Dunkirk

Finally been to much awaited & much hyped ‘Dunkirik’ yesterday. Here is my first cut impression of this masterpiece –

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Earth, water and Sky… three of the five elements that Christopher Nolan uses to spellbound us.. As the gripping storyboard tells us right in the beginning, movie gets unfolded with actions happening on ground by infantry, on the sea by Navy/make-shift civil boatmen and in the thrilling aviation sequence with Spitfire planes by Royal Air Force !!

It will be a gross understatement to say ‘Dunkirk’ is just another war movie. It’s a battle-drama on humongous shooting canvas with complete Nolanization of it. Backdrop is World War 2 and the event(s) take place in and around prolonged shore of Dunkirk, France. In 1940, when German led third reich forces invaded France, they cornered and pushed allies troop to the beaches. Evacuation of almost 300,000 soldiers was absolute necessity, though conditions were adverse and Government was not ready to extend the help beyond reasonable proportions. The movie is based on real time events on how the Allies successfully rescued and transported these stranded battalions to “home” without any colossal damage. The attempts & the journey from horrific death-shadowing Dunkirk to United Kingdom across the British Channel is what forms the plot of this movie.

Dunkirk by Nolan is money straight on the point. It does not glamorizes proceedings like ‘Pearl Harbor’ or creates superheroes like ‘Where Eagles Dare’. It does not talk about carefully launched plans & attacks like ‘Guns of Navarone’ and it certainly doesn’t follow linear pursuits like ‘Saving Private Ryan’. Christopher Nolan is elite passholder of film making and when he writes a script you can be sure of highly unusual treatment. Dunkirk is unarguably Nolan’s one of the best craft behind the camera. Being Writer, Co-Producer and Director, he swamps the audience with visually enriching yet historically accurate cinema. Shot with specialized Imax equipment, Dunkirk is an aesthetic beauty with edge of the seat narration. Much credit to Nolan’s trusted and favorite Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema !

Script moves at brisk pace. Dialogues are kept to minimum. The accompanying background score by Hans Zimmer is in line with prevailing mood and leaves impression on audience mind. Dunkirk is story of unknown faces and unknown authorities. Perhaps that’s why all lead characters in the movie are portrayed by non-popular and newcomer actors. Of course, they have given more than 100% to the role and tale. But the real winner according to me is the grand scale and scrupulous depiction of events from Nolan’s masterly eyes !!

In his archetypal weaving style, Nolan converges all three timelines (Ground – 1 week, Sea – 1 day, Air – 1 Hour) involved in rescue operation. This is the moment we always look forward to in any of his movies… the highpoint…the small contour on the maze that helps to detangle everything. Dunkirk, with its predictive end, still gives us ultimate climax where returning soldiers get glorious welcome in Britain. Victory is not always you conquering opponent land; it’s the moment of triumph when you accomplish the mass-evacuation of strategic importance! Dunkirk underlines and highlights this very profoundly.

I would recommend this splendid movie for Christopher Nolan’s exquisite direction & screenplay. He was walking on razor thin margin. Lackluster storyline would have instantly converted Dunkrik into a boring documentary; on the other hand overdramatizing would have weakened the whole subtlety of the Military mission. He balanced this universe with astounding workmanship.

Go, watch how they returned… Facts are stranger than fiction. True, how true… !!

– Vikrant Deshmukh

#Dunkirk #ChristopherNolan #Hollywood

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Ti Saddhya Kaay Karte? – Been there…. Seen that !

ti-sadhya-kay-karte-trailerIn Cricket, when a batsman doesn’t show any foot movement yet produces a boundary, commentators often use the term ‘Stand & Deliver’. The flamboyance is not needed; what matters is the end result. Highly efficient ones can save their energy and score runs with minimalist efforts. A profitable deal !

The latest Marathi movie ‘Ti Saddhya Kay Karte’ is one such productive creation. Popular director Satish Rajwade is back with light hearted tale and he delivers the point well in groove.

