Nenu Local Review: Triumph of the Good for Nothing Chap...Again
There’s a moment in Trinadha Rao Nakkina’s latest film Nenu Local, where a cop Siddharth Varma (Naveen Chandra) puts his rival in love, Babu (Nani) behind bars for a trivial reason. Both of them are vying for the attention of the same girl of course, Keerthi (Keerthy Suresh). While Siddharth does this to prevent Babu from being present during the Sangeet ceremony the next day, Babu on the other hand challenges Siddharth saying that he would actually be attending the Sangeet ceremony and it would be Siddharth who would be left cooling his heels. What follows is total mayhem as Babu ends up managing to get his local area inhabitants to drop in to the police station in hordes, all of them with the pretext of wanting to get an official case registered. This is a genuinely funny moment in the film where writer Prasanna Kumar Bezawada and director Trinadha Rao Nakkina manage to impress. But does the film overall also manage to impress? Well let’s come to that shortly.
Nani has been in terrific form of late, with 5 consecutive hits in a row. His good form has even rubbed off in a way on to the films where he has had a cameo (like Jyo Achyutananda) of late. Director Trinadha Rao Nakkina got noticed with Cinema Choopistha Mava (2015) and probably managed to impress prolific producer Dil Raju in the process. With Nani having agreed to work on the film long before the producer and director came on board, apparently impressed with Prasanna Kumar Bezawada’s writing, it looked like there was something really remarkable in terms of the concept. The promos showed the promise of a fun film and that was more than enough reason for people to look forward to the film. The weekend has also seen the film take off to a good start, both in India and overseas. Now that I’ve seen the film it’s indeed time to do some introspection and look at what worked and what did not as far as Nenu Local is concerned.
Babu is a carefree youth who seems to have no interest in completing his engineering degree, so much so that one of the professors (Sachin Khedekar) allows him to copy and pass his exams, thanks to the prospect of getting rid of Babu. But as luck would have it, Babu falls in love with Keerthi and decides to take up an MBA program in the same B.School that Keerthi belongs to. Keerthi is fond of her dad and wants to only marry the guy whom her father would choose for her. Babu sets out to make Keerthi fall in love with him, with her father turning out to be the stumbling block. And when Babu is finally feeling victorious, he realizes that Keerthi’s dad has already decided to get her married to Siddarth, a cop. How does Babu manage to handle Keerthi’s dad, ward off Siddarth and win his lady love is what we get to see as the film proceeds further.
At the very outset let me admit that the writing by Prasanna Kumar Bezawada is extremely disappointing, making me wonder as to what made people like Nani and Dil Raju see value in this project in the first place. There is absolutely nothing that is novel about the plot, how much longer do we have to endure a good for nothing protagonist shown as getting successful in love, ensuring that he stalks the girl and makes her fall for him. Even at the interval point I was looking forward to something exciting happening in the 2nd half, but except for a few interesting moments here and there, there is nothing that makes you feel for Babu and his love. Devi Sri Prasad’s music is pretty, the songs flow with the narrative. Eswari Rao and Posani Krishna Murali as Babu’s parents and Thulasi as Keerhi’s mother are effective while Sachin Khedekar and Naveen Chandra are impactful as well. Keerthy Suresh returns to Telugu cinema after Nenu Sailaja and does a standard job, while Nani is earnest and does manage to keep the proceedings enjoyable to an extent.
All said and done Nenu Local is a film that certainly suffers from bad writing, the character development itself proving to be an area of concern. And yet this is the kind of film which would probably end up being a huge commercial success, certainly not the right yardstick to decide if the film has worked.
Writer Prasanna Kumar Bezawada and director Trinadha Rao Nakkina have strangely come up with a film that’s outdated and also conveying a wrong message. This is not something that one expects people like Nani and Dil Raju to be supporting.