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A Hilarious Comedy That Wanted A Little Extra Drama

Solid: Nani, Nazriya Nazim, Naresh, Rohini, Nadiya

Director: Vivek Athreya

I believe I’d love to sit down with Director Vivek Athreya by way of the method of constructing a movie – from writing the script, filming it, and eventually modifying it. He’s a type of thrilling voices in Telugu cinema who appear to like telling tales, fairly actually on display screen. In his movies, individuals are consistently telling one another tales and thru this methodology, he tends to chew into the true meat of his screenplay. He did that to an extent in his debut Psychological Madhilo, and he made that the crutch for a skinny storyline in Brochevarevarura, and he overindulges the identical story-telling format in Ante Sundaraniki. That’s not all the time a nasty factor. Particularly when you’ve gotten somebody like Vivek Sagar and Nani and Nazariya and different incredible actors so as to add layers to a comedy-drama that struggles with the drama. 

Sundar (Nani) and Leela (Naziriya) are in love and considerably childhood sweethearts. However that’s not sufficient for each of them as a result of her full identify is Leela Thomas and his is KPVVV one thing one thing Sundar Shastry. He’s from the type of Brahmin Hindu household which is steeped in orthodoxy and practices all of the rituals to the t with an prolonged household that’s over-involved in one another’s lives. She is from a nuclear household that’s devoutly Christian. So, do Leela and Sundar handle to get married? Look, you understand they do. It’s probably not a spoiler. However how do they do it? What lies do they inform and worse what truths do they inform?

The rationale I’m so eager to see Vivek Athreya’s course of is as a result of he appears to extract such nice work from most departments. 

Firstly, his selection of music has all the time been wonderful. Vivek Sagar’s expertise has by no means been questioned however Vivek Athreya appears to know precisely what he wants from the composer for the scenes on display screen. If you happen to actually need to check this I’ll go away you with an experiment. Take heed to the songs and a few bits of the background music earlier than you watch the movie. And document your response. Then watch the movie and revisit the bits of the music as soon as you’ll be able to affiliate the moments from the movie with them. There’s a superb likelihood you have been detached the primary time and tapping your foot and grooving to them the second time. That’s as a result of Vivek Athreya is aware of that music that stands proud or is noticeable won’t essentially be finest for the story. ‘Rango Ranga‘ and ‘The Panchakattu‘ songs are woven seamlessly into the movie they usually really come alive with the story. Additionally what an outing for Telugu movie’s music administrators in current instances, with final week Sricharan Pakala strolling away with a movie and this week Vivek Sagar almost doing the identical. 


Equally, I’m in awe of the way in which Vivek Athreya shoots and edits his movies. I wouldn’t be shocked if cinematographer Niketh Bommi and editor Ravi Teja Girijala discover it torturous to work with the director as a result of all of the cuts appear so exact as if there was no strategy to lengthen the scene any additional. On this movie, Vivek Athreya notably jumps ahead in time after which has characters narrate the sequences main as much as key moments. He consistently cuts, and slices to inform his story in an entertaining method however it should be a nightmare whereas capturing and modifying his imaginative and prescient. It really works more often than not.

On paper, the primary half has barely any story and but it’s almost ninety minutes lengthy. However it feels breezy and there may be barely any second that feels dragged as a result of the fixed backwards and forwards looks like a enjoyable puzzle to resolve. Niketh Bommi, Ravi Teja Girijala, and Vivek Sagar make life straightforward for his or her director however it’s onerous to imagine that it wasn’t already visualized in his head. 

However that is additionally the place I battle with Vivek Athreya’s movies and that’s the reason I need to see how he writes his tales. As somebody who can extract a lot from his crew, he struggles with including some complexity to his tales and they’re by no means as courageous as the opposite decisions he makes. In Psychological Madhilo, a confused man is actually confused between two girls and that led to a uninteresting second half. In Brochevarevarura, as a result of he break up the story throughout two timelines, the one involving Satya Dev the storyteller was pale compared to the one involving Sree Vishnu. In Ante Sundaraniki, the battle is totally different in that it’s not one section that feels off versus a common sense that whereas particular person scenes have been enjoyable the movie needn’t have been this lengthy.

It’s commendable that he by no means chooses melodrama – in lesser movies Leela’s father may need been extra cussed. Or one other director may need caved into the Brahmin orthodoxy of Sundar’s household. He doesn’t punch up as powerfully as a Pa Ranjith however he no less than manages to mock orthodoxy. However the issue along with his tales (not his screenplays) is that it by no means looks like there are any actual stakes and there may be all the time the reassurance that ultimately, all might be okay. Even the pretense of stakes on the finish (somebody has a life-threatening sickness) by no means looks like an enormous downside. It’s as if the author in him loves to put in writing comedy dramas however isn’t absolutely courageous sufficient to delve into the drama side of it. 

