Crooner's convoluted identity conundrum

Crooner's convoluted identity conundrum

NenokkadineTelugu (U/A)    ***Director:  SukumarCast: Mahesh Babu, Kriti Sanon, Nasser, Anu Hasan, Pradeep Rawat, Kelly Dorji

Taking a multi-layered, non-linear narrative a la Lucia, Tollywood director Sukumar seeks to weave a nifty psychological revenge saga in 1: Nenokkadine.

The film, which straddles between stools of art house feel and brimming with commercial claptrap, looks akin to Aamir Khan’s Ghajini in mood and metier borrowing heavily on Hollywoodian formats. 

Sukumar’s 1: Nenokkadine has in chiselled and abs-packed Gautam, a Bruce Springsteen, who, while setting the stage on fire, suffers from Interpretation Disorder Syndrome, that does tricks with his brains. 

And, needless to iterate, like the film’s singing sensation, the audiences too, suffer from same symptoms and delusions as they try to sift the real from surreal as Sukumar’s 1: Nenokkadine waltzs through byzantine twists and turns to tell its tale that goes kaput in the second half.

Sure, despite the sufferance diehards are hard put to, Mahesh Babu, rocks the show, literally as a crooner, as also brawny beau, battering baddies, standing tall like a Rock of Gibraltar, providing soothing salve while the film is hemmed in by the hyped expectations and ambitions.

Likewise, as an avid Mahesh Babu fan, if one is game for a bit of nebulous narrative structure that entails patient watch, may be 1: Nenokkadine is your ticket to tumultuous time at theatres this Sankranti. Hounded by hallucinations of a troubled past, our Rock Star tries to unravel it, which mission takes him to Goa, London, Thailand and Ireland. In tow is a petite, persuasive TV jurno who too wishes to ferret out the mystery. Sure enough, the two fall for each other. 

How their quest ends forms the fulcrum of the flick which could have better had its slew of screenplay and story writers put more thought into making it a tautly tethered package. Be that as it may, one cannot discount mercurial Mahesh Babu at the helm of affairs, the film’s failings fall by wayside, with sheen and style providing polish for the vacucous vaudeville. 

Doff your hat to Mahesh Babu for his herculean task, amply aided by newbie Kriti Sanon surely a stunner and feast for sore eyes. 

Though Sukumar & Co have eschewed from falling prey to crass comedy, they, however, have lost the plot, despite technical finesse and production gloss. 

Sad. In sum, 1: Nenokkadine falls short of a surefire sizzling edge-of-the-seat thriller. Therein lies the tale that could have turned triumph at boxoffice and the discerning.   

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