A well-made family drama is always a good watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The lighthearted nature of the subject also helps keeping the mood in check. Anni Manchi Sakunamule, loosely translated to ‘all are good omens,’ is another feel-good family entertainer because it takes the viewers through families, love, conflicts, friendship, and reconciliation in the breeziest manner without indulging in over-the-top drama but sticking to the right kinds of dialogues and emotions.
The movie begins with the story of two co-owners of a coffee estate warring over control of the entire property situated in Victoriapuram. The conflict began when their coffee became a favorite of Queen Victoria. This led to the prosperity of the town, and hence it was named after the old monarch. This explains why the popularity of coffee led to a legal battle between the two families because both wanted to reap the benefits. The case was filed in 1919, and the current descendants of both families are still fighting because they are still motivated by the multigenerational drive to acquire more wealth and sustain their legacy. This could come across as satire as well because the case was filed in the pre-independence era, and the courts are still dragging it along without any verdict in sight. This proves how slow the judiciary system is in our country.
Infants Are Swapped At Birth
The local gynecologist in the town of Victoriapuram wakes up the day after she oversaw the long and tiring deliveries of the wives of Sudhakar and Prasad, the current heads of the feuding families, realizing there has been a mix-up. Sudhakar’s wife had given birth to a boy, while Prasad’s wife had given birth to a girl; in confusion, the staff assigned the wrong babies to the respective families. Sudhakar goes home with the baby girl, Arya, and Prasad goes home with his son, Rishi. Arya and Rishi became close friends from a young age because children do not understand familial disputes, and they get closer to those who make them happy. Though Arya gets along with her family well, she comes across as a financially sound person. Arya’s concern stems from the fact that her family would lose everything if the court verdict did not go in their favor. Viewers can easily conclude that she wants to set up a profitable business to get rid of her family’s debt. This also proves Arya has business acumen. It might be because she is biologically Prasad’s daughter. But is that to say that good business sense lies in the genes? We do not think so, as it sets the wrong precedent.
Rishi, on the other hand, has a complicated relationship with his father, who always finds ways to criticize him. He was never interested in running the coffee estate because he saw it as an age-old obligation and felt the conflicts could have been resolved a long time ago. This proves why Rishi comes across as someone who is pragmatic, and his zero interest in the business is a sign of him being Sudhakar’s son, who was never keen on fighting the legal battle. It was always Sudhakar’s brother Diwakar who stood at the forefront of this property dispute.
Arya and Rishi’s intentional role reversal is done in the film because, as a woman, she works towards providing financial support to her family, while Rishi is barely interested in helping his father. This comes across as a delightful change because the women are not generally expected to take part in the financial decisions of the household, but Arya does it, and men are expected to be ambitious and greedy, and Rishi turns out to be anything but that.
Arya and Diwakar plan an elaborate ruse to make Prasad invest in her venture to export their coffee to Europe. Prasad is impressed with Arya’s understanding of how a business works. Meanwhile, Rishi spends a lot of time with Arya’s father playing cricket, which happens to be their way to bond as family friends. This subplot has been added to showcase how these two children like spending time with their biological fathers. Unknown to any of them, they appreciate their company.
Unfortunately for Arya, her plan to export coffee to Italy goes kaput because of a rookie mistake made by Rishi. The trip to Italy was to bring Arya and Rishi closer as friends and possibly as lovers, but for Arya, setting up the business was more important to her. Sadly, she was left with nothing to build upon because of Rishi. Viewers can conclude that Arya is a focused woman who cannot let any relationship distract from her goals.
How Do Prasad And Sudhakar Know Their Kids Were Accidentally Swapped At Birth?
With the debacle of the Italy trip, Arya and Rishi did not remain friends for a while as she became busy establishing her coffee export firm. Meanwhile, Rishi headed to the USA to study and eventually became a food vlogger. Rishi was always interested in experimenting with local food because it brought him closer to the local culture. This is because Sudhakar and his wife were always interested in baking, and the writers gave Rishi this trait to showcase that he is very much like his biological parents.
Rishi and Arya meet once again at Victoriapuram for a marriage ceremony in Rishi’s family. Arya is in a relationship with Rishi’s cousin Ram. What Arya does not realize is that she is dating her actual cousin. If the news of them getting swapped as infants ever comes out it would be very awkward for Arya and Ram to be in the same room. Arya’s uncomfortable interaction with Rishi is proof that they might have had some feelings for each other, but they never developed into a full-fledged attraction. Viewers wonder what their reaction would be if they ever learned they were taken in by the wrong family. Is there a chance of them abandoning the family who raised them? Meanwhile, Arya clears all the family debt, and the writers, by adding this plot, want to change the status quo by making women the breadwinners.
