Nani, Nazriya Nazim starrer 'Ante Sundaraniki' was released today in theatres. Directed by Vivek Athreya and produced by Mythri Movie Makers. Here is the short Review.
Sundar Prasad (Nani) is a techie who has been dreaming of visiting the US at least once in life. His girlfriend Leela Thomas (Nazriya Nazim) is a childhood friend who becomes a passionate photographer in search of identity. When they fall in love with each other, familiar problems arise because of their religious backgrounds. Sundar hails from an orthodox Brahmin family, while Leela hails from a Christian family whose patriarch is fanatical.
Director Vivek Athreya shows promise in delivering gentle gags in the first half. The drollery is enjoyable even when it goes a bit over the top when characters like Joga Rao (Srikanth Iyengar as a quack of an astrologer), for example, are around. The narration is steady and, despite a run time of 170 minutes (excluding Ads and end credits), the film doesn't seem overlong if you can soak into the world-building in the first half.
Nani's infectious warmth makes the film delightful. He is in a tizzy a lot of times and yet wins the audience over with his cantankerous behaviour.
VK Naresh and Rohini are equally measured; the former, especially, is fabulous without resorting to hyperbole or cliches. Azhagam Perumal, who plays Leela's father, is neat (although his dubbing is off). He is better than Nadhiya, who seems too dull for her character.
The first hour goes into narrating the present and childhood episodes of Sundar and Leela in a zigzag manner. Sundar's track is comical, but Leela's stretches come with snatches of poignancy.
The plot comes into its own after the first half, especially after Sundar and Leela come together to figure out their future. Each of them has to tell a specific, extreme lie that is fraught with personal and collective risks. Will they bite the bullet?
Vivek Sagar's music graduates to a more evolved level in terms of BGM. The songs are montage ones and they all hit the right note. Niketh Bommi's cinematographic talent comes to the fore in the indoor scenes at Sundar's home, especially.
This film makes for a neat family watch. More than the laughs, expect its layered story to engross you. Neat performances and mature writing are its biggest merits.