Rating: 6/10 (Routine Entertainer)
Natural Star Nani has been in scintillating form since 2015 delivering 5 consecutive hits. He's now teamed up with Dil Raju and Trinadh Rao Nakkina for an entertainer called Nenu Local. Can Nani score a double hattrick? He does but just scrapes by.
Story: Babu (Nani) is an engineering student who fails multiple times in his exams. He can't even cheat properly. His professor Satyanarayana Murthy (Sachin Khedekar) puts him job security on the line and allows him to cheat to pass just so he can get rid of him. Babu passes and then decides what to do next. That's when he sees Keerthi (Keerthy Suresh) and falls at first sight. He finds out she's studying for an MBA program and he joins the same college and just like in every Telugu movie, he relentlessly stalks her until she gives in. The pre interval throws a twist at you and the interval throws another twist which I'm not going to reveal. Does Babu succeed in getting Keerthi in the end? Watch Nenu Local to find out.
Performances: As expected, Nenu Local is Nani's one man show. The Natural Star is in full form and be it dialogues, comic timing, or expressions, he nails it once again and gives a splendid performance. He is believable in the action sequences and his dances offer variety. Overall, a spotless performance from him and he carries the movie on his shoulders.
Keerthy Suresh is ok as the heroine.
Sachin Khedekar is good as Keerthy's father and Tulasi also makes a decent impression but the serial joke gets real old real fast.
Posani is entertaining as Nani's father and has some great lines and gets to say his trademark Love you Raja line.
Naveen Chandra as the villain is good. Vennela Kishore brings the house down in his one scene that he appears in.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by DSP is fantastic. Devi elevates some scenes with his background score and it's truly riveting. The songs however are a distraction. Dialogues by Prasanna Kumar Bezawada deserve a special mention. They are excellent and will connect very well with the youth and college kids like me. The scene where Nani talks about professors is straight up facts. Cinematography by Nazir Shafi is excellent. Editing by Prawin Pudi is questionable. The film lags in parts and the songs don't help either. Art by AS Prakash is alright. The house sets are nice. Production Values by Dil Raju are top notch as usual and is one of the reasons why the film looks so rich in terms of visuals.
Analysis: Trinadh Rao Nakkina made his debut with Cinema Choopistha Mama and scored a huge hit. The director showed that he has good command over mass comedy and entertainment. And the story of that film was about a boy who wants to prove to a girl's father that he is the right guy for her.
But the problem here is that Nenu Local is the same exact movie. Just replace Nani and Keethy Suresh with Raj Tharun and Avika Gor and replace Rao Ramesh with Sachin Khedekar. The same movie, same story, same writer in Prasanna Kumar and same director. Just made on a bigger scale with more well known and liked actors. Clearly the writer- director duo weren't thinking of repetition when they cooked this movie up.
I hate to be cynical but I'm going to be. Nenu Local is honestly nothing but a rehash of so many films starting from Idiot to Nuvve Nuvve. In fact, Nenu Local is more like a modern day Nuvve Nuvve with loads of entertainment. The problem with this movie is that it's routine and predictable. But somehow it manages to cover up it's flaws and makes for an entertaining watch.
The film starts off with good entertainment episodes and Next Enti song. The film then runs in comedy mode until Keerthy falls for Babu. After she falls, her father takes the routine dad route and decides to get her hitched against her will. Which is still ridiculously stupid. Father's be like, how can I get rid of some guy my daughter likes? Let me get her married against her will to some random guy and I don't care if she will be happy.
The 2nd half pales in comparison to the first and kind of makes you wait for the end but it does offer some comedy sequences to keep you entertained for the most part. But a long and dragged climax doesn't help either and will remind you of Businessman. The film rides on a few comedy scenes and Nani's performance but other than that it's routine and you've seen it all before.
On a whole, Nenu Local is a routine comedy entertainer that is a time pass flick. The film is predictable but works due to Nani's performance, comedy, and dialogues, and the racy direction. You can give the film a shot but if you come out saying out the theater saying "that was routine", you can't say I told you so.