Naani Reviewby MyMazaa.com
At one level, the much-hyped Nani is all about the childhood fantasy of growing up fast into the adult world. Such a theme is fraught with risk as the director and the screenplay writer has to walk the tightrope of parading kids stuff palatable to adults and vice-versa.
A palpable lift-off from the Tom Hanks hit Big, Nani fails to manage this deft act as it falls in the category of neither here nor there.
In the process, the director S J Suryah (of Kushi and Vaali fame) has also gone overboard with double-entendre dialogues (the censors, we are told, had to wield the scissors at many places and the scene involving Ramya Krishnan had to deleted as they were found to be unseemly and tasteless).
Nani (Mahesh Babu), at core is the story of an 8-year-old boy, who attempts suicide as he feels that his mother (Devayani) does not like him. As it happens, a scientist (Raghuvaran in a weirdo look) helps him and makes Nani become a 28-year-old instantly.Hereafter, the plot is predictable and tiresome.
The 8-year-old in a 28-year-old man's body lands himself a job in a toy factory (his essential boyish instincts wins him the job) and not surprisingly the toy factory's owner's daughter Priya (Amisha Patel) is head over heels in love with him.
Just as he is having a ball in the toy factory, Nani comes to know that his mother actually dotes on him and is distraught ever since he went missing. Overcome with remorse, Nani runs to the scientist to get him back to shape. The scientist does that, but there is one hitch --- Nani is an 8-year-old only in the mornings; in the nights he is a 28-year-old. You think it is funny? But in this film, it is actually irritating.
Beyond point, the humour of the situation looks forced and the double entendres get on to your nerves. In Big the director had managed to keep the innocence intact and let the film remain one for kids. In Nani, the director's folly is that he has made it for the adults. And despite the technical gloss and high production values, the film fails to rise to any great heights.
Mahesh Babu, in the eponymous role, certainly proves to be hard working. But he has failed to bring to fore the essential nuance of the character and the mental complexities of a split personality. He romps through in romantic scenes. Amisha Patel's role is well etched, but she also seems to have let slip the opportunity. She looks fetching in ravishing outfits. But that is all to her role.
Devayani as Nani's mother is more than passable. She hams a bit in certain situations, but overall she comes through the complex role. Aiswarya (with a disconcerting cigarette-smoking habit) just adds up to the number.
Raghuvaran and Nazar (Toy Factory owner) just go through their motions, as their roles are insignificant. The kids who play Nani's friend are actually good and as they have done their roles with flair and understanding. Brahmanandam, Ali and Ravi Babu's comedy is no great shakes as it is predictable. Then there is Sunil, well forget it, his antics are laboursome.
The title song featuring, Kiran Rathod, Anjala Zhaveri and Mehak, provides plenty of oomph and glamour.
The music, by A R Rehman, is a bit of a let down in the film. Said to have been recorded in London, the background score is too loud and rhythm-infested in most places. The songs, in most times indecipherable, are also not easy on the ears. Somehow, the music doesn't fit the mood of the film. Vasta Nee Venuka and Amma songs pass muster among the lot.
The photography of Guhan is stylized for most part. Though good, it sometimes becomes a strain on the yes (especially the novel camera angles and the choice of lens).
Suryah, who is charge of direction and screenplay, should take the entire blame for the film floundering at several places. He never gets the tempo of the film right and the story is stuck in a morass of mediocrity. He is also guilty of going high on adrenaline-pumping scenes.
Nani could have been a good kids film. But ends up being puerile and childish.