Ante Sundaraniki Review – Nani shines in this breezy entertainer!
Vivek Athreya’s Ante Sundaraniki is the kind of film that would keep a smile on your face right through. The one liner is pretty straightforward and you pretty much know the crux of the film from the trailer. But Vivek Athreya keeps surprising you with nice little surprises and has enough tricks up his sleeve. The film works like a charm because of its delightful cast. Nani is terrific and almost shoulders the film with his portrayal of the innocent and playful Sundar. His comic timing is impeccable and in what is a performance that requires him to be innocent, playful, a little quirky, emotional and even over the top at times, he gets the balance spot on. Nazriya is at ease as always. In fact, every actor brings out his or her A game and each one deserves a special mention. While essentially a romcom with two likable lead actors, this is a film that relies on the supporting cast as much as it does on the lead couple.
Vivek Athreya’s characters are well written and at no point in the film they behave out of character. Only Leela‘s (Nazriya) fiancé played by director Venkatesh Maha is a bit unpredictable. The humour is clean. The interactions between Nani and Harsha Vardhan are a hoot. There are enough laugh-out-loud moments and what is really fascinating is that the jokes either work really well or leave you with a smile. I can hardly recollect a misfired joke.
The timeline keeps changing in the first half and Vivek establishes all the characters before we actually get to see Nani and Nazriya together. The writing is terrific and all those scenes that you assumed were being played only for comedy fit into the larger picture much later. The pay offs are really good. The film also gets the emotional portions right towards the end. Again, there is no melodrama here and everything is smooth and subtle. Rohini shedding happy tears towards the climax for instance. There is a lot to takeaway as messages in Ante Sundaraniki but none of this is shoehorned.
Ante Sundaraniki is a lot of fun. With Nani in superb form and ably supported by a terrific supporting cast, Vivek Athreya delivers a breezy entertainer.