Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi Review: A sincere effort, but not as effective as Tharun's debut
Much like Pelli Choopulu, the film has its heart in the right place, but the director, here, resorts to melodrama and over-the-top histrionics to make its point
Director Tharun Bhascker who showed much promise with his debut film Pelli Choopulu is trying to cement his reputation by touching some of the unexploited genres in Telugu cinema. His second film Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi, a buddy comedy traces the journey of four friends, who aspire to make a short film. But, things don’t work out and they part ways only to reunite for a trip down the memory lane, after a few years. They get stuck in Goa with no place to stay and this gives them a chance to fulfil their dream, and how?
Cast: Vishwaksen Naidu, Abhinav Gomatam, Venkatesh Kakumanu and Sushanth Reddy
Director: Tharun Bhascker
Things start out promisingly enough as Tharun allows his leading men to play to the gallery, giving a slow-mo entry shot loaded with lively banters. After the dramatic episode, we get introduced to Karthik, who likes to pursue big dreams by hook or crook. His earnestness wins him the admiration of his boss, who asks him to marry his daughter. The focus then shifts to Vivek, who is nursing a heartbreak. Prone to angry outbursts, he uses his emotions to control his friends. His misguided commitment coupled with masked fear of doing what he thinks is right lands him in a situation where he has to compromise his principles for the sake of friendship. The third buddy, Kaushik, is a wannabe actor and the fourth one, Uppi, is reckoned as one of the best wedding video editors in the city.
The film takes you back to the days when you meet your childhood friends. When you hang out together, you tend to argue, play some pranks, talk about your preferences, recall the things you did in the old days and in the next moment, you get into fights. And in Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi too, the gang of friends step into the ring against each other. For large portions, these friends are aggravated by the attitude and annoying behaviour of Vivek, who is struggling to keep his life simple and be in good spirits. Their relationship often gets complicated prompting you to wonder – can their friendship last or is it going to end in heartbreak? The situation gets worse when they land in Goa, but all it takes is one drink to restore the bond. The conversations are so entertaining and lively that you feel like packing your bags and setting off to meet your own childhood buddies. You especially fall in love with the skirmishes between Vivek and Karthik over a silly issue giving the impression they are still in their school days.
Tharun has maintained a realistic tone throughout the film that seems causal and the dialogues are genuinely funny. The director has a strong perspective on relationships and emotions, and once again he has conceived a story, albeit in a new style, with a pragmatic approach. Even though the narrative follows some conventions, there’s still a sense of freshness in this film, powered by its lead actors whose performance makes one invested in the story. Much like Pelli Choopulu, the film has its heart in the right place, but the director resorts to melodrama and over-the-top histrionics to make his point. The story becomes predictable early on when the screenplay falls into a set format.
Tharun adopts a simple, yet linear narrative and the layered nature of the plot makes for hardly any surprises. The narrative goes at an uneven pace and its tone will tire you in places. The film deserves your time as Tharun does a sincere job in depicting the bond between friends.
Also, he leaves the message that one should live in the moment and follow one's heart. There’s an inherent honesty in Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi that compels you to look beyond its shortcomings.
Technically, the film is top notch. Niketh Bommireddy’s camera work and Vivek Sagar’s music and background score set a perfect tone for this film.
Although Tharun tries to incorporate plenty of promising elements, this still won’t be remembered like Pelli Choopulu. But, one can’t help but admire his artistic touch which is on display, especially with the use of colours. Beyond its technicalities, neat production design, alluring performances and dialogues, the film leaves us with a mixed bag of emotions.
Summing up, Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi is like an incomplete dream that one can look back on on a rainy afternoon.