'Nenorakam', starring Sairam Shankar, Sarathkumar and Rashmi Menon in lead roles, releases today. Here is our review.
Gautham (Sairam Shankar), an orphan working as a loan recovery agent, knows nothing but joyous living. Sweccha (Rashmi Menon) is a sensitive plant-caring zoologist who can't think of harming anybody. The rough-n-tough guy predictably falls in love with the Ms. Contrast Personality.
One fine day, after some harmless dramabaazi which can be seen through by any normal girl, the naive Sweccha falls for him. But before she can meet him and say 'I love you', Sweccha gets kidnapped.
At this point of time, the audience have no clue as to who is interested in kidnapping her, although the negative character of an angry rich guy who wants to kill someone is shown as a parallel track.
In the second half, Gautham has to race against time in knowing the whereabouts of his lover, but the one giving him a litmus test of a life time won't budget easily.
The first and second halves are poles apart in terms of the genre. The rom-com episodes of the first, involving the lead pair, late MS Narayana, and his son (played by Viva Harsha) pass muster. The case of mistaken identity by the heroine, how Harsha ends up thinking she loves him, how the father MS (yes, he is a drunkard, minus his own dubbing) deals with allt his is okayish comedy.
Sairam Shankar's characterization is good enough. The cafe fight sequence involving him, Chalaki Chanti, Sudigali Sudheer and others is well-choreographed.
While Rashmi Menon looks beautiful (she would be apt for such 'satthwik' characters), she and her co-star done a neat job in the songs. The hero sports several get-ups in the songs, which make for an amusing watch. 'Pitikedu nadumu' is one of the very good numbers.
However, elements like the hero fighting out with a single hand even though there is no such need, he as a loan recovery agent threatening to molest wives if the husbands don't repay the loan amount, stretching the Viva Harsha track (complete with 'Ee manu hrudayam' parody), introducing Prudhvi just ritualistically, could have been avoided. How come the hero never raised his head to look at women until he met Sweccha when he talks about 'jathi figure' in the very first scenes?
Kollywood star hero Sarathkumar's character breathes life into the second half. He is very good as a villain-sounding, villain-seeming middle-aged man. Most of his interactions with a character are on the phone, yet he does a commendable job. Lines like 'Neeku unnadi deadlines matrame, life lines kadu..' are well-delivered.
The flashback episodes are heart-searing. However, the writer-director could have stretched it a bit more to establish more weight for the behaviour of an important character (revealing it might act as a spoiler).
In the second half, certain portions should have been underplayed or played after giving out some understanding about the kidnapper's intentions. The climax should have got the tempo right.
Aditya Menon as a trigger-happy cop has an OK role.
Coming to other performances, Sairam Shankar is very measured in this film. He doesn't shout or over-emote unnecessarily. He has worked hard for the fights and songs and it's evident. He complements the performance of a senior star like Sarathkumar so well. Rashmi needs to get a character with scope for delivery.
MS Narayana's comic timing goes for a toss because of the dubbing by someone else. This is one of the few films which has many scenes involving the departed soul. Kadambari Kiran is good.
Mahith Narayan's music and Siddharth Ramaswamy's cinematography deserves praise for the budget that is there.
'Nenorakam' is a rom-com in the first half and a thriller in the second. Director Sudarshan Salendra gets to work with good artistes and technical team. All in all, despite some hiccups and hackneyed elements, this film works at a level.