Of late, Marathi silver screen has seen multiples of teenage love stories. Some are figment of imagination, some inspired from real-life events. The formula is bit worn out. It’s the presentation of same concept that really helps Rajwade enterprise to make it lovable film to watch. The TSKK is told over three life-stages of Anurag & Tanvi – As kids, teenagers and well-settled adults. The narration flows back and forth engulfing viewers every now and then. It makes you nostalgic with the references of childhood pranks, friendship vows and innocent exchanges. What differentiates TSSK from the cult is it’s unusual ending. ‘He’ and ‘She’ do not unite; they continue living their lives happily as before. Writer/Director do not comment or preach about unfulfilled dreams but rather take a very pragmatic take on reality still keeping the flavor of romance intact.

Positives

(1) Pace & Plot are buttery :

Satish has placed it just right. Though spread over 20-25 years timespan, he has avoided any kind of drag and redundancy in scenes. Rather events are snapped back a little to create a flowing stream of story. Also, it keeps any surprises, twists and melodrama at bay.

(2) Cogent actors giving justice to roles :

All actors delivered what was expected out of them. Hruditya & Nirmohi were fantastic as little Anurag & Tanvi. Abhinay, son of legendary Laxmikant Berde, has shown some promising talent in his maiden film. Super-Star Ankush Chaudhary has underplayed himself. Tejashree Pradhan coming out of her long exile gave a pleasant portrayal. She is terrific in intensely emotional scenes.

(3) Aarya Ambekar baby-steps in acting arena :

The main reason for me looking forward to this movie was debut of our own Aarya Ambekar. Entire Maharashtra and India is well aware of her singing prowess. (Read my old blogs on her birthday here :The Angel Beat ! and समईच्या शुभ्र कळ्या). Having seen her majestic journey from a girl-next-door to top notch singer, I was curious to see how she fares on big screen. Pretty Aarya was a treat to watch. She has long way to go and will certainly learn more tricks of trade from active veterans in coming projects. In TSKK Aarya did have the pivotal role and weightage from author which she lightened up with sincere efforts. Very nice !

(4) Zee Promotion :

Zee TV and Zee talkies had left no stone unturned to spread the word and take the movie buzz to the last each section of the viewers. Marketing and PR seem to have done brilliant job in maintaining the curiosity, gloss and offering while promoting the film.

Shortcomings

(1) Shadow of TV Daily Soaps :

For some reason, the script has constructed few scenes alike daily serials. With a generous run-time of 2 hours 7 minutes, Satish had ample opportunities to forge more cinematic elements. He, however, chose to undertone it. Interactions among characters could have been more trivial and animated.

(2) Music failed to create magic :

Unlike Rajwade’s ‘Mumbai-Pune-Mumbai’ or ‘Premachi Goshta’, the TSKK could not derive monumental support from vocals and background music. The songs were hummed but none of it became memorable enough to be associated with film permanently. Apart from ‘something’ – sung exceptionally well both by Aarya and Vidit Patankar – other numbers are just fine.

(3) No conclusion :

Ultimate destination is unclear. While Protagonists take solace in treading their own lives, it’s somewhat confusing for audience to understand the emotional turmoil caused at first place. TSKK shies away from delivering a punch that was present in Rajwade’s earlier movies. Perhaps he wants to leave it to the audience imagination and interpretation.

***

Overall,

Sweet & neat lovestory swung in different dimensions of relationship. With unusual climax, TSKK can be considered as honest & tidy depiction. A one-time watch to pay tribute to hard-work put in by all.

Three starts out of five from me !

— Vikrant Deshmukh, Pune

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Nenu Sailaja : Simplicity Repackaged !

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Okay, there is particular template for certain Telugu movies –

He meets her. Love blossoms. Ouch… there is a family issue. He comes as savior. He goes to her home, resolves the conflicts, unites the broken bonds and annihilates bad people, if any. She is all over him again!

Template is chart-buster. You have Rom-Com nicely blended with family cinema. Sprinkle some action and you might get a triple sundae.. yummie, isn’t it?

Proof :  Attarintiki Daredi (Pawan Kalyan – Samantha)

Proof : AA… aa (Nitin – Samantha)

Recipe is time-tasted yet effective. Results are always guaranteed. ‘Nainu Sailaja’ is new entrant to this menucard. Audience is served a predictable sweet tale with different topping. But it’s to credit of director Kishore Tirumala to present it in delightful & interesting manner. Inspite of having straight cut story what sets Nenu Sailaja apart is the unfolding. Devoid of any melodrama, high octane action sequences or overt display of romance, NS narrates us how “he” wins “her” ultimate love.

