Ante Sundariniki Review: For a Few Laughs

Movie: Ante Sundaraniki
Rating: 2.5/5
Mythri Movie Makers
Cast: Nani, Nazriya, Naresh, Rohini, Nadiya, N. Alagan Perumal, Harshavardhan, Srikanth Iyengar, Vinny, Harika and others
Music: Vivek Sagar 
Cinematography: Niketh Bommi 
Editor: Raviteja Girijala
Art: Latha Naidu 
Producers: Naveen Yerneni, Ravi Shankar Yalamanchili
Written and Directed by: Vivek Athreya
Release Date: June 10, 2022

Nani’s “Ante Sundaraniki” has created a positive buzz with its entertaining trailer. The film’s director Vivek Athreya’s previous effort “Brochevarevarura” received good reviews and made money. No wonder the film has made a lot of pre-release noise.

Let’s find out whether the film lives up to this.

Sundaram (Nani), a private company employee, hails from an orthodox Brahmin family. Leela Thomas (Nazriya) is a photographer and her Christian family is also religious.

Sundaram has loved Leela since their school days. Circumstances lead to Leela falling in love with Sundaram.

Knowing well that neither Sundaram’s parents nor Leela’s parents will agree to their marriage, they explore various options.

Finally, they decide to lie that she’s pregnant with Sundaram’s child, and he has another problem. Their plan lands them in more embarrassing situations and leads to many complications.

Artistes’ Performances:
For a performer like Nani, the role of Sundaram is a cakewalk. He shines with his terrific comic timing. He turns even clichéd sequences interesting with his acting. Malayalam actress Nazriya is okay.

Among other actors, Naresh once again steals the show. As an orthodox Brahmin and a caring father, he shows a lot of range. Rohini also excels in her role. Nadiya and Azhagam Perumal as parents of Nazriya do justice.

Rahul Ramakrishna brings chuckles with his way of explaining the reproductive system. Anupama Parameswaran makes a cameo appearance.

Technical Excellence:
Music director Vivek Sagar is turning repetitive. Though his background score gels aptly with the theme, the songs hardly get registered. Other technicians have given the required output.

Nani’s comic timing
Second half
Emotional ending

Boring childhood episodes
Lack of catchy songs
Lengthy runtime

As we have seen in the trailer, “Ante Sundaraniki” begins as a regular romantic comedy with conflict being an interfaith relationship between a Hindu Brahmin guy and a Christian girl. Anyone who has seen director Vivek Athreya’s last directorial effort, Brochevarevarura, can easily guess that he brings out more twists and turns. Likewise, “Ante Sundaraniki” is not what it seems.

The director reserves the emotional theme for the final episodes. But to reach that point, the drive should be engrossing and entertaining. Vivek Athreya’s narrative has enough laughs and succeeds to an extent on the entertainment part. But is it engrossing? Not quite.

Within five minutes of commencement, the film moves to childhood episodes of Sundaram. His story runs for 30 minutes. Then we get to see Leela’s back story for another 20 minutes. Both their stories have a common episode – a stage play at a school. This sequence keeps coming in many parts, and the non-linear narrative looks smart at one point and irritating at other places.

Until we get to see the main love thread between Sundaram and Leela, the narrative fluctuates unevenly. Furthermore, the plans Nani and Leela come up with for their parents’ approval are unrealistic.

What the film gets right is the second half. Nani’s comic timing rescues the movie in many portions. As a writer and director, Vivek Athreya truly shows his mark in handling the emotional episodes in the final act when the lead actors realize that their lies further complicate their lives.

But he has also written too many clichéd sequences. Some sequences like Nani’s parents not allowing him to go on a plane journey as Hindu customs don’t allow sounds silly in a film that is set in 2020. Nani and Harsha Vardhan's sequences also look repetitive.

And the film with a running time of three hours needs a lot of trimming.

Surprisingly there is no musical experience through songs. Audience hardly remembers any songs at the end. Lack of songs in an entertainer like this is a big minus. 

The biggest let downs in this film are the tracks of the heroine's sister and that of Joseph. Both these tracks hardly contribute to the main theme. Moreover, Joseph's track is abominable. Above all, the entire screenplay of the film is taxing on heads. 

In a nutshell, “Ante Sundaraniki” provides a few laughs and countless clichés. There is a lot to scissor out. If this film is given to the audience to edit, they may comfortably chop off 30 minutes. The director seems to be more attached to the scenes he shot and didn't let the editor use his skill. 

The emotional moments, in the end, make it a decent product but it squeezes out the audience with over intelligent lengthy screenplay. 

Bottomline: Ante It's Too Lengthy

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