June 11th, 2022

Rating: 6/10 (Lengthy Rom Com)  

Cast: Natural Star Nani, Nazriya Nazim, Naresh, Rohini, Nadhiya, Azhagam Perumal, Harshavardhan, Nikki Tamboli, Prudhvi Raj, and others

Written and Directed by: Vivek Athreya

Music: Vivek Sagar

Cinematography: Niketh Bommi

Editing: Raviteja Girijala

Production Design: Latha Naidu

Producers: Naveen Yerneni, Y Ravi Shankar

Banner: Mythri Movie Makers 



After a gap of 6 months, Natural Star Nani is back on the big screen. His latest film, a romantic comedy Ante Sundaraniki is up for release and has humongous expectations riding on it. Directed by Mental Madhilo and Broche fame Vivek Athreya, the film marks the Telugu debut of popular Malayalam actress Nazriya Fahadh in the lead female role.  Can Vivek Athreya make it a hatrrick of hits and give Nani his much needed blockbuster? Let's find out in today's review.  



Sundar (Nani) and Leela (Nazriya) are childhood friends who belong to different religions and after some circumstances decide to get married by spewing many lies to their parents. 



Natural Star Nani as Sundar is MARVELOUS. He effortlessly slips into the character of a Brahmin boy and the entire characterization runs on frustration which he encapsulates perfectly throughout the entire movie. The comic timing is FLAWLESS as usual and reminds us why we love him so much as an audience. He lives upto his screen name once again with another memorable knockout performance. 

Nazriya as Leela is FABULOUS. She effectively captures all the whirlwind of emotions Leela goes through with her trademark expressive acting and she does a very good job. Her chemistry with Nani is SPARKLING and the two leads are a treat to watch on screen. It will be a memorable debut and hopefully a very long career in Telugu cinema for her. 

Naresh is OUSTANDING as Sundar's father and veteran actor gets a very memorable role after a long gap and brings the house down wiht this antics at times. This is one of the best performances by a character actor in recent memory and his scenes with Nani are a laugh riot. 

Rohini is EXCELLENT as Sundar's mother and she is also outstanding. Her screen presence throughout the film and her performance in the climax add so much meaning to the overall story and it's nice to see back with another meaningful role after a long gap as well. 

Nadhiya is SUPERB as Leela's mother. After Trivikram's A Aa, she finally gets a worthy role to showcase her acting capabilities to the fullest. Her own dubbing also adds a lot of authenticity

Azhagam Perumal is SPLENDID as Leela's father. He seems like a silent volcano at times and does a tremendous job of being an understanding father to his daughters throughout the various situations in their life. 

Harshavardhan is hilarious as Nani's boss. Srikanth Iyenger is equally as funny as a priest who gives suggestions.

It's nice to see Prudhvi back on screen after a long gap and more than the character, the screen presence makes you smile. 

Rahul Ramakrishna is brief yet hilarious and Anupama Parameswaran has an extended cameo appearance. She is fine. 



Direction by Vivek Athreya is adequate. The reason being is the length. There are many things which he gets right but in the end, the film feels too lengthy to be a satisfying experience. Much like Bro Che, the screenplay shifts from past to present and interlinks many different situations and details to the overall plot. The first half is dedicated to the childhood episodes and the romance of Nani and Nazriya, but for these to happen, Nani always has to meet either Anupama or Harshavardhan to tell a flashback. It's almost like a test paper where you're given a word bank to fill in the blanks. Only difference is the gaps in the film have the actual story, usually not the present. It works the first few times but by the end, it gets exhausting. What he gets right is the good writing for the most part, the attention to detail, emotions, and the biggest win is perhaps that the supporting cast elevates the overall plot a lot unlike many other movies in recent times. Not only do their characters make an impact, but the performances and emotional connect that happen as a result are where Ante Sundaraniki really shines. The director has claimed that the audience should not complain about length and only look at if said story deserves such a length. In this films case, it's way too lengthy. Despite the best efforts of Nani, Nazriya, and Naresh, Ante Sundaraniki is way too long for it's own good and meanders aimlessly at times especially during the 2nd half. The lighthearted moments and breezy pace can be appreciated but only to a certain extent before you start looking at your watch wondering when will this end. Overall, Vivek Athreya has tried to put his creative stamp on the film and while it does work, such a simple plot feels dragged out for no reason. He could have ended the movie about 30 minutes quicker but at 176 mins runtime, you will definitely feel the length by the end.  


