If Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi was a take on the short film industry juxtaposed with tales of camaraderie, love and madness, here’s Nannu Dochukunduvate that gives us another ringside view of the arena stepping into the shoes of a short film actor. She’s a college girl Meghana (Nabha Natesh), who comments on her own videos to generate hype for her mediocre short films, makes her principal ‘like’ her videos on social media, enjoys creating starry tantrums on sets, craves for attention in public and boasts of her follower count online. The director gives some validity to the crazy side in her and doesn’t portray her as a mere jumping jack. We give it a pass too, for she’s only a girl past her teens preferring to see the lighter side to life.
This lively character meets a sober, self-absorbed Karthik (Sudheer Babu), a stereotyped software engineer whose life revolves around numbers, targets and not friends. The situation that brings them together borders on absurdity-Karthik needs an escape route from marriage and has to convince his father that he’s in a relationship. The fun elements come alive ever since. The worlds of the contrasting personalities surprisingly find a meeting point. The two were supposed to act like a couple and here, they end up taking their equation to the next level in an unlikely journey.
The atmosphere surrounding short films is authentic. There are notable Youtube stars Darling Das, Shanmukh Jaswanth, Viva Harsha to sprinkle timely and funny references, their wannabe-attitude gives scope for strong humour and even Sudheer Babu isn’t spared. Watch out for the dialogue-stretch where he struggles to say a dialogue for a short film (that’s apparently titled ‘Biscuit’). Nabha Natesh unleashes the livewire in her effectively amid these characters.
The first hour is a breeze, the director is successful in balancing the film’s emotional and exaggerated dimensions. The trouble begins only later. The comedy quotient gets relatively redundant, one wonders what’s so funny about Shankarabharanam Thulasi saying, 'I don’t know how an aeroplane flies mid-air carrying so many people'. The film moreover runs on a predictable terrain and is more screenplay-driven than story-driven.
The couple’s consistent mood-swings in their relationship begin to feel monotonous. The sparks only come in intermittently, we’re indulgently reminded that Sudheer Babu is the producer of the film too, that he’s now a commercially bankable actor and he gets his part with the fights, moves and costumes and even his twist to the ‘Priya Varrier-wink’. These parts don’t contribute so much to film though. The director brings in a quintessential and welcome twist to the proceedings just when you begin to lose hope. The emotional texture of the story does evoke a surprise, deserved more elaboration. Nasser, Thulasi bring credibility to their parts. It’s a bonus that the film ends on a high note.
The enchanting parts may not come together to create a larger sum in Nannu Dochukunduvate, but the film is a riot when it sticks to humour and a passe, when it tries to give an emotional context to the lighter portions.