Nenu Naa Rakshasi : Runs out of steam
Release date: 29 April 2011.
123Telugu.com Rating : 2.5/5
Director : Puri Jagannath
Producer : Nallamalupu Bujji
Music Directors : Rahman, Viswas, Anup Rubens
Starring : Rana, Ileana, Subbaraju and others...
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Nenu Naa Rakshashi proves a vital point that a cinematic depiction of a serious issue may not give any solutions. In fact, the cinema in itself becomes a tool to depict what makes people to undergo several ups and downs in life. In a way, the question about why make a film out of it when it can’t offer a solution remains unanswered. How seriously can you take a film which leaves you with lot more questions about the issue it tries to address than required? Nenu Naa Rakshashi stars Rana Daggubati, Ileana D Cruz, Subbaraju, Abhimanyu Singh in lead roles. Directed by Puri Jagannath, the film is a love story between a sharp shooter and a girl with a dark past.

NNR What’s it about : Rana stars as Abhimanyu, a sharp shooter who’s on a mission. He kills people based on an MMS which his mediator sends him without asking any questions. Meanwhile, he bumps into a girl Meenakshi (Ileana) and falls in love with her. Elsewhere, the police department comes across a Youtube channel which has several videos of people committing suicides. The rest of the story is about what happens to the love story between Abhimanyu and Meenakshi and whether the police department successfully finds out who has been uploading the videos of suicide.

What is Good : The films opens with a bang as the main theme of the film is established right in the first sequence. Rana is introduced as a sharp shooter and thanks to some slick action choreography, he seemed pretty convincing in the role. However, the joy is short lived and things go haywire when he falls in love with Ileana. Meenakshi (Ileana) is reluctant to fall in love for her own reasons and remains pretty adamant on her decisions. Ileana’s role is too uni-dimensional to empathize with her; perhaps it would be apt to call her ‘Rakshashi’ for that reason alone. But then, that’s her characterization in the film and it would be rather silly to ask why she doesn’t try to even emote in her scenes.

Among others, Subbaraju and Abhimanyu Singh are the only two actors who make a big impression in the film. Subbaraju plays an upright police officer’s role who’s trying to crack the case about the mysterious youtube channel mastermind and Abhimanyu Singh plays a dreaded don who wants to avenge the murder of his father and brother. The child actress who’s Subbaraju’s daughter in the film is really good.

What is bad: Puri Jagannath carefully avoids discussing whether suicides are ethical or not. Since he doesn’t take sides, the film is more or less a cinematic version of pain and reasons why people commit suicide, thereby dramatically reducing the scope of the subject. After establishing the conflict and narrating most part of the story in the first half, the latter half of the film has way too less on the plate to serve the audience. A dialogue and at times the small conflicts between the leads are repeated at different locations. On the whole, the second half of the film drags a lot despite it being set in some spectacular locales across Venice. Rana has a long way to go when it comes to dancing and the actor and he looks a bit helpless in the latter half of the story where his characterization is poorly etched. The comedy track involving Ali and Mumaith Khan is lame. In the end, the major twist in the tale is revealed a tad too late and fails to make a solid impact.

Technical Departments : Puri Jagannath uses a lot of montage scenes in the first half of the film to narrate the story. Dialogues by Puri Jagannath are good; however the screenplay lacks the punch which used to be a trademark of the director. The action choreography is top notch. Music by Rahman and Vishwa is alright. Cinematography by Amol Rathod is very good and most part of the film is shot in absurd camera angles. Maybe that was required to showcase how tensed and confused are the characters or just to add another element of quirkiness to the action scenes. Puri Jagannath confines his storytelling to specific boundaries and that’s exactly what the problem with the film. There’s hardly anything which would make the people think about their own lives and despite setting the story in a backdrop on suicides, the film only manages to scratch the surface of the problem.

Bottomline : Suicide is one of the favourite themes of most amateur filmmakers. While most of them concentrate on loss of hope and frustration as two of the major reasons which drove the protagonist to suicide, Puri Jagannath goes a step further and creates an emotionless character that chooses to do nothing while watching a suicide right in front of the eyes. One of the major problems with Nenu Naa Rakshashi is that it runs out of steam mid-way and tries desperately hard to narrate the rest of the story. Thumbs down to the film. If only the characters weren’t so uni-dimensional, the film would have made some sense in the end.

P.S: There’s a possibility that Nenu Naa Rakshashi – II might be made in future. This would feature the ‘people’s reaction’ to the videos posted on YouTube channel on suicides. Just kidding!


123Telugu.com Rating : 2.5/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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