This Review was written by me for MTTN (Manipalthetalk.net) on January 15th, 2016.
Right when you walk into the theatre to watch Nannaku Prematho, you know you’re going to be subjected to a film thoroughly full of over-the-top action sequences, brimming with the humor, comedic overtones and formulaic plot that one has come to expect from Telugu films in general. But having an actor-director duo such as NTR-Sukumar just takes expectations to a whole new sky-rocketing level. To anyone reading this, who is unfamiliar with those two names, try walking into your nearest theatre and experiencing the level of enthusiasm and gushing spirit amongst the audience. NTR’s name in the opening credits of the film alone is enough to inspire ample whistles and hooting to render you deaf, and that, in itself shows the power of Telugu Cinema and its faithful audience.
So how does the film deliver on these expectations? We’ll get there in a bit. First the plot – in almost every way you look at it, the film is a methodic revenge story of a young son who wants to avenge his ailing father by settling the score with a certain acquaintance who cheated him back in the day. This, he does, by falling in love with his daughter (duh!) and using her as a tool in his masterplan to bring him down for good. Too simple and familiar a plot? Don’t worry. Add Sherlock Holmes’ overly heightened observational skills with some kickass dialogues and scattered plot twists into the mix, and there you have it! That’s Nannaku Prematho in a nutshell. Saying anything more would be giving too much away.
Speaking of the cast, NTR, well known amongst his fans for his superlative dialogue-delivery, pulls off Abhiram’s role with an effortless ease. Widely considered one of the most versatile actors in the industry, his jaw-dropping screen presence is the epitome of suave stance. Equally riveting, is Jagapathi Babu’s take on Krishnamurthy, the film’s primary antagonist who was last seen recently in Mahesh Babu’s Srimanthudu. Rakul Preet Singh is easy on the eyes, and a welcome addition to the cast. She gives Divyanka’s character a strong presence in the film, but I personally would’ve liked it better if her legsdid not take up as much screen time as they did. (Not everyone might complain though!)
Evident from the many rambunctious sequences I witnessed today, there’s not a shred of doubt in stating that the film’s cheekiness is its main strength. When you see NTR pull offelevated observation skills to the point which would put Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlockto shame, you know you can either stare in awe or laugh your asses off. Either way, it doesn’t fail to cater on the entertainment front. The brilliant fight choreography can be termed “gracefully violent”, yet not overtly gory, exactly what the target audience would want to indulge in. (duh! It’s Telugu Cinema! Nobody swags in movies like these people do!)
Devi Sri Prasad’s soundtrack, a constant in all Sukumar movies, doesn’t disappoint on any front. There isn’t much to say about the songs, which have been constantly dominating the music charts week after week, ever since the audio launch back in December. Those peppy numbers sure complement NTR’s dance moves, which he does not shy away from displaying every few minutes.
The real plaudits, however, go to Sukumar. Visually speaking, the film is tremendously directed with some really amazing set pieces. Be it the scenes shot on the Millennium Bridge in London or the exotic locales of Spain, they are all simply awe-inspiring. I do have a couple of gripes though. The plot is very formulaic in its approach, with little new to offer which is slightly underwhelming. Also, its runtime of 168 minutes may not be the easiest thing to sit through. But despite all that, this is a highly stylized, well performed and visually exciting film almost every step along the way, essentially just fully-loaded action filled fun. Even if you’re not an ardent Telugu cinema follower, and have roughly three hours to spend over the weekend, Nannaku Prematho is well worth a trip to the theatre.
Beware, you won’t be openly greeted with subtitles though. But then again, you might not really need them