Meet Hari (Ram) – a young, brazing person with sharp & witty brain. He has faint memory of childhood and particularly of a small girl in neighborhood. In his current state, though, he is without any companion. Accidently bumping into Sailaja (Keerthy Suresh), now a media professional, he falls for her. After few chance encounters both start liking each other. There comes the twist. Sailaja is that old childhood friend. And she has some hidden past that includes strenuous relations with her father (Baahubali fame Sathyaki). What Hari does to iron out all problems and emerges victorious, makes rest of the film.

Strengths:

(1) Keep it simple

As said earlier, Nenu Sailaja maintains the fundamentals right. Kishore, who is the script-writer as well, seems to be well aware of the non-fancy plot. He slowly yet delicately unleashes finer aspect of NS with lots of discrete and tiny nicer moments. Characters are well placed, just with right amount of screen presence. They stick to basics. Even the villains are not archetypically cruel. Somehow NS is successful in having gross underplay to the moving cinema-line.

(2) Ram’s efficiency

Tagged as action hero, Ram surprises us with toned down performance in Nenu Sailaja. Not having any smashing boxoffice hit in recent years would have caused this change. But Hari played by Ram is subdued, gentle, thinker & tender person. He gives full justice to the role and drives point home.

(3) Keerthy Suresh delivers fine

Debuting in Telugu cinema, this is perhaps the safest and convenient turf for Keerthy. Tamil audience is already aware of her acting skills; here portraying introvert & composed girl Sailaja, she has given benchmark performance. Emotions are kept in check and there is hardly any capital boldness in depiction. Keerthy has provided soothing and beautiful demeanor to overall movie. She will definitely be my next bet to watch for.

Weaknesses :

(1) No big detours

In a way it helps to keep storyline on track but Nenu Sailaja lacks edge of seat happenings. It’s absence of sub-plots and twists may appear lukewarm to typical mass spectators.

(2) Average Music

People were telling me that NS music is contemporary hit. When I heard the songs, it was bit disappointing. Devi Sri Prasad has crafted out some great music and this is certainly far from his best work. Apart from ‘Crazy Feeling’ song, I didn’t find anything worth appreciating in that album.

***

Overall,

It’s neat and nice attempt. The title was so much captivating that I perhaps expected a lot. Nenu Sailaja did give me ‘bit here and bit there’ moments. One time watch for crystal clear flow and at-ease natural acting.

3 starts out of 5 from me.

— Vikrant Deshmukh (Pune)

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Kabali – The Sky and Mountain of it !

I am sure you would have been on one of those adventurous off-site trips, deep in woods. When you cross the maze and come out in different terrain, what you see the colossal sized mountain ranges. And at the look from your position, you see the sky touching it. You always wonder about the otherwise infinite sky to have itself lowered down to embrace the peaks… is it really the case?

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Charisma is still on after acting in more than 150 films, style quotient is damn high.. The opening credits “Super Star Rajanikanth – In & As Kabali” are more than enough to produce ear-deafening roar of whistles, claps and cheer from theater audience. At every gravity defying stunt or sulpheric dialogues, person next to me was going berserk. In the Marathi city of Pune, shows were running houseful and they all have gathered to witness a phenomenon – Rajani ! Did Kabali served them well? Yes and No….

The hype in social media and movie fraternity has already reached pinnacle before its release. Thanks to larger-than-life portrayal of superstar and some unprecedented advertising done by marketing partners like Air Asia. News of IT companies declaring Holidays for film release & mass booking of seats have set-up the perfect environment for a blockbuster arrival. When I entered the cinema hall located in all Maharashtrian suburb of Pune, the anxiety level was to the brim. All have come to be part of history. All were looking for a Magnum-Opus like Baahubali or atleast the nerve-wrecking Yennai Arindaal. Film started with signature Rajani entry and auditorium burst into loud screams. I was ready for gigantic roller-coaster… but perhaps I was hoping way too much!! After 2 hours and 39 minutes of whirlwind drama, Kabali couldn’t cast its spell on me. Nonetheless I enjoyed, it still falls short of all its expectations and benchmark of becoming a legendary stuff.

