Express News Service
Movie: Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi; Cast: Vishwaksen Naidu, Abhinav Gomatam, Venkatesh Kakumanu and Sushanth Reddy; Director: Tharun Bhascker; Rating: 3/5
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?
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 and is determined to accomplish them by hook or crook. His earnestness wins him the admiration of his boss, who asks him to marry his daughter. At the centre of the happenings, the focus shifts to Vivek, who bears angst and nursing a heartbreak.
He is always prone to angry outbursts and uses his emotions to control his friends. His misguided commitment coupled with masked fear to doing what he thinks is right lands himself 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 of the city.
It hardly takes a few minutes for you to go back to your school 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 those days and in the next, 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 thereby 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 meet your childhood buddies. Especially, you fall in love with the skirmishes between Vivek and Karthik that erupts over a silly issue giving an impression they are still in their school days.
Tharun has maintained a real tone throughout the film that seems causal and the dialogues being 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, here, resorts to melodrama and over-the-top histrionics to make its 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 out in places. The film deserves your time as Tharun did a sincere job of depicting the bond between friends by bringing in familiarity.
Also, it leaves a message that one should live in the moment and follow your 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 tried to incorporate plenty of promising elements, it still won’t be remembered as his first film, Pelli Choopulu. But, one couldn’t stop raving his artistic touch which is on display due to artful use of colour tones. Beyond its technicalities, neat production design, some alluring performances and dialogues, the film leaves a mixed bag of emotions. Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi is like an incomplete dream that one can leisurely recall on a rainy afternoon!