Diwakar hears of the English businessmen wanting to reestablish the JK coffee brand in their country as a legacy brand, and he is keen on becoming a partner in this venture. All he would have to do was sell his share of the property, and the rest would convince Prasad to sell his share. Once this operation in the UK takes off, he knows his family will get more capital from this venture than from the settlement of the property dispute.
This plan was drawn up by Rishi because he was kind of done with this century-old family dispute and thought this would be the only way to end it. The children of his generation are friendly with each other, and he does not want to carry any hatred into the next generation. It is not clear if this was a good business decision, but Rishi feels that selling the name of his family coffee estate would at least be the start of a reconciliation between the two families now that they are about to become relatives, with Arya agreeing to marry Ram.
Arya comes across plenty of memorabilia from Rishi’s school days, including a love letter meant for her. She was unaware of the crush Rishi had on her. Keeping in mind the amount of time they spent in Italy, his interactions never gave away the fact that he liked her. She is mad at him for not letting her know about it. Keeping this in mind, she breaks up with Ram because she feels she agreed to marry him only out of obligation after dating him for the past two years.
This comes across as yet another convenient plotline added to make the viewers believe that Arya has a sudden change of mind, even though they’d been nothing more than friends on and off throughout these years. It’s unrealistic for an old letter to be the reason for her developing feelings for him. Rishi’s liking for her comes across as organic because he always tried to be there for her and never made her uncomfortable. He appreciates her ambitions and objectives to become a successful entrepreneur, and by the looks of it, if given a chance, he would be a wonderful partner as well.
On the day of the property transfer from Diwakar to Prasad, the family runs into the gynecologist who was responsible for the birth of their kids. The doctor is scared to even interact with them, for she is worried that she would blurt out the truth in the wrong place at the wrong time. This felt like an obvious trope to to remind the audience that a two-decade-old secret will come out in the open soon. The viewers are also curious to know how the doctor will let them know. Her fear is palpable, as she might end up losing her license if the family files a complaint.
Prasad holds a party to celebrate the reconciliation, but it turns ugly because a verbal spat breaks out between Diwakar and Prasad. Prasad comes across as a cocky businessman who would miss no chance to insult Diwakar and his family. This ploy was utilized by the writers to expose Rishi’s secret to his father. The hurry in which such last-minute conflict was added made the pre-climax more confusing. Why can’t Telugu films have a straightforward ending? This scene was supposed to come as a shock, but it turns into an over-the-top drama, probably the only time the writers used it in the entire film. At the same party, the gynecologist faints out of sheer anxiety, and on the same night, Rishi saves Diwakar from getting attacked by a bison. The two incidents have no connection, but they connect the story to the ending of the film.
The doctor reveals her mistakes to both families, and she regrets her unintentional role in this. She will probably have to live with this guilt, which would end her career as well. The doctor confessed because she probably thought letting out this information would let her live in peace from here on, and she is ready to face the consequences.
Just before the doctor’s confession. Diwakar comes by, thanking Rishi for saving him and realizing that the family disputes are nothing but a never-ending clash of egos. Rishi was sound enough to take this decision without involving anybody, including his father. This proves that the children of his generation are sensible and sensitive enough to sustain the family legacy.
Arya and Rishi are in a state of shock, which is an understandable reaction to the news that has been dropped on them. Arya considers her current family her own because they raised her and are the only ones who understand her inside out. This proves Arya is not a selfish woman, and her humility is a testament to how well she was raised by her parents and uncle.
Rishi is unable to come to terms with this news. It probably struck him why he could never gel with his father, and Prasad also never tried to understand him. But again, he does not intend to hurt his mother and sisters, who could never treat him like an outsider. Rishi’s father takes him to Sudhakar’s home to acknowledge the truth, and Arya does the same. This portion of the film comes across as the most emotional part and kudos to the writers for keeping the writing high on sentiments. The viewers would tear up as well because this scene allows Arya and Rishi to understand their identities. This entire sequence would remind the viewers of the Shakun Batra film Kapoor & Sons which was high on emotions.
The movie ends with Arya and Rishi meeting up again at their school reunion and discussing the possibility of them getting married to each other, as their love has only grown all this while. Rishi would be perfect for her because he is not insecure about her success, and meanwhile, Arya is also understanding of the fact that Rishi is good at his job, and she would never stop him from pursuing his dream. The last scene is proof of how mature the conversations have become about two highly independent individuals when it comes to love, companionship, and marriage.