The Positives :

  1. Rajani Sir –

At the age of 65, he is running on full throttle. The panache is the heart of Rajanikanth’s filming career and he leaves no stone unturned to pour it in sumptuous manner. Kabali is full of his debonair and flamboyance while playing a role of old criminal boss in Malaysia. Though Kabali is the gangster, his character is having a grey shade with a strong family bonding, cultural values and even a tint of sociologist. I believe this is the first time Rajani Sir has experimented working with younger director like Pa Ranjith in recent time. He has given cent-percent in this depiction and reminds us why he is Thailaiva in Tamil Cinema.

  1. Set up in Malaysia –

Most of the film takes place in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysia. The socio-political and Geo-political settings are perfectly woven into the tale of road rage, drug racket, labor slavery and blood thirsty gangs of criminals.

  1. Radhika and Dhansika –

Despite of overwhelming ‘R’ factor, these two actresses have performed enough to have a worthy mention and impacting contributions in the story. Especially, Radhika, in her de-glamourised look, has secured her forte with apt expressions as Kabali’s wife. Dhansika is ravishing and gallant at same time. In polar personalities as contract killer and a daughter, she has matched Rajani Sir’s exuberance frame by frame.

  1. Background score and camera work –

G Murali’s cinematography is exceptionally brilliant throughout. Each fighting scene is filmed with aesthetic precision. Close-ups are too effective. Motion & still photography, both are that of top quality. There is not much room for songs but the background score by Santhosh is much powerful. Especially the music played in Kabali action scenes is fantastic.

The Negatives :

  1. Script –

Why on this earth Rajani and Ranjith chose this old mundane plot of aging gangster and family revenge? The tale has been narrated umpteenth occasion in cinemas for decades. There is nothing novel about the plot and the script is built on very brittle foundation. Rather, there is no nutritious content in the whole storyline to deliver to theatre audience. Everything is so predictable right from beginning; last punch is a twist but it comes in the game too late.

  1. Drag –

If script is stale, the pace at which Ranjith placed it is another downer. The film itself starts when kabali is released from jail after serving 25 years of sentence. Actions thereof are supposed to be forward looking. But maybe due to the demand of narration, film goes back and forth, revealing the flashbacks almost in non-consequential manner. Precious time and cruise is wasted here though the events are really significant to tell us why a common man became Kabali, the Don. In my opinion, second half drag could have been avoided to large extent. Family reunites are fine sub-plots but they are decelerating the overall journey. The tale could have been much more interesting, eye-catchy and edge-of-the-seat to establish kabali battles.

Conclusion :

Have you witnessed maestro Sachin Tendulkar in later days of his career when he was struggling to produce out gems on the ground? Kabali will give you the same feelings. When Sachin scored a century with enormous labor, you surely loved it and respected it. Some of crackling cover drives and silken flicks off the pad would have reminded you of his enchanting performances during heydays. Master is still a master! Rajani, undeterred by his growing age constraint, has sincerely devoted his energies in best possible manner. It’s a must-watch if you are ardent R-Fan. But don’t look for the old magic and sensational things the juggler has been doing since eons. The sky has tried to touch the mountain, for sure. It’s the viewer to decide if the panorama is fitting enough to reality.

My rating 3 out of 5 starts for overall commitments and grandeur…..     

ChSLHUZWUAEzbMi     

Inji Idduppazhagi (Size Zero) – Better luck next time !!

Anushka Shetty to her movies is what Sachin Tendulkar was to Indian Cricket team…the lone savior, the single handed rescuer…the Hercules who lifted weight of entire Atlas on his shoulder – with a smiling face ! Or Lord Shri Krishna from our Indian mythological tales who upheld the monstrous sized mountain Govardhan just on his little finger !! She gives more than 100% in her every endeavor but sometimes “others” don’t match up, “others” don’t size up and “others” just don’t fall in place making the end result look dismal…. Read “Others” equals to sloppy script, lackluster direction, unenthusiastic starcast, ordinary music and more importantly failure to encash on Anushka’s charming performance !!

