Neevevaro movie review: Taapsee pulls this bland, boring thriller together and gives it life
There isn’t a lot to talk about Neevevaro, except that it completely misses the point despite an interesting premise, and more importantly, a delightful performance by Taapsee. It’s one thing to make the audience believe that the plot is going to unfold in a certain manner before a major twist changes the course of the storytelling; however, nothing explains why the makers of Neevevaro seem to be confused about the approach itself to tell this story.
This is a thriller, but there’s hardly anything thrilling about it; this is a part-comedy film, but the jokes fall flat; and it’s also a romantic drama, although the romance is palpable for less than five minutes of its runtime. The whole race against time aspect of the story is sidelined, and in the process, it gets so boring that there’s little incentive to follow the protagonist’s journey. The only consolation is that there’s at least one character and actor who has had fun playing the role. It’s Taapsee who shines the most in this genre-burji that’s way too bland.
We are told that Kalyan (Aadhi Pinisetty) is an award-winning chef, who’s visually impaired. Yet, his life is almost perfect. His doting parents want him to get married to their neighbour Anu (Ritika Singh). One fine day, Kalyan meets Vennela (Taapsee) at his restaurant and over a series of several meetings, the two are drawn close to each other. Soon, Vennela tells him that she’s in a deep financial trouble and unless she pays Rs 25 lakhs immediately, her family will be in grave danger. The rest of the story is about how this revelation changes Kalyan’s life.
The film is inspired from a 2017 Tamil film Adhe Kangal, starring Kalaiyarasan, Janani Iyer, and Sshivada. While the remake remains faithful to the original, there’s something quite off about how its first act is staged. The romance between Kalyan and Vennela doesn’t feel organic, and directed Harinath takes his own sweet time to set up the story and introduce us with the key characters in the film. The narration is slow-paced right from the beginning, and all we know is that Kalyan admires Vennela’s kindness and her zeal to help others. When she goes missing, the pace of the narrative picks up consequently, and a twist in the tale makes Kalyan even more restless.
So far, so good. However, the problem with the story cascades into the second half when Kalyan heads to Vizag to search for Vennela and takes the help of a police constable, Chokka Rao (Vennela Kishore). And the whole clue-finding mission is depressingly mediocre, to say the least. If this wasn’t enough, you can see the final twist coming from a mile away.
What does help the film, to an extent, is that the actors believe in their characters and stay true to them till the end. Post Ninnu Kori and Rangasthalam, you can see Aadhi evolve into a more mature actor and even in Neevevaro, he holds the film together from being a complete mess. It’s a pity that the seriousness with which he approaches his role is much more than what the writer and director invest in telling a gripping story. Ritika Singh is good in her role, especially in the emotional segments.
Among all the actors, it’s Taapsee who steals the show, thanks to her characterisation. There’s a defining scene towards the end of the film where she just smiles at Aadhi, despite knowing that he knows all about her by then. Quite frankly, it’s refreshing to see a character who’s fully aware of what she’s doing without questioning the morality behind her actions, and it’s precisely here that Taapsee nails the role.
The film is built like a puzzle where a protagonist and his confidante have to crack different clues to reach their destination, but Neevevaro makes this whole process look too easy and simple. It hurts to see a film that squanders its chance to narrate a gripping story. Perhaps, it’s also worth remembering that when a chef at an Italian restaurant makes his signature dish, he wouldn’t add too many Indian masalas to suit our palette. That’s not what you signed up for! That’s the problem with Neevevaro too - it’s got a mix of everything, and when you close your eyes to think about what you truly felt while watching the film, the answer might very well be a long streak of silence.
Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 15:09 PM