2 hour 35 minutes | Family - Drama | 07-12-2023
Cast - Nani, Mrunal Thakur, Baby Kiara, Jayaram, Angad Bedi, Priyadarshi and others
Director - Shouryuv
Producer - C V Mohan, Vijender Reddy Teegala, K.S. Murthy
Banner - Vyra Entertainments
Music - Hesham Abdul Wahab
Nani has shed his boy next door shell a long time back to touch other genre films. Though he has been trying action and rustic dramas, Nani is not letting his grip on his strong area of heart-touching breezy stories, which is his forte. The talented actor is back with an emotional drama Hi Nanna that was released today in theaters. The trailer appears to hold an interesting plot and Sita Ramam fame Mrunal Thakur joining him in the lead cast made it more intriguing. Let us see if Nani’s Hi Nanna is matching with the hype its trailer garnered. Here is the review from one of the US premieres.
What Is It About?
Viraj (Nani) is a fashion photographer who lives in Mumbai with his six-year-old daughter Mahi (Baby Kiara). Kiara wants to know about her mother but Viraj never reveals that side to his daughter. Kiara bumps into Yashna (Mrunal Thakur) and they both force Viraj to disclose the story he had been hiding inside him for years. Who is Mahi’s mother and what happened to her? How does Viraj’s revelations change the lives of all three of them? The answers to these questions are all about Hi Nanna.
Nani’s Dasara appeared to have given him a new mass makeover, but Hi Nanna brings the gentle Nani back. The role of Viraj is a cakewalk for Nani and there is nothing exceptional in this film that he did not do earlier. Except for a few monotonous romantic sequences that Nani has done umpteen times earlier, Nani keeps us enthralled all the time.
Mrunal Thakur is attractive and a perfect fit for the role she did here. The small nuances in her expressions make her different from the lot. The child actress Kiara is super cute and emoted very well. Priyadarshi appears as Viraj’s friend, but he plays a very crucial role in getting the lead character to reach where to has to be. Priyadarshi gets a full-length role and he gets a good part in the well-made climax too. Nasser is routine. Shruti Haasan appears in just the song and she doesn’t make any impact. Neha Sharma will be seen in a blink-and-miss role. Angad Bedi appears in a routine fiance role.
Hi Nanna has an intriguing line, but the execution derails most of the time with a snail-paced narrative and typical scenes all over it. The only thing that keeps us hanging around is Hesham Wahab’s background music and the cinematography with rich visuals. The screenplay could have been better. The songs are soothing. For a debut director Shouryuv, Hi Nanna is a well-made drama and his next pick should be more interesting. The director’s idea is fresh, yet the rendering took a conventional route for most of it.
Mrunal Thakur, Baby Kiara
Known for making breezy entertainers mostly, Nani shifted the gear with his Dasara. Nani comes to his most suited emotional and heart-touching genre with Hi Nanna. There were comparisons drawn between Hi Nanna and Animal for the reference points ‘Nanna’, but both are entirely two different films. While one is about the son who moves the mountains for his love for his dad, the other one is a dad who makes his daughter his world.
Hi Nanna starts with an interesting premise but slips to a routine love story narrative. The romantic track is not fresh and predictable, but the background music and beautifully shot visuals keep it watchable for the most part. The love drama further slows down the narrative which is already slow. The interval takes up the pace with interesting elements, leaving the first half a slow but average one.
The second half of the movie holds the heart. It has its lows like a few Goa episodes, Shruti Haasan’s song, and a typical fiance episodes, but the last half hour lifts the movie with heart-rendering emotions and all the actors giving their best. The climax is again predictable but the touching sequences before that overshadow that. The climax portion has Nani, Mrunal Thakur, Priyadarshi, and baby Kiara excelling in their respective roles.
From the title to the plot, Hi Nanna shows the father’s love for his daughter, but what makes it better is when his life gets intertwined with the sides he wants but cannot have. Though it projects the father’s love it prevalently shows the love of the mother but in the undertone. Despite Mrunal performing her part well, the character of Yashna somehow appears to not have been translated accurately from writing to execution which otherwise would have dominated Viraj.
The character of Jayaram looks like a routine one just like his most recent movies, but it gains prominence during the climax. His role plays a compelling part in changing the course of the climax. The dialogues of Jayaram are also crisp and efficient.
Overall, Hi Nanna is a decent watch if the slow narrative and predictability don’t dominate the worthy emotional segment waiting at the end. Well, for Nani being in the lead role might have made it ‘Hi Nanna’ but ‘Hi Amma’ also would have justified the story.
Bottomline: Predictable But Emotional