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“Inji Idduppazhagi” was one of the most awaited Tamil movie for me due to its off-beat storyline and untouched subject. There have been few movies in the past trying to showcase woes of fat people in our society. Their take was mainly comical but sympathetic. When I heard Prakash Kovelamudi is casting a film on obesity with Anushka in lead role, it was a thing damn look forward to!

I managed to get first day first show to see how it is delineated on screen. Theater was nearly 1/4th occupied. “Must be Friday, a weekday”, I murmured to myself “Also, who else will rush to see a Tamil movie in Pune so frantically?” I tried to logically reason it out.

Movie started dot on time and finished on time. In the pitch dark descending stair, my mind was screaming only one question “How can you waste it dude?”…. On high level, the movie is not even fully entertaining – leave alone blockbuster league Anushka is used to.. It’s okay to watch it once to admire her efforts though overall mixture is not cooked up well… Sigh ! this could have been an epic creation… what an easy drop !! Yes, the movie indeed has social message, it has the light humor and it certainly has clandestine glamor quotient… but then you need to assemble and package it efficiently to mesmerize audience.. I guess “Inji Idduppazhagi” fails to strike that bull’s eye…

The Goods :

  1. Needless to mention the queen of Tollywood, epitome of sincerity and hardwork – Miss Anushka Shetty…. Her commitment to character is phenomenal and she leaves no stone unturned to give full justice to any role. For bubbly, fat character of ‘Sweety’ in this film, she literally sized her up – adding whopping 20 KGs in three months.. I dare to any mainstream actress to pull off this feat. Not many artists can work outside their comfort zone whereas usually seen trait of Anushka is her willingness to experiment with different genres and out-of-box roles. She seems to have studied fat fraternity too well and with miniscule details. The ease with which she portrays chubby Chennai girl is commendable one. Facial expression is always been Anushka’s ace card with which she can induce miracles. Inji Idduppazhagi gave her loads of avenues to swamp the scenes.. barring one or two she succeeded largely. But hey, at the end of day, her hardwork will be recognized and recorded in history book associated with rather lame movie.. bad luck !
  2. Pair of Arya and Anushka is fabulous. We have already seen the ravishing chemistry between them in non-orthodox ‘Iraandam Ulagam’. Here, though Arya got only spoonful of presence and thin margin of delivery, the pair looked pretty awesome to me.
  3. The central theme and idea behind ‘Size Zero’ is very good. It was a raw diamond; a good jeweler could definitely have carved out Kohinoor out of it. Cinema highlights our society’s weird perspectives and treatments to obese people. Thought provoking and introspective take !
  4. Cinematography of Nirav Shah is outstanding with his magical lenses. His camera has captured the bright mood of movie in sublime manner. Chennai never looked so beautiful and his close-ups on Anushka & Arya are of praiseworthy quality. Watch ‘Kannaalam’ song for taste 🙂anushka-injiiduppazhaki7915-m

The Bads :

  • “Where is the Script John??” I can imagine Sherlock Homes asking his ally Dr Watson. Such a brilliant concept got weakened completely due to non-sparkling script. Entertainment industry thrives on fluid plots and attention-grabbing narrations. Inji Idduppazhagi not only lacks rock-solid script but misses amusement quotient due to non-creative unfolding.
  • Direction is dull, non-uniform and non-capable of obtaining maximum yield from ensemble starcast.
  • Music in this film is a big boner. ‘Yennai Arindaal’ was saved by fascinating compositions of Haris Jayraj. Here, M M Creem performs way par below his repute. Except one song, others are pale, mostly unwanted and sans any merit.
  • Climax and drag in second half of movie is major concern. The drama is slow-death, end is non-conclusive and on top of it nobody knows where whole story is drifting. In fact, this brittle post-interval plot really marred the enhanced aesthetics of Anushka. Her ultra-gorgeous looks and adorable diction gets lost in the feeble recital towards the end !

Overall : One time watch… don’t go with magical expectations… Recognize and salute labors of Anushka.. Poor Sweety must be feeling like Sachin Tendulkar whose team finally loses the match inspite of his blazing Century !!

– Vikrant Deshmukh (Pune)

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Rudhramadevi – An Epic yet unfulfilled Dream ??

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Watched “Rudhramadevi” yesterday on the very day of release… Had it not been 3D and galvanizing performance by Queen of Tollywood Anushka, movie is set to get tanked on box office.

