If you are a fan of Nani (who isn’t?), you will watch the film regardless of what you read here. Anyway, here we go:

Ninnu Kori is a beautiful film. Comparisons with Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam notwithstanding (I didn’t watch it but reading the story on Wiki tells me there are plenty), Ninnu Kori as a standalone film is a well made one. It got my attention when the casting was announced. I was obviously going to watch it for Nani and Nivetha but Aadi Pinisetty was, strangely, a surprise. I’ve seen Aadi’s work earlier and in Vaishali he was good but it was Sindhu Menon who stole the show in that film. In one of his more recent outings, Sarainodu, he was decent but there was hardly any scope for his character despite being the antagonist. He makes the most of what Ninnu Kori offers to him.

The story plays out between just a few characters. Nani is Uma, a PhD fellow. Nivetha is Pallavi. Vizag is their city. Aadi Pinisetty is Arun. Evaru evarini preminchaaru and how these love stories start, end, start, end, start is what the film is about. Sounds familiar but not quite, trust me. Nani could well have done a masala entertainer with loads of comedy but choosing this film was a brave decision. Or not quite, if he believed in the potential of this movie, which I’m sure he must have. Films like Ninnu Kori are never about the story and how many twists and turns it takes. Stories like this are more or less predictable and that’s okay because films like this are about how the characters in the film deal with different situations in the story. The story of Ninnu Kori might be anybody’s guess but what makes it tick? What director wants you to see.

Here, debutante director Siva Nirvana gets brownie points for not messing it up and giving the audience exactly what they need. Also written by him, the film plays out at its own pace, all the while dragging the audience into the lives of the people he creates. The characters feel real and hence you connect with their emotions like they’re your own. Not for a moment any of this feels “set up” or fake. It’s like you’re eavesdropping on the conversations of people who exist in flesh and blood. Brilliant performances from Nani, Nivetha and Aadi make it all the believable.

The trouble comes in the second half, towards the climax, with Nivetha’s character. I won’t go into details because that will mean spoiling the experience for you but suffice to say that I am not entirely convinced about what she wants, although at the end she says quite convincingly that she wants a particular thing. I can maybe write about this in a spoiler-review if I ever write one.

Oh, this is not a “serious” movie either. There is enough comedy thrown in here and there for comic relief and Vidyullataa Raman, Sudharshan and Nani himself make sure there are enough laughs. In fact, a good portion of the first half is rather lighthearted. Music by Gopi Sundar is melodious but I have problems with the song “Hey Badulu Cheppave”. Haricharan destroys it with his poor pronunciation.

So, all that said and done, Ninnu Kori was a good time. It’s yet another showcase for Nani’s limitless talent! Nivetha is here to stay. And give Aadi Pinisetty solid roles like this one! And please make singers pronounce words correctly. Please?

I’m going with 3.75 out of 5! 🙂

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