Technical Aspects

Music and BGM by Vivek Sagar is EXCEPTIONAL. Ante Sundariniki's score proves why Vivek Sagar is the most promising music director in Telugu film industry right now. It keeps the movie lively and engaging at every corner and Vivek Sagar's instrumentation is perfect. The blend of jazz and flutes in the background music is brilliant.

Coming to the Music and Songs, it's disappointing. Not a single song is catchy or stays with you when you walk out of the theater. The best song in the album which was the Promo Song is not even featured in the movie which is a huge disappointment. There are some 6-7 bit songs in the film and while they're rightfully used in the situations, they're not memorable as mentioned before. 

Cinematography by Niketh Bommi is OUTSTANDING. The film is extremely VIBRANT and COLORFUL throughout. The film has also has very simplistic cinematography that is apt for the genre and setting. 

Production Design by Latha Naidu is FLAWLESS. The house sets and the cafe sets for the parents were a feast for the eyes. The attention to detail taken is superb. 

Editing by Raviteja Girijala is ADEQUATE. As mentioned before, the film could have been about 30 mins shorter. 

Costume Design is EXCELLENT. 

Sound Mixing and Sound Design are SUBLIME. 

Dialogues by Vivek Athreya are FANTASTIC. The entire film is situational humor and it works big time.

Production Values by Mythri Movie Makers are EXTRAVAGANT. Ante Sundaraniki is technically sound and visually stunning which is what a star hero film requires. 



+ Nani

+ Performances

+ Background Score 

+ Writing in Parts

+ Comedy


- Screenplay in Parts 

- Wafer Thin Story 

- Meandering Sequences 

- Length 

- Uneven Pace

Analysis and Final Take

Ante Sundaraniki was exciting from day one because Nani was pairing up with Vivek Athreya who was able to carve a niche for himself in Telugu cinema with Mental Madhilo and Brochevaruevarura. The makeover, Brahmin take, and the whole vibe of the film gave nothing but positive vibes and generated a lot of hype. An additional factor for the hype is the music of Vivek Sagar who's been outstanding so far in all his previous film scores and musical compositions. The hype was further accentuated when Nazriya Fahadh the star Malayalam actress was brought on board for the female lead. With all of these factors in play and everything going for it, Ante Sundaraniki is DECENT at best.

The film starts off entertainingly explaining the backstories of the leads and showcasing the romance between them. The writing and emotions shines in these portions. It moves at a breezy pace. The problems start once the leads decide to spin a web of lies which makes a simple story in an unnecessarily convoluted and prolonged plot. The situations and proposals seem farcical. The logic is going to America and then suddenly coming back seems extremely convenient. 

To rectify this mistake, the plot returns to India and it seems the director decided it was a good idea to prolong the drama forever and boredom creeps in along with sequences that test your patience. While a director has every right to justify the runtime to tell his story convincingly, the audience has every right to criticize the film is they feel the runtime is not justied and they are not entertained throughout the runtime. The relationship and friendship between the leads parents is heartwarming to watch but this very thread keeps extending the length and it seems the film will never end. When it does, you leave with a feel good feeling but all of the fluff you had to sit through to get there doesn't seem earned in the end. 

This is not to say that Ante Sundariniki is a bad film. It's just a film that in this specific opinion that felt a 3 hour runtime to narrate this rom com was not justified. The film does score with it's natural and situational humor, performances, well written characters, world building and emotional connect. All of these are superbly crafted and presented on screen and they work big time for the film. Perhaps the biggest deciding factor of liking the film is the screenplay. It's not for everybody and depending on your creative tastes, that will ultimately decide whether you like Ante Sundaraniki. 

Overall, Ante Sundaraniki is a strictly decent lengthy rom com that is entertaining for the most part despite it's exhausting runtime. The writing shines through and keeps the movie lighthearted and breezy at times but the dips in pace and length are felt by the end. You may watch it as we have not had a well written and entertaining rom com after a long gap. Just don't expect anything too amazing or out of this world and you will likely enjoy it. 

Signing off, 

- Teja Rao, Die Hard Telugu cinema fan.