Agreed that Gunasekhar has put everything at stake for creating this magnum opus, agreed that Allu Arjun in his Gona Ganna Reddy role with Telangana dialect comes to save the prideat occasions, agreed that unpardonable delay in releasing the movie has turned the tables, still there is no excuse to sloppy script, loose direction and some pathetic quality animation.. Sigh, star-studded cast and lavish expenditure followed by huge promotion could not alter one fact – Movie’s success largely depends on content …. And Rudhramadevi precisely fails there !!!!

The challenge in filming historical biopics is the limited liberty you get in story telling… But hey, you still have your directorial hat to customize the drama, right? Gunasekhar with all his passion can’t be forgiven for the major miss i.e. Inefficient narration… The man with big dream in his heart could not manifest it in captivating style; instead he produced a piece-mill experience of larger than life dynasty tale with no conclusive effect…. Unfortunately Rudhramadevi is released at the backdrop of monumental Pan-India success of Rajamouli’s ‘Baahubali’ that raised bar of period films to towering heights. Comparison was inevitable and sad to see Rudhramadevi faltering at many places hands down.

To begin with, stale and uninteresting music scores by legendary Illayaraja; Its hard to believe that maestro has produced such lousy music that not only makes the whole story dull but fails to register any mark on listeners mind… Guru, you could have done much better !! Background music was not enthralling either. Then couple of songs were completely out of space and not necessarily doing good for any cause. Secondly the speed of unfolding is non-uniform and appears like a patchwork. Certain scenes come out from nowhere & there is great deal of missing explanations for common spectators. I was expecting lot of emphasis on adventures and lifework of warrior queen but Gunasekhar for some strange reasons chose many non-relevant events and that too in a placid pace…. Barring one or two, Audience was never given moments of intense involvement.

Catherine Teresa and Nithya Menon completely wasted in menial jobs and introduction of characters was pretty unimpressive. Rana in Prince Veerbhadrudu role seemed confused… His character and overall flight path was never fixed. I have begun to suspect that his caricature was not well researched. The computer animation is no match for Baahubali. Inspite of spending loads of money on technology, the CGI and VFX could not produce the jinx. They could have creatively fabricated so many spots that will give theater crowd value for money !  

Now the positives …

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Anushka as Rani Rudhramadevi is phenomenally ravishing. Queen of South Indian Cinema delineating life sketch of her majesty is beyond magnificence !! Her eyes and expressions are best in town and the body language was tailor-fit for queen’s role. The sword-fights, war sequences and superb transitions while dwelling between two genders are proof of her dedication, commitment and sovereign command over actorhood. Very rarely we see the female protagonist carrying the weight of entire film on her shoulders and try to make up for many loopholes created by others. Anushka has lifted that Atlas with her immaculate acting prowess. Rani Rudhramadevi character is another feather in Anushka’s diversified multi-color career where she pours her heart out to hold the sail higher. My respect for Sweety Shetty had skyrocketed after ‘Yennai Arindhaal’; after seeing her gruelling efforts and devotion in Rudhramadevi, it reaches pinnacle !! We are privileged to witness Anushka’s array of exceptional work in this era… Anushka is truly an epitome of excellence when it comes to giving cent-percent for demanding center-stage roles.. Bravo !!

Another noteworthy mention is Allu Arjun’s rowdy but comic Gona Ganna Reddy. Bunny has cemented the scenes with splashy dialogues and quintessential arrogance. Though in Andhra history books, GGR is given very minuscule space, Gunasekhar’s gamble to sparkle this role has paid off.

Couple of war sequences are good… Editing is average and the artwork with those gigantic sets needs accolades for its grandeur… Rudhramadevi is Gunasekhar’s long cherished dream & much anticipated film…. I would still go and watch it atleast once for man’s passion and Anushka’s breath-stopping performance… I would say “Well Done team but you left me wanting for more !!!!

ANUSHKAS-RUDHRAMADEVI-TAMIL-MOVIE-COMING-SOON-POSTER(Content Copyright : Vikrant Deshmukh, Pune)

Nenokkadine – Perhaps the Game-Changer !!

