needs to be lauded for this. Kicking off in the ‘80s, the film unrolls the realities of handloom weavers of the era, slowly plunging into Mallesham’s childhood when he promises his mother Laxmi (Jhansi) a brighter future than the one they live in. The film progresses from cheerful and innocent childhood to teenage love, until a grown-up Mallesham (Priyadarshi) meets the love of his life Padma (Ananya). The film does a fabulous job of capturing the intricacies of village life in Telangana, everything from local festivals to movie talkies that many have lived by, proving to be a nostalgic trip. The fact that it’s all captured on sync helps it even more. While Mallesham experiences love, he never forgets the conditions his mother and several other weavers live in. Withstanding criticism even from his family, the story delves into how he finds genius ways of coming up with an Asu machine. The dialect might be a little hard to follow at times, but it helps in maintaining the authenticity. With Mallesham, Priyadarshi underlines the fact that he’s more than just a comedian; in fact, he’s a fine actor who needs to be taken seriously. Through the film, he maintains a beautiful balance between humour and emotion. Though a new-comer, Ananya justifies her role not just with how adorable she looks, but also the way she manages to pull off her role. Jhansi aces as the caring mother in a role she pulls off with élan. Balu Sandilyasa’s camerawork helps bring out the nostalgia factor and set the story, while Mark K Robin’s music is effective. Director Raj and Peddinti Ashok Kumar’s script is the true hero here, keeping the audience glued to their seats from the title credits to end. With the path set for films like these with C/o Kancharapalem last year, proving that Telugu industry is capable of delivering indie films that are raw and heart-warming, Mallesham is sure to be a milestone for this year. Everything mentioned above and more is what makes it worth watching.

Critic Review

1 year ago | 123TELUGU

3

Mallesham is a film which has created a good buzz within the industry from the past few days. The rural drama directed by Raj R has hit the screens today and let’s see how it turns out to be. Story: The story of the film is based on the life of Mallesham, a Padma Sri award winner who invented the Asu machine. Mallesham(Priyadarshi) and his parents belong to a rural village in Telangana. Mallesham’s mother(Jhansi) is a handloom weaver who works very hard. After staying for long hours on the handloom work, the doctors reveal that if she does any more of the weaving job, her hand can get paralyzed. Seeing this crazy situation, Mallesham decides to invent the a special machine for her mom. Rest of the story is as to what kind of difficulties does Mallesham face in inventing this machine and how he became an over night famous person in his region. Plus Points: The setup of the film is so natural that you get a feel that things are happening right in front of you. The aesthetics of the Telangana culture are quite real as there is no cinematic liberty that has been taken to depict the troublesome lives of hand loom weavers. It is a big leap for Priyadarshi in terms of acting with Mallesham. Many might think as to how would a man who is termed a comedian can pull off a biopic. But Priyadarshi proves everyone wrong and is a perfect fit as Mallesham. The manner in which the young actor showcases his helplessness and troubled times through his body language was very good. Debutante actress, Ananya is a superb find as he is top notch as Priyadarshi’s wife. She suits the role well and things become interesting once she enters the scene. One scene where she denies to give money and her jewelry to Darshi was nicely executed and Ananya’s performance was superb. Last but not the least, Jhansi surprises you with her emotional act. She looks natural as the lady who is going through health issues. The manner in which she spoke the Telangana dialect and acted with a lot of warmth looks real. Minus Points: The film takes way too much time to get into the actual point. Many scenes were wasted in showcasing Mallesham’s childhood which was not that necessary. The narration was a bit slow and a crispier screenplay would have made matters better. The pain which Mallesham goes through does not come across that much which is needed in the film. Some more hard-hitting episodes depicting Mallesham’s struggle would have made a lot of impact. The film is a serious village drama and all those who are looking at time pass stuff can stay away from this film. Technical Aspects: Production values of the film are top notch as the art direction department needs a special mention. The manner in which they created a very realistic village set up and showcased the hardships of the people is very good. Music is pretty good and so was the BGM. Camerawork needs a special mention as the film has a special tone which shows the proceedings in an endearing manner. Dialogues are completely in Telangana dialect and lyrics were also good. Coming to the director Raj R, he has done a decent job as he has showcased the life of Mallesham in a realistic manner. The film is a bit slow but that is how biopics are narrated to get the actual feel. If he would have edited the starting portions and added more drama, things would have been effective. Verdict: On the whole, Mallesham is a biopic which has simple and realistic emotions. It is a fitting tribute to the legend Mallesham who put Telangana on to the India map. Priyadarsi’s sincere performance and moving family emotions are huge assets. Films like these might not be everyone’s cup of tea as they have a art film kind of a feel and less entertainment. Barring the slow pace, this film is decent and will not disappoint you once you enter the theater.

Movie Details

Mallesham is a biopic of a weaver who had struggled a lot to come up with his own innovation which is now celebrated by the weaving industry and Mallesham has also earned a Padma Shri award for his impeccable work

Genre : Drama, Biography
Language : Telugu
Director : Raj R
Producer : Sri Adhikari , Daggubati Suresh Babu , Madhura Sreedhar Reddy
Release Date(Theater) : 21st Jun, 2019
Runtime : 2h 12min
Production Co :

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