Docile: Vedika in ‘Baanam’.

Former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s nephew Nara Rohit debuts alongside director Chaitanya Dantuluri, son of journalist and writer, the late Narayana Varma, in Baanam.

With their fortunes knit on ‘Baanam’, Chaitanya (story & script too) comes up with a competent, commendable effort. Sumptuously shot on verdant locations across scenic south by Anil Bhandari, ‘Baanam’, despite its shoe-string budget, makes for serious and sensitive cinema.

Given its familiar cops-naxals-baddies formulae, Chaitanya, however, ensures he never goes over the top, eschewing the mundane, making ‘Baanam’ a message-oriented movie sans masala. What further works for ‘Baanam’ is its less than two hour screentime and its placid pace that is not heavy on viewers. Nara Rohit, as the IPS aspiring youth Bhagat Panigrahi, and the son of a reformed Naxalite, taking on baddies in a larger-than-life role, and Vedika as the docile, dowry-victim Brahmin girl, show ample promise.

Chaitanya is among the new brood of film-makers who believe in driving their social homily in a crisp manner with a minimum of commercial claptrap.