Starring Anushka Shetty, Naveen Polishetty
Written & Directed by Mahesh Babu Pachigolla
A heroine who has crossed the traditionally marriageable age, doesn’t want to marry , but wants to be a mother. A hero who is a standup comedian and doesn’t quite know how sperm donation works but is willing to learn.
This is not the first film on a sperm donor who in the words of the group Foreigner, wants to know what love is. But damn, the lady only wants his semen and love can go fly a kite.
This a strangely heady brew of unorthodox theme and conventional storytelling. There are doting mothers and supportive best friends. But they somehow seem so much more cuddlesome than usual. Veteran actress Jaya Sudha as the heroine’s mother leaves a lasting impact although she exeunts early.
And speaking of best friends, normally they are a screenwriting convenience/prop for the lead pair to say things that we otherwise won’t hear. Not here. Abhinav Gomatamas and Sonia Deepti as the hero and heroine’s best friend have a life of their own, although we don’t really get to know what it is.
The focus, in this handsomely mounted rom-com about a master chef who wants to be impregnated without the accompanying headaches, and a stand-up comedian who says yes on the sperm of the moment, is on Sidhu and Anvitha , the former played with charm and vigour by Naveen Polishetty(who is rapidly proving himself the Govinda of Telugu cinema) and the latter with a reined-in haughtiness by Anushka Shetty(who has nothing to prove, and she is in hurry to prove anything anyway).
Outwardly the two are as different as noodles and fried brinjals. It is in the way the two characters run into each other and then discover a common ground that the narration seeks and finds its centre.
The scenes between Shetty and Polishetty crackle with a finger-snapping wit and sassiness. Polishetty is especially endearing on stage as the stand-up. He is ensured an alternative career, though I don’t think he will need one for a very long time. In comparison Anushka Shetty’s performance is frigid. Maybe it’s the way her character is written. This is a woman who has locked away all emotions because she fears them.
Their interactive energy is infectious but way too stretched out. Post the midpoint the storytelling slackens in pace—we get the feeling that it’s not only the protagonists who are uncertain about their future together—but the last 45 minutes , set in the suburbs of England. are as beautiful to look at as they are in capturing the feelings of two souls who after drifting apart discover how self-limiting independence can be.
Technically, this is a sound film. Nirav Shah’s camera flatters the characters and locations, but never to deceive. There are just a handful of songs but they are filmed with such infectious verve! While Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty may not be the unblemished rom-com that you so badly want it to be , it nevertheless climbs high enough to match our expectations and gives us room to know the protagonists without judging them. This is much more than what we usually get from our movie experience.
And yes , where else but here can we get Nagma Noodles?