What’s it about?
The life of Surya Prakash (Naresh) is going smoothly. He is a software professional. As luck would have it, his wedding is fixed with the girl Meenakshi (Navami) he liked at first sight. His father is proud that Surya Prakash is well-settled in life.
His life spirals down when he was implicated in a murder case. He is accused of murdering a social activist (CVL). His fiance moves on, his parents die, years pass in the prison without proving him guilty. He loses all hope. Five years later, a ray of hope appears with a young lawyer Aadhya (Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar) is determined to bring him out of jail on bail and prove his innocence. How does she prove Surya Prakash’s innocence? Will he take any action on the police officer who put him in jail?
‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. This theme is well-established in debutant director Vijay Kanakamedla ‘Naandhi’. But the film is not just about under delayed justice and the plight of the undertrial, ‘Naandhi’ also tackles another interesting angle of the Indian Penal code and the legal system. That is section 211 of IPC. The wronged police officers can also be brought to court for their intentional offense.
‘Naandhi’ narrates the point in an intense manner. Banking heavily on Allari Naresh’s stupendous performance, the director drives his point well. It is a legal drama, but the new director Vijay Kanakamedala has also used all the heroic elements. Using all the oft-repeated tropes – common man’s fight against the mighty system, Vijay Kanakamedala has convincingly narrated this story. However, the second half suffers from uneven moments. Certain sequences lack convincing. Especially, the courtroom sequences lack the effectiveness. The political angle is too formulaic.
As said, ‘Naandhi’ is all about Naresh’s intense performance. This is his best work to date. Although he has played serious roles in the past in films like ‘Shambo Siva Shambo’ and ‘Maharshi, ‘Naandhi’ is his most fervent and passionate performance. Along with Naresh, Varalaxmi also scores points in the role of a lawyer. She is growing as an actress.
Priyadarshi and Praveen both have put in sincere efforts. Harish Uthaman has played the usual bad cop role. Vinay Varma appears as a politician.
The film has adequate technical output. Director Vijay Kanakamedala makes a good debut with this film. He is a talent to watch out for. He also needs to be commended to project Naresh in this way.
Bottom-line: ‘Naandhi’ is a legal drama about section 211 of IPC, that is told sincerely. The film has its shortcomings, but it is Allari Naresh’s performance that is the main highlight.
By: Jalapathy Gudelli
Rating: 2.75 /5
Cast: Allari Naresh, Navami, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Harish Uthaman
Music: Sri Charan Pakala
Editor: Chota K Prasad
Producer: Satish Vegesna
Written and directed by: Vijay Kanakamedala
Release Date: Feb 19, 2021