However what he has all the time acquired spot-on as a director is the casting and the performances, he extracts from his actors. Let’s start with the supporting forged. Naresh is spectacular because the conservative Brahmin father. What I like about his efficiency (I’m positive it’s Vivek Athreya’s contact) is that Telugu movies are likely to punch up on the Brahmin neighborhood by mocking the Telugu they converse and different stereotypes. However that has by no means felt like an actual punch and it’s not all the time humorous. Vivek Athreya chooses to punch up or fairly satirize the rigidity fairly than the beauty elements of spiritual orthodoxy. Naresh’s chemistry with ’30 years Prudhvi’ (a left-of-center casting selection that’s wonderful) is hilarious and appears real. 

Equally, Rohini and Nadhiya are wonderful as girls caught between youngsters and husbands who need such various things that they spend their lives dousing fires and “being a mom and spouse” versus taking part in household affairs. Rohini, particularly, is superb at promoting the melodramatic climax by underplaying it in order that the second doesn’t turn out to be too loud. 


Even Azhagam Perumal is superb because the inflexible Christian father who’s liberal in each different side of fatherhood however faith. Often, movies are likely to arrange the heroine’s father for hate (ask Prakash Raj about most roles he performed from 2000-2015) however Vivek Athreya makes us really feel Leela’s ache when she has to go towards him or deceive him. We get why she has to lie however we hate it that she has to deceive him. There is a wonderful contact the place his rigidity is given a backstory, giving us simply sufficient empathy to grasp his hesitancy.  Azhagam Perumal overplays it in just one scene on the finish and it’s earned. 

For a change, it is a movie the place the kid actors usually are not  “rasmalai dunked in maple syrup” candy. The director is aware of the right way to use them creatively. Watch the scene the place they linger round and be infantile whereas the grownup variations of them are on the verge of their life’s greatest second. It’s hilariously staged prefer it have been a play and that isn’t cinematic exhibiting off – the truth that it’s staged like a play is necessary to the tales of Leela and Sundar. Right here once more, Vivek Athreya appears to know what precisely he’s doing. 

Lastly coming to the lead pair. Leela shouldn’t be Vivek Athreya’s best-written “heroine” however Nazriya offers a lot to root for her with out resorting to “bubbly” or hyper cute. She desires to be a photographer as a result of she feels seen when she will get all of the credit score – good and dangerous and since a photographer operates alone, it’s what attracts her to that career. You are feeling her die slightly each time the world tries to membership her in any huge group. When a selection is nearly made for Leela due to one thing her sister did (a superb Tanvi Ram), it appears to be like like Leela will stomp and stroll away however Nazriya simply stares cursing her state of affairs however complying anyway. Even within the second half, when the story requires her character to react to the conditions than proactively participating, Nazriya doesn’t let Leela turn out to be a pet who must be saved. She does extra for a job the place the backstory is superb however on display screen, the story leaves Nazriya to do extra. 

And eventually coming to Nani’s Sundar. Firstly, it’s so relieving to see Nani play the confused and troubled beta-male that he’s so good at which he hasn’t actually performed since Bhale Bhale Magadivoy in 2015. However this Sundar actually brings to thoughts his earlier movies like Ashta Chamma and Ala Modalaindi the place he was lovable whereas being the butt of all jokes. There are moments the place he’s virtually Chiranjeevi-esque in his humor in that it’s not what the traces are however how he says them within the nook that the screenplay has pushed him to that makes it hilarious. I’m nonetheless guffawing on the method he says “Yem kaadhu yem kaadhu” (Nothing will occur, nothing will occur) because the world round him begins to crumble. Because the story progressed, I felt that Leela deserved to be part of the movie’s title as a result of that is as a lot her story as Sundar’s. However the way in which Nani makes Sundar so lovable, that even when he killed a pet and mentioned it was by mistake you’d forgive him, and that lets him stroll away with the title.

Ante Sundaraniki looks like a film that stopped on the precipice of greatness due to the shortage of drama in its story however all of the king’s horses and all of the king’s males and all of the proficient forged and crew make it an gratifying movie that offers you numerous to smile about. As for, Vivek Athreya, I’m excited to see which story he chooses subsequent and whether or not he improves as a result of as a director he’s confirmed constantly that he makes nice selections. 

Gang Lucha
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