Movie: Ee Nagaraniki Emaindi
Banner: Suresh Productions
Cast: Vishwaksen Naidu, Sushanth Reddy, Abhinav Gomatam, Venkatesh Kakumanu, Anisha Ambrose, Simran Chowdary and others
Music: Vivek Sagar
Cinematography: Niketh Bommi
Editing: Ravi Teja Girijala
Producer: D. Suresh Babu
Story, screenplay, dialogues and direction: Tharun Bhascker Dhaassyam
Release date: June 29, 2018
'Pelli Choopulu' brought laurels to director Tharun Bhascker. The young director's movie also won Best Regional Telugu film award at National Awards.
Tharun has unique style and his second film has generated huge buzz with its title and fun teasers.
Let's find out whether he lives up to all the expectations this time.
Vivek (Vishwaksen), Karthik (Sushanth Reddy), Upendra (Venkatesh Kakamanu) and Kaushik (Abhinav Gomatam) are four childhood buddies. The story begins with one accident while four of them travelling and goes back to their stories.
Vivek, a short filmmaker, is nursing heartbreak (his beautiful girlfriend broke up with him due to his easily irascible attitude). Karthik on the other hand is all set to get engaged to a USA girl. Upendra is settled as wedding photographer.
Kaushik is trying his luck in TV serials as actor. They all head to Goa for a short filmmaking contest. They booze, have fun and patch their relations.
Except for Anisha Ambrose (who has done many films), the cast consists of newcomers. The lead actors Vishwaksen Naidu, Sushanth Reddy, Abhinav Gomatam and Venkatesh Kakumanu are fitted in their youthful, fun roles.
Abhinav Gomatam is actually the scene-stealer with his natural flair for comedy and ease in acting. Many scenes are saved by his comic acting.
Anisha Ambrose and Simran Chowdhary as the female lead are good.
Music by Vivek Sagar is a mixed bag. It is no match to the previous "Pelli Choopulu" or his recent "Sammohanam" but has two catchy songs.
Cinematography is good, some shots are top class. The production design (art work) and production values are perfect. The movie’s pace is dead slow. Even at short runtime, it gives the feel of lengthy movie.
Some funny episodes
Abhinav Gomatam’s comedy act
Superfluous booze scenes
The concept of buddy flicks is not entirely new to Telugu audiences, but this genre is not popular unlike in Bollywood or Hollywood.
“Ee Nagarikini Emaindhi” is a true buddy flick with all the regular features of the genre – gang of friends, a place for booze and enjoyment (Goa), friends trying to overcome small differences among them or recovering from heartbreak, funny dialogues and a comedian like buddy.
Films like “Dil Chahta Hai”, “Rock On” and Hollywood flick “Hangover” have popularized these features.
After making his debut movie “Pelli Choopulu” with universal story line, director Tharun Bhascker has chosen this buddy flick genre and mixed episodes from his life, his days of short film-making.
What Tharun has done here is replicating those buddy flicks, but has not entirely succeeded in bringing out the same emotions.
Added to this, the film looks more autobiographical (Tharun Bhascker's) as it would not be easy to connect to everyone unless you share same lifestyle. That is why the fun and the dialogues evoke mixed reactions here. Some jokes are really hilarious, which can be enjoyed by anyone; some are like inside jokes that can only be enjoyed by their own gang.
After treading aimlessly most part, the director hangs the emotional anchor in the final act. Only at the end of the movie we realize that it is actually about two friends Vivek and Karthik, the buddies from 5th or 6th standard who have gone different directions when they have become adults.
Vivek fears losing his friends and Karthik wants to ‘grow in life’ at any cost. How they bond again much like Akash (Aamir Khan) and Siddharth (Akshaye Khanna) did in “Dil Chahta Hai” is shown in the final parts. But before this, it goes in all directions. Even the emotional factor has not worked well.
What has worked in this film: the initial portions, the dialogues, some comedy episodes (the highlight of this is when Abhinav Gomatam turns bakra in drunk scene in Goa sequence).
On the other hand, the protagonist here comes across as a guy with serious psychological problems than an angry youngman.
Don’t know why some directors feel it is fashionable to turn protagonists like Vivek into heroes when they behave like a misogynist with their girlfriends. One can empathize with an Arjun Reddy, but not with this guy(!?).
The film has many serious problems on thin plotline, but what it achieves is presenting a new-age buddy flick (sparsely though), again gives the glimpse of Tharun Bhascker’s natural dialogue writing strength, and gives us another comedian.
It is fun sure, but not entirely entertaining. All in all, “Ee Nagarikini Emaindi” with its slow pace and overindulgent scenes doesn’t appeal to all, it is primarily targeted at the urban youth. Those who have not seen better buddy movies like “Dil Chahta Hai” may find this fresh, but for others, it is tedious watch.
Bottom-line: Buddy flick!