Hi Nanna Review: A sentiment drama that works in parts only

Hi Nanna

What’s it about?

Viraj (Nani), a fashion photographer residing in Mumbai, shares the tale of his wife with his 6-year-old daughter Mahi (Kiara Khanna) in response to her persistent inquiries. Mahi is afflicted with Cystic fibrosis, a condition that impairs lung function.

Mahi imagines Yashna (played by Mrunal Thakur) as the mother while her father recounts the story. Viraj discloses that he developed romantic feelings for his future wife in Coonoor, and subsequently entered into matrimony. Initially, his wife expresses reluctance to have children due to the impact of her parents’ divorce on her.

Advertisement

After considerable persuasion from Viraj, she ultimately consents to begin a family, and they joyfully welcome their daughter, Mahi. However, a single event alters their lives, compelling Viraj to start living alone with ailing daughter.

Upon hearing his past, Yashna experiences a sudden love for Viraj and desires to assume the role of Mahi’s mother. However, things don’t seem they initially appear. And how their lives become increasingly intricate as additional revelations emerge?

Analysis

Nani starred in the film “Ante Sundaraniki” last year, which focused on the theme of infertility and the female lead’s desire to conceive. Conversely, in Nani’s latest work “Hi Nanna”, the female lead exhibits reluctance to initiate a family. Helmed by debutant director Shouryuv, “Hi Nanna” only briefly touches upon the aforementioned theme and primarily revolves around a young girl’s quest to learn about her mother.

The narrative element of a daughter inquiring about her father’s pre-marriage life, encompassing the circumstances of his encounter and love for her mother, as well as the subsequent events, bears a striking resemblance to the 2008 Hollywood film “Definitely, Maybe”. Deriving inspiration from this Hollywood film, the new director Shouryuv incorporates sentimental sequences to interlace this narrative.

“Hi Nanna” definitely has cute moments, but it feels overworked at many times. During the first half of the film, we are presented with an extended episode of Nani’s love story, which lacks originality and feels excessively prolonged. Only “Samayama” song works during this stretch.

The twists seem to be more of a gimmick. Plus, all the characters underdeveloped. Consider, for instance, the character of Mahi, who is the daughter of the hero. In the opening scene of the story, Mahi, who is afflicted with Cystic fibrosis, is depicted as requiring nocturnal external oxygen assistance. Subsequently, we never witness her receiving such assistance in any scene, and she is consistently depicted as an ordinary child.

The inexplicably cruel behavior of the child’s grandmother, who refuses to even embrace the girl upon her long-awaited return, lacks logical reasoning. The portrayal of the grandmother character appears contrived and artificial, as she is depicted as a villainous figure with no proper logic.

And final episode of Mrunal Thakur, who is about to get married doctor, is also prolonged. It would have been more effective the sequence is concise. Nevertheless, it definitely makes emotional and better part of the film.

While “Hi Nanna” does have some enjoyable moments, the director attempts to play on our emotions through contrived circumstances.

The performances are neat. Nani portrays his role in his usual self. Mrunal Thakur possesses a captivating charm and beauty. Her performance is good. Jayaram has a significant scene in the climax, but apart from that, he doesn’t have much to do. Angad Bedi’s portrayal as Mrunal’s fiancé is okay. Priyadarshi plays a stock friend’s character.

The much-hyped Shruti Haasan’s guest appearance is forcible without any desired effect.

Out of all the songs that Hesham composed, “Samayama” is lilting, but his background score works well throughout. The film’s sharp frames, combined with its meticulous production design, create a visual richness.

Bottom line: “Hi Nanna” is a sentiment drama that works in parts only. The music and a few emotional sequences are advantageous for the film. The sluggish storytelling and contrived scenes are major drawbacks. At many places, it suffers from lack of effective handling.

Rating: 2.75/5

By: Jalapathy Gudelli

Film: Hi Nanna
Cast: Nani, Mrunal Thakur, Baby Kiara Khanna, Priyadarshi, Jayaram, and others
Music: Hesham Abdul Wahab
DOP: Sanu John Varghese
Editor: Praveen Antony
Production Designer: Avinash Kolla
Producers: Mohan Cherukuri, Dr. Vijender Reddy Teegala
Written and Directed by
: Shouryuv
Release Date: Dec 07, 2023

Advertisement
 

More

Related Stories

What’s it about? Viraj (Nani), a fashion photographer residing in Mumbai, shares the tale of his wife with his 6-year-old daughter Mahi (Kiara Khanna) in response to her persistent inquiries. Mahi is afflicted with Cystic fibrosis, a condition that impairs lung function. Mahi imagines Yashna (played...Hi Nanna Review: A sentiment drama that works in parts only