Prem Kumar review: This hilarious tale of an unfortunate groom is let down by mediocre second half

Director Abhishek Maharshi is smart enough in using Santosh Soban's acting brilliance effectively in the film.

ByPrakash Pecheti

Published:Aug 19, 2023

A poster of the film Prem Kumar
Santosh Soban is the major highlight.

Prem Kumar (Telugu)

  • Cast: Santosh Soban, Rashi Singh, Krishna Chaitanya, Ruchitha Sadineni, Krishna Teja, Sudarshan, Ashok Kumar, and Sri Vidya
  • Director: Abhishek Maharshi
  • Producer: Shiva Prasad Panneeru
  • Music: S. Anant Srikar
  • Runtime: 2 hours 30 minutes

Santosh Soban must have been a tired actor displaying all sorts of comedy — beating around the bush, inorganic spoofs with red-faced looks in all his previous outings, but nothing seemed to have worked as much as Prem Kumar did.

Soban looked so lively as an unfortunate groom in the film. So neatly cut, the character PK is certainly going to stand as one of the best in his career.

All his recent films — Manchi Rojulochaie (2021), Like Share & Subscribe (2022), Sridevi Shoban Babu (2023), Kalyanam Kamaneeyam (2023), Anni Manchi Sakunamule (2023) — proved to be duds at the box office.

And nothing can stop a bruised groom like Prem Kumar who accepts challenge after challenge.

Related: ‘Prem Kumar’ is about the ditched groom: Abhishek Maharshi


Santosh Soban in Prem Kumar

Santosh Soban in ‘Prem Kumar’. (Twitter)

The story revolves around Prem Kumar aka PK aka Chuchulu who is desperate for marriage and nothing else. The more he tries to be romantic with brides, the more harshly he gets rejected with absurd excuses.

Frustrated by constant failures, PK ventures into detective service along with his friend Sundar Lingam (Krishna Teja). His streetsmart thinking helps him break marriages and makes his business flourish.

PK experiences a change of heart when he collaborates with a wedding planner named Netra (Rashi Singh). The deal eventually leads to chaos.

Who is Netra? How PK navigates through perpetual struggles in the process is the story in short.

Inconsisent second half

Abhishek Maharshi directorial Prem Kumar

Abhishek Maharshi’s directorial ‘Prem Kumar’. (Twitter)

The film starts off with the good premise of love birds getting united as they break their shackles and prejudices of society.

Netra elopes with film actor Rising Star Roshan (Krishna Chaitanya) who barely finds a nick with the dialogue timing to impress the bride’s parents.

And what if he has to deliver dialogues that are laced with more verbatim — funny and entertaining?

The first half is entertaining and engaging with scenes involving Santosh Soban and his dishevelled look as an unlucky groom.

Actor-turned-director Abhishek Maharshi generated good fun in the first half, infusing reasonably good depth into the lead characters, especially Prem Kumar.

The story picks momentum further with PK venturing into the detective agency and the entry of lady boss Angana (Ruchitha Sadineni) whose marriage is scheduled with Roshan.

However, the story starts to wobble as it gets more tedious in the process.

The writing and screenplay fail to trudge the uphill road while it touches the climax. The second half struggles with inconsistent writing.

Santosh Soban stands out

A poster of the song from Prem Kumar

A poster of ‘Prem Kumar’. (Twitter)

Prem Kumar has some standout performances from the actors.

Santosh’s portrayal of PK stands out to be the major highlight. Director Abhishek is smart enough in using Santosh Soban’s acting brilliance effectively in the film.

Sudarshan as a dumb PR-cum-manager is okay.

Krishna Teja as Sundar Lingam is partly annoying but otherwise hilarious. He chips in well to generate laughter.

Ruchitha Sadineni as a stubborn and arrogant boss of a wedding planner is good.

Rashi Singh is okay as Netra but couldn’t get enough space to perform.

The music by Anant Srikar is good.

The cinematography and other production values in the film seem average.

Editor Garry BH does well to make the story more crisp.

Also Read: Ravi Teja aces the look of ‘Tiger Nageswara Rao’

Final take

Prem Kumar is a good try for debutant director Abhishek Maharshi. However, he has to tighten his laces if he has to bring some entertaining stuff to the silver screen.

Nevertheless, the film certainly has good humour. But the laid-back second half put you to sleep.

(Views expressed here are personal.)