MCA: Not up to the mark
This is definitely not the film you expect from potential performers like Nani and Sai Pallavi
If not for Nani's hapless middle-class act, there'd really be nothing worth watching in MCA. After a hiatus, director Venu Sreeram has arrived with a story of a youngster, who struggles to find a purpose in life. One definitely wonders why he chose to make his comeback after six years with a tried-and-tested trope that we see in every other Telugu film. It’s definitely a problem when the script does not appeal to today's audience due to its archaic theme.
Director: Venu Sreeram
Cast: Nani, Sai Pallavi, Bhumika Chawla Thakur, Aamani, Senior Naresh, Vennela Kishore
A free-spirited youngster Nani (Nani) yields to the typical middle-class state of affairs and agrees to relocate to Warangal with his sister-in-law, an RTO officer Jyothi (Bhumika Chawla Thakur). He leads an unambitious life, where he is responsible for doing the lion's share of the housework. So it feels logical to see him hating her and feeling like he wants to runs away from her. Nani then has a moment of epiphany and understands the intention behind Jyothi’s actions.
Enter Shiva (Vijay Varma), a menacing businessman, who can’t tolerate losing, no matter what. He challenges Jyothi, who is forthright in word and upright in her morals, and threatens to kill her. Yes, you guessed it right; the action hero Nani jumps into the scene and thrashes Shiva. What follows then is a cat-and-mouse game between Shiva and Nani.
The director has invested too much time in Nani’s household chores and lackluster love story, and failed to translate the hero-villain mind game into an absorbing drama. Although Shiva looks like a potent opponent to Nani, the script positions him like an Obul Reddy (from Okkadu) and the conflict is presented in a predictable style. The challenges he puts Nani through are silly and childlike and they lack that edge-of-the-seat tautness that is very much needed for a film like MCA to stay racy and enjoyable.
Contrary to her debut film Fidaa, Sai Pallavi here plays an extremely weak role that holds no significance in the film whatsoever. Except for the song sequences and a love track, she has nothing to do. The script that doesn’t allow her to find her feet and reduces her to a supporting player. Nani, on the other hand, does a good job and makes the role believable. He is potentially one of the finest actors in Telugu and this film sees him tickle your funny bones, convey pain with his eyes and almost manage to take your attention away from its glaring flaws. However, it’s time for Nani to come up with fresh and fascinating scripts that can help him reinvent himself.
Bhumika shows some restraint in a role that lacks emotional depth. Aamani doesn’t have a substantial role, but both she and Senior Naresh impress in their cameos. Vijay Varma isn’t compelling. He has only one expression throughout the film and he doesn’t come up with a fitting reaction when needed. Vennela Kishore, Priyadarshi and party provide some hearty laughs. Devi Sri Prasad’s music and background score are a letdown.
MCA is definitely not the film you expect from potential performers like Nani and Sai Pallavi. Director Venu Sreeram could have done a lot more to make it a refreshing tale. Unfortunately, he lets down producer Dil Raju who has pinned all his hopes to score a second hat-trick this year. Watch MCA with low expectations to avoid disappointment.