Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene movie review: Sundeep Kishan's thriller wastes an interesting premise
Caarthick Raju's Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene, starring Sundeep Kishan and Anya Singh, is part mystery, part horror-thriller which tries to look at some key tropes in the horror film format from a fresh perspective. In most films, a character is possessed by a ghost which has unfulfilled dreams or unfinished business and ultimately wants to avenge its death. Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene too starts on a similar note but slowly, we realise nothing is what it seems to be. As the narrative unfolds, there is hope that this film will be different from the rest. In fact, the film does live up to the promise halfway through the story; however, its biggest undoing is its lack of drama and conviction about how to sustain emotion and resolve the main conflict in the end.
The film narrates the story of Arjun (Sundeep Kishan) and Madhavi (Anya Singh), a young couple in Hyderabad. One day, they meet with an accident and by the time they reach their house, they get the shock of their lives when they see their reflection in the mirror. The duo freaks out at this unusual and sudden development. They realise that what they see in the mirror is actually a reflection of two completely different people - Rishi (Vennela Kishore) and Diya. The rest of the story is about how Arjun and Madhavi unravel the mystery behind their reflections and what happens to them when they realise the truth about their own lives.
Raju turns his story as a study in parapsychology where a leading psychologist tells his students about the most unusual case he came across in his career. He reconstructs the case for the benefit of his students and tells them that it is hard to look for a scientific explanation when it comes to human emotions. Raju does a fine job of building the characters of his protagonists, Arjun and Madhavi, and how their world shatters when they see their reflection in the mirror. There are some genuine moments of suspense and horror in the early stages of the film while the twist in the story serves as an excellent plot point. If you look at it as a horror film, it throws up interesting questions about who is trapped and suffering, and what one would do to get out of that situation.
For all the suspense that the film builds till it reveals the secret, Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene falls flat in the second half of the narrative. For the sake of convenience, we are told to continue watching the film from Arjun's point of view as he tries to piece together bits and pieces of his own memory. At this point in the story, there is barely any suspense anymore. As the film progresses, it doesn't make you sympathise with the lead characters either. Instead, Raju tries to balance this lack of emotion with comedy segments featuring Posani Krishna Murali and Vennela Kishore. There is nothing to hold on to for both the storyteller and the viewer. As a result, there isn't a single moment that comes as a big surprise. In the end, Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene taps into its sentimental quotient to drive home the message that family is the most important thing in one's life. This turn in the narrative, although well-intentioned, doesn't quite pack a punch because the story isn't built on these themes in the beginning.
Sundeep Kishan channelises his rage and confusion about being in an unusual situation well and is well supported by Anya Singh in the first half of the film. However, like everything else in the film, their motive, emotions, internal conflicts, and how they resolve them start feeling bland in the second half. Vennela Kishore and Posani Krishna Murali breeze through their roles, and Murali Sharma does a fine job as a psychologist.
At a runtime of just over two hours, Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene falls short of being an engaging film. Considering where it started and its premise, it could have been a lot better. The film desperately needed a change in perspective to resolve its conflict because what it already had, was clearly not good enough. The only time it makes a strong impression is when it throws up an existential question - what would you do if you saw someone else in the mirror?
Updated Date: Jul 12, 2019 13:38:32 IST