Oh boy, dump it
Cardinal sin number 1: A first-time writer should not make his protagonist a struggling novelist. Taking it further, a first-time director should not make his protagonist a struggling film director, even if it’s a real-life story. Sin 2: One twist does not make a good story. More so if you do not know where to place it and precede it with one hour of boring sequences. Even the good things feel average then. 3: Jokes about bowel movement and toilets are passe . 4: The protagonist as the embodiment of Raja Harischandra was junked a generation ago. 5: Suspense for the character is not suspense for the audience. When you reveal more to your audience than you reveal to your characters, you are waiting to be mocked. 6: Magic does not happen every day. Many an average film is boosted by good music, both songs and background score. This was not a good day at work for ‘magical composer’ Arjun Janya. 7: Should we say it?
Prajwal Devaraj’s first home production is a clear case of poor judgment. The emotional pitch of the director seems to have won over rationality. The first half of the film narrates the journey of a good boy doing everything for a friend who is a girl (remember, not girlfriend). Everything goes like a parade: dropping her at college, taking her to doctor, taking her to a movie and so on. But when she hears him saying he may be in love with her, she dumps him. The audience knows that he has qualified the statement later that she is only a good friend. So while there is no suspense for the audience, the two characters go on a charade.
The second half of the film is marginally better as the narration goes beyond boy-taking-girl-around-the-town. Neenade Na is nothing much of a family drama and even less of a love story. It is good to see actors like Doddanna, Avinash and Pavithra Lokesh in the supporting cast rather than those who cannot even speak Kannada. Prajwal is perhaps the only saving grace, but what he needs desperately is someone to select stories for him.
Love, friendship can be separate entities, too
Kannada (U) ¬¬¬
Cast: Prajwal Devaraj, Priyanka Kandwal, Bullet Prakash and others
Neenaade Naa comes with lot of promise. The title brings to mind the beautiful, melodious number from Murali Meets Meera, paying ode to unconditional love and surrender etc.
The story comes from the director’s ‘real life’, offering another ‘fresh’ look at the dynamics of love and friendship.
The film is Dynamic Devaraj’s first foray into production – a family affair while at it too. Younger son Pranam shakes a leg with elder bro Prajwal ahead of an anticipated debut.There are two proven performers in Ankita Maheshwari and Priyanka Kandwal, who are known for their turns in Na Aana Iss Des Lado and Pavitra Rishta, respectively.
There are Avinash, Pavithra Lokesh, Doddanna, K S Sridhar and others who hold up their ends well.
There is Prajwal Devaraj, who holds lot of promise a la Kote, but has sometimes let himself, and his fans, down with some mediocre films.
There is Arjun Janya, who loves nothing better than to blow the eardrums out even as they find rhythm and melody hidden in the mayhem.
Finally, there is Srikanth, another promising writer, who brings in that youthful freshness while still clinging to cliches and stock phrases in the dialogues.
Neenaade Naa suffers from a few drawbacks as well. The script loses its way towards the end. Though ‘adapted’ from a real story, films like Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai and co do flash before the eyes. Before the climax, however, especially till the interval, Neenaade Naa is an engaging watch.
Priyanka Kandwal brings out the nuances of her character well, sometimes outshining a patient Prajwal, who grows into the role well. Credit goes to the script which makes ordinariness a little bewitching here and a little exasperating there while disposing of the frills.
Director Kandhas ties up all loose ends as climax nears and it is a shame to see that after all the basketball moves, cute shorts in those long, yet clumsy legs and a role that is maybe longer than the shorts, Ankita gets Prajwal in the end, only after suffering through a patriarchal sermon. Priyanka walks away with the stronger role, one that many today easily identify with.
Neenaade Naa is a family film, harking back to the time when values held precedence. i