Nani's Gang Leader Review: Unsharpened Pencil

Movie: Nani's Gang Leader
Rating: 2.5/5
Banner:
Mythri Movie Makers 
Cast: Nani, Karthikeya, Priyanka Arul Mohan, Lakshmi, Saranya, Aneesh Kuruvilla, Priyadarshi, Raghubabu, Vennela Kishore and others
Music: Anirudh Ravichander 
Dialogues: Venkat D Pati
Cinematography: Mirosla Kuba Brojek
Action: Ram Lakshman, A Vijay
Editing: Naveen Nooli
Producers: Y Naveen, Y Ravi and Mohan Cherukuri
Written and Direction: Vikram Kumar
Release date: Sep 13, 2019

The combination of Nani and director Vikram Kumar is an unusual one. The off-beat combination and the interesting plotline the trailers promised have created a decent buzz around the film.

Let’s find out the merits and demerits of the film.

Story:
Pencil Parthasarathy (Nani), a writer who specializes in penning novels with revenge theme and crime, is approached by five women of different age groups to help them in taking revenge on the person who killed their dear ones.

The women are - an old woman (Lakshmi), a middle-aged woman (Sharanya), a young girl (Priya Arul Woman), a teenager and a kid.

The evil person they have targeted is Deva (Karthikeya), a racer who runs away with money before killing the persons who helped him in a bank robbery.

Parthasarathy who writes novels with a penname pencil is a copycat of Hollywood crime stories.

How will he script an original idea for these women to take revenge?

Artistes’ Performances:
Nani is in natural form. The characterization of a novel writer has a comic angle. There is no heroism.

Karthikeya of ‘RX 100’ fame in his debut villain role has done a good job.

Priyadarashi as Nani’s friend and Vennela Kishore have tried to provide some laughs but Vennela Kishore’s gay comedy is awkwardly bad.

Senior actress Lakshmi and Sharanya have given a good performance. Priya Arul Mohan in her Telugu debut is okay. The child artist and the teenage girl have acted well.

Technical Excellence:
Like in Vikram Kumar’s previous movies, Nani’s Gang Leader too has excellent cinematography, good technical values. Music by Anirudh Ravichander is just ordinary.

“Ra Ra Jagathini” is the pick of the lot. The film has decent production values. Dialogues are good.

Highlights:
Interesting premise 
Comedy situations

Drawback:
Bumpy ride of narration
Second half
Repetitiveness
Weak Villain

Analysis
‘Ishq’, ‘Manam’, ‘24’ and ‘Hello’…. none of these movies have any similarities with each other in terms of plotlines, each one belongs to a different genre as well. In no time, director Vikram Kumar has established himself as a director with a difference.

Proving his versatility, he has attempted a revenge genre with “Nani’s Gang Leader”. But this is not typical revenge drama, this one has all elements – the film at times turns as a comedy, other times turns into a mushy romantic drama and in other places as a sentiment movie.

This precisely is the problem with “Nani’s Gang Leader” as it is neither a revenge drama nor a crime comedy or family sentiment. A hotchpotch! 

It begins pretty interestingly and ends in a boring manner. 

Despite bumpy ride, the first half has seemed decent to some extent but the later portions have completely killed the interest.

The so-called twist of Lakshmi and the following sequences seem straight out of a TV serial. The crime comedy turns into a sentimental drama. 

A lot of build-ups are given to the sequences of finding the villain. Once the villain has been revealed, the movie turns monotonous with flat narration and the climax seems hurried with no proper homework. Also, the explanation for Kartikeya’s motive is not convincing. 

Even though Vikram Kumar has shown his trademark in the beginning sequences, he has lost the grip in the second half.

Sequences like Nani copying ‘China Town’ movie and writing it in Telugu as ‘China Bazaar’ and ‘Kill Bill’ as ‘Raseeduni Champu’ are funny and have provided novelty. But this novelty factor wears off after an hour and turns into a predictable fare.

Despite the interesting premise, Vikram Kumar’s flat narration has made it a dull affair. “Nani’s Gang Leader” is the weakest movie in Vikram’s career so far.

Bottom-line: Dull Affair

(Venkat Arikatla can be reached at venkat@greatandhra.com)