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India is country of hypocrites. Let us be candid about that. There is no dearth of double faced people in this land. On one hand so called ‘critics’ and ‘movie buffs’ keep on cribbing about lack of innovation and out-of-boxing thinking in tinsel town. But when Mahesh Babu comes with offbeat stuff like ‘Nenokkadine’, there was section of very same media that spared no words picking apart his new venture. Dear Critics, get some life please !!

Being an ardent Mahesh Babu fan, it takes me no extra cent to like what he performs on screen; I love his appearance to the death. And ‘Nenokkadine’ didn’t let me down – not even by tiny percent…

I go out for Prince Mahesh movies with few predetermined set of parameters :

(A)Blazing Action

(B) Sharp dialogues (most of those I don’t understand… because Telugu is not my mother-tongue)

(C) Pace of story

(D) Startling but appropriate twists and turns

(E) Precise delivery

Nenokkadine had all of it plus the thriller element. Something that popps up unexpectedly…. Much like Christopher Nolan work… And spectators get engulfed in guessing ‘What Next?’. Screenplay is  heavily packed with quintessential Mahesh Babu fight scenes, spine-chilling vehicles chases and shadows of past hovering everywhere… Agreed, the length is little downer, nevertheless overall impact is still striking !!

Plot :

It is customary in suspense thriller movies not to divulge too much about the storyline. We can mention few fabrics vaguely though. Protagonist Gautham, a celebrity rockstar, is suffering from ‘Integration Disorder’ – a brain condition where he would create imaginary situation/people and deals with them. The root goes back to his childhood that has seen his parents assassinated during Goa Carnival by unknown people. The killers then tried to get rid of Gautham too. He survived through that trauma, had a struggling childhood without love & warmth of parents and finally became a Superstart – but not without hand-picking killers one by one. TV Journalist Sameera – earlier chasing the case to cash in TRP, later felt in love with adorable Gautham – tries to help him recover from pathological condition and pursue other villains with the help of clue embedded in ‘Rubik’s Cube’. Few more shocks, mind-boggling convolutes and finally audience would know the mystery behind everything.

Strengths :

1)      Mahesh.. Mahesh… And Mahesh…  There is no contemporary Tollywood actor that can match the kind of superlative performance Prince Mahesh delivers on screen. The liveliness, the passion, the astonishing plunge in character and ultra-fine acting. He truly walks a mile ahead of all those Jr. NTR, Prabhas, Pawan Kalyan, Gopichand, Naga Chaitanya, Rama Charan, Ravi Teja and likes. Mahesh’s facial expressions and outrage are second to none. His dedication and attention to details are impeccable. However small or big the role may be, Mahesh put in the maximum – always !

2)      The screenplay is fabulous. This is definitely from Christopher Nolan dynasty. Grey shades of human lives… stalking past.. events making audience question everything they have seen so far… villain OR effigies of villain… vortex of mind-numbing plots… and ultimately all scattered pieces come together at climax.. Brilliantly put.. Experimental yet captivating !

3)      Kriti Sanon ! It historically established that Mahesh Babu’s movies do not render any space for arm-candies.  Nennokkadine hold this true to certain extent. But Kriti has been successful in tracing her mark in the role of effervescent ‘Sameera’. Ruthless professional TV anchor by profession but mellow hearted as girl-friend, Go-Getter media person to Gautham’s mainstay of emotional support… Kriti has done it with elegance and ample amount of gorgeousness.

4)      Innovative thinking and unorthodox story-telling

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Weaknesses :

1)      Length of the movie. Certain elaboration and even action sequences could have been trimmed to make it crisp and more promising. I am sure, Sukumar will have this non-erasable lesson to his stride throughout his life!!

2)      At some nooks, screenplay assumes that theatre audience will read between the lines and get the riddles straight by themselves. Knowing the psyche of common Indian public, it is riskier proposition. This strategy could have worked in dark-classic cult but too much for mainstream fictions.

Final Verdict :

Literal meaning of word ‘Nenokkadine’ is ‘I am the One’ ! And Prince Mahesh had depicted it in grand style. If you have a good test for brain-teaser, if you rejoice whirlwind tales, if you love Mahesh Babu’s super-stunts, you won’t want to miss watching ‘Nenokkadine’ atleast once !!

Rating:

4.5 out of 5