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'MCA' Review: Monotonous Abbayi

'MCA' Review: Monotonous Abbayi

Movie: MCA
Rating: 2.5/5
Sri Venkateshwara Creations
Cast: Nani, Sai Pallavi, Bhumika, Rajeev Kanakala, Aaamani, Vijay, Posani, Naresh, Priyadarshi, Vennela Kishore and others
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Cinematography: Sameer Reddy
Art: Ramanjaneyulu
Editing: Prawin Pudi
Producers: Raju - Shirish - Lakshman
Written and directed by: Venu Sriram
Release date: Dec 21, 2017

With two big hits this year and given his current form, Nani’s every new film is being looked forward to eagerly. Of late, his name is generating a lot of curiosity thanks to his string of hits.

Moreover, this is Dil Raju’s production. So their combination has set the expectations bar rather high.

Let’s find out the film's merits and demerits...

Nani (Nani) is a boy next door, who has a elder brother Rajeev (Rajeev Kanakala) and both share a good bonding. But all that bromance is shattered when Jyothy (Bhumika) enters Nani’s life as his brother’s wife. Nani dislikes Jyothy from the word go.

Meanwhile, Jyothy is transferred to Warangal. Rajeev asks Nani to accompany his vadina to Warangal. Nani agrees to go after a lot of cajoling. Pallavi aka Chinni (Sai Pallavi) who is his vadina’s cousin falls in love with Nani.

Jyothy is a RTO officer who gets into trouble when she objects to Shiva (Vijay) operating busses without permission.

Shiva on the other hand threatens to finish Jyothy in 10 days. This is when Nani stands up to protect his family. What does he do next?

Artistes’ Performances:
Apart from his acting skills, his boy-next-door appearance has made Nani what he is today. Naturally he is best suited to the role of a middle-class guy. Nani is hilarious in some sequences and he has also indulged in action stunts.

Sai Pallavi is at her natural best. Although she doesn't have a strong role like she had in 'Fidaa', she has brought energy with her natural vivacious attitude. The romantic portion shot on them is a treat to watch.

The film revolves mainly around Nani and his vadina Bhumika Chawla. In her first such character-actress role, Bhumika has done a terrific job. She has lent dignity to the character. Rajeev Kanakala as brother is impressive.

Aamani as hyperactive aunty is okay.

Bollywood actor Vijay as main villain wins some brownie points though his characterisation is not strong enough. Posani, Vennela Kishore, Naresh and Priyadarshi have nothing much to do.

Technical Excellence:
Major highlight of the movie is its realistic locations and cinematography. Sameer Reddy has once again come up with good camerawork. He has captured Warangal locations well.

The film has a couple of catchy songs from Devi Sri Prasad, but he has become too repetitive in terms of tuning. Art work and production values are decent.

Nani and Sai Pallavi

Routine script
Weak characterization of villain
Bland second half

Nani has become a favourite of many for his choice of scripts that are simple yet relatable. However, audiences have already started complaining that he is losing grip on selecting scripts and attempting formulaic movies.

His latest film "MCA" is too clichéd and formulaic masala movie than his recent films. Although the film has relatively new backdrop (Warangal and private bus operator's mafia), the narration lacks novelty.

When one of his family members gets into trouble with a local rowdy leader, how hero goes all out to protect them is an oft-repeated storyline in Telugu movies.

To name a few, Allu Arjun's "Racegurram" (brother in trouble) and Ram's "Hyper" (father in trouble) come to our mind.

Nani who initially dislikes his sister-in-law (vadina) turns her protector when she ends up in trouble with a rowdy bus operator, for doing her job as the RTO officer.

To be fair, director Venu Sriram has a clever beginning. By focusing on family moments and romance, he sets the mood right. He sets the tone for the rest of the story by showing how Nani has issues with his vadina, how she makes him do household chores.

Later, the director shifts gears and introduces romance in a cute way. The effervescent Sai Pallavi coming on to the scene keeps the mood happy.

The biggest entertaining sequence in their romantic thread is when Sai Pallavi enters Nani's house and Bhumika asks Nani to drop her at college. This entire episode is a laugh riot.

After cute portions end, the film gets to the main point -- Bhumika seizing illegal buses of local rowdy leader Shiva (played by Bollywood actor Vijay Varma, who was seen in films like "Monsoon Shootout") and Shiva throwing a challenge to the hero that he would kill Bhumika within 10 days.

Generally, mass movies turn interesting when the villain throws a challenge to the hero to save his family member.

The issue here is Nani is not a mass hero. And the director neither goes ahead with massy treatment nor does he choose a novel way to show the duel between hero and villain. Thus, the second half turns insipid.

Each sequence and the end are quite predictable though Bhumika's kidnap episode does have a little novelty.

While Vijay as villain has done a perfect job, his characterisation lacks depth post-interval. After showing him as a mighty force in the initial sequences, he looks more like a clown towards the end.

"MCA" shines during the romantic portions and fun sequences, but turns monotonous during other times. So, it is neither there nor here.

Even in the first half, many moments are effective thanks to the lively performances by Nani, Bhumika and Sai Pallavi.

Overall, "MCA" is a strictly below average movie with occasional fun moments and neat romantic thread, but quite bland on the whole. Can be watched for Nani and Sai Pallavi's romance, but if you expect more, you'd be disappointed.

Bottom-line: Routine Fare