The overwhelming feeling after watching Sukumar’s last movie Nenokkadine was that of frustration. Frustration that he was brave enough to forego a big bang climax fight and settle for Hero sitting and pleading with the villain, yet felt compelled to include an “item” song in a pub in London; Brave enough to make his Hero cry for love of his parents, yet couldn’t escape shoehorning an unconvincing romance into it. Nenokkadine was a movie that wanted to be intelligent yet didn’t dare enough. When the movie failed spectacularly, I half expected him to do a safe venture this time. But Sukumar surprised by sticking to his guns yet again. But did he dare enough this time?
Yes, and no.
The story of “Nannaku Prematho” is pretty straightforward. When Abhiram(NTR) comes to know about his father’s past and how he got conned by a crooked businessman(Jagapatibabu), he decides to take revenge and set the score right. Sukumar infuses into this age old revenge drama, his flavour of intelligence and makes a largely enjoyable movie. Thankfully, this time he stayed true to the story and refrained from unnecessary “commercial elements”. The romantic angle fits more organically, and serves some purpose. There are barely any fights in the movie, and zero blood shed. Doing this kind of movie with a hero like NTR is all the more risky.
NTR looked dapper as hell, and If you told me ten years ago I would type this sentence one day, I would have laughed in your face. I wouldn’t say he deserves props for doing this movie which goes against his image. It’s been almost 15 years he has been in the industry. It’s about goddamn time he acted in a decent movie for once.
Then, what’s wrong with the movie?
Telugu audience are used to see the movies where the entire first half is just filler, and the actual story starting only at Interval. But Sukumar had to do it his way. He sets up the story within first 10 minutes, then slowly raises the tempo before hitting the peak notes at the interval. Then for some inexplicable reason, he simply makes the screenplay run helter skelter for the entire second half, before taking back the reins again during pre climax. If you edited the first 75 minutes of the second half, you would get a far better, although very short final product. What was the point of the entire Spain episode? what was Madhubala doing in this movie? Judging by how many people were credited in the writing department, this is a bizarre choice for screenplay.
But still, the climax does redeem the movie. Nannaku Prematho is a far better product than Nenokkadine. Sukumar is evidently getting better at this, but the fact is that there is still some distance to go before he can(or decide to) give that perfect “intelligent” movie.
********Seriously, you have been warned*********
- If Abhiram set up the entire game by interval to bring down Krishnamurthi, why did he bother to break into his office and hack his computer?
- How did he know about Devika’s dream? she clearly mentions that she never even told it to her father.
- Sukumar seems to be thinking that people can’t remember their lives when they were 7-8 years old and can’t tell memories from dreams. None of the brothers remember their childhood homes?? Heroine doesn’t remember about her mother? WTF!
- What’s with the cringeworthy graphics in otherwise rich production? that shot of bird attacking the butterfly and NTR holding the basketball were…..urghhhh.
- In the climax, the bad guy is defeated, Hero looks at the camera and smiles peacefully. All is well, except the small matter of him being arrested and convicted for 10 years in the case of drug traffiking. After all, he was just out on bail earlier.