What’s it About?
Shalini (Nivetha Thomas) and Damini (Regina Cassandra) are two young independent women who arrive at the police academy to get trained as cops. One fine day, they take an off and chill at a pub. While coming out, they encounter a girl who suddenly gets kidnapped. Left with no choice, the two under trainees take it upon themselves to bust the kidnapping racket. Well, how they accomplish this difficult task is the crux of the film.
“Saakini Daakini” is an official Telugu remake of the Korean hit “Midnight Runners.”
The film is a simple kidnapping drama about how two young women bust the racket behind the mafia (an unfertilized egg harvesting mafia). To project this, the film is divided into two parts where the first half showcases how the girls get trained at the academy. The second half is where the kidnapping starts and the real action begins.
Sudheer Varma directs this film and sets the script according to our Telugu nativity. The way the training happens, and how the leading ladies have ego issues are shown properly. The comedy created by Sudharshan and mainly Nivetha Thomas makes for a breezy first half.
Regina plays a girl from a rich family and looks sensible in her role. On the other hand, Nivetha Thomas plays a Telangana girl and evokes good comedy. Her screen presence and comedy timing work well in the film. Senior actor Bhanu Chandar looks misfit as the academy chief. 30 Years Prudhic is good with his comedy punches.
The real issues of Saakini Daakini start in the second half. Though the viewers get an impression that there is a big mafia behind the kidnapping, what we get to see is only Kabir Singh and his silly gang which do not pose any threat to the girls who thereby easily solve the mystery.
Looks like Sudheer Varma was forced to direct this film according to the makers and leaves the ground open for so many logical issues in the second half. There are so many issues that you cannot keep a count on. The girls complain about the kidnapping and its seriousness to their superiors and being cops of high cadre, they leave the issue and concentrate only on the girls getting back to the academy in time. Such is the silliness this film comprises.
There are absolutely no thrills in the second half and only the climax fight is designed well and the girls show some feisty action. The film is made on a low budget and it is seen in the dull proceedings in the second half. The BGM is good and the camera department has done an adequate job but the overall experience of the film is below par.
Bottom-line: ‘Saakini Daakini’ is an underwhelming remake that fails to entertain. As the film was stuck due to COVID-19, the ‘compromised’ quality in the proceedings can be noticed. Nivetha Thomas and Regina try hard to salvage the film, but they, too, go overboard in their roles turning the film into a bland affair.
Review by: KA
Film: Saakini Daakini
Cast: Regina Cassandra, Nivetha Thomas, Bhanu Chander, Prudhvi, and others
Adapted screenplay-dialogue: Akshay Poolla
Music: Mikey McCleary – Naresh Kumaran
Cinematography: Richard Prasad
Editor: Viplav Nyshadam
Art: Gandhi Nadikudikar
Producers: D. Suresh Babu, Sunitha Tati, Hyunwoo Thomas Kim
Director: Sudheer Varma
Release Date: Sep 16, 2022