Title: Dear Megha
Cast: Megha Akash, Arun Adith and others
Director: A Sushanth Reddy
If the person you are in love with tells you that one touch is equal to a thousand words, would you ask for an explanation? You would find it self-explanatory. Even if you ask for the meaning, it would be a poetic question rather than bland interrogation. In ‘Dear Megha’, Megha Swaroop has to be given an exposition by her lover. The scene is so symptomatic of what ails the film, which is a faithful remake of the Kannada movie ‘Dia’ (2020).
Director A Sushanth Reddy doesn’t tinker with the soul of the Sandalwood original. In fact, he dares to imaginatively infuse impassioned songs such as the Sid Sriram-rendered ‘Baagundhi Ee Kaalame’ and the mellifluous ‘Aamani Unte’. The first of the aforementioned songs is deliciously enriched by the longish, natural smiles on the faces of Megha and her boyfriend. The placing and staging of the songs is so deft that you wouldn’t believe that the Kananda original was a songless drama.
The train scene where Adhi tells Megha that she doesn’t understand love is a high point.
The problem is that the soul of the consistently sublime songs is not found in the inconsistent performances and the somewhat frivolous conversations. A lot of the lines are perfunctory. At one point, Arun Adith’s character seems to be reeling off famous quotations to prove a point. For example, a WhatsApp-y message like ‘Commonsense is not so common’ feels oddly dry. Somewhere, a character says ‘All good things must come to an end’ like she is updating her LinkedIn connections about her resignation.
Megha Swaroop (Megha Akash) is in love with Arjun (Arjun Somayajula, a debutant). Her love story is tempestuous because destiny has other plans. Her ill-fated love story results in unspeakable pain. There comes a point when only one person can bring cheer to her and it’s Adhi (Arun Adith). But is it all a happy thing at all?
A terrifying flaw in ‘Dear Megha’ is that Megha Akash doesn’t come across as a wounded soul who needs healing. The linear nature of the screenplay makes us feel that she has been sidelined in favour of Adhi. Had Adhi been introduced in a parallel track right from the word go, his scenes and the screen time invested in building his relationship with his mother (played by Pavithra Lokesh) wouldn’t have looked over-indulgent or misguided.
The drama is a blend of extremes. In a song, we see Adhi literally enjoying Megha being in a joyous mood. In another moment, the cutesy romance looks somewhat out of place for want of chemistry. The humour is literally bad: a potentially soulful conversation is infantilized by Adhi telling his mother that we have two kidneys but just one heart. You don’t expect an agonized person to talk like this: ‘How would it be if a patient who suffered a cardiac arrest is asked to say Good Morning?’ Come on, not the hero but his comical friend should have uttered such an unintentionally comical line to make it sound intentionally comical.
In a crucial moment, Megha and her lover are seen talking serious things over the phone. The impact is almost zilch. It could have easily been a face-to-face emotional conversation between the two.
The climax is of a certain kind and the execution could have conveyed more through silences. ‘Dear Megha’ doesn’t push the envelope in any way. This is not to say that the storyline is pedestrian. It has a lot of soul for sure. Also, Gowra Hari’s outstanding music saves the film from seeming vacuous in several places.
If you want to watch ‘Dear Megha’, do it for its stirring songs and the decent start, middle, and ending.