In a scene that unfolds in the second act, a father visiting the US to see if his daughter is happy with her married life, is jolted with the shifting status of relationships. He comes across two couples with children, falling out of love and then in love with each other’s partners. The two sets of couples hold no grudges. Uma Maheshwar Rao (Nani) equates this to a Hum Aapke Hain Kaun situation transcending into Hum Saath Saath Hain to a shocked Murali Sharma. The scene is hilarious and sets the tone for parents coming to terms with contemporary relationships.
But at its core, this story doesn’t mess with the trust on which a relationship, especially marriage, is built. Debut director Shiva Nirvana’s Ninnu Kori (screenplay by Kona Venkat) is a contemporary spin-off of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (a few dialogues reference Bhansali’s film). Uma (Nani), Pallavi (Nivetha) and Arun (Aadhi Pinisetty) are the principal players.
- Cast : Nani, Nivetha Thomas, Aadhi Pinisetty
- Direction : Shiva Nirvana
- Storyline : A spin-off of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam where those in love learn to deal with things with maturity.
When we first see Pallavi and Arun in San Francisco, it’s their marriage anniversary and they are visibly in love. Before she can soak in the happy moments, Pallavi has to set right something from her past. Uma, a Ph.D student when he had courted her, is now an on the path of self-destruction. But it isn’t a regular story of jilted love or triangular romance; Shiva Nirvana tweaks staid tropes. The equation Pallavi and Arun share is refreshing. Arun trusts her enough when she wants to invite Uma to their house with the hope that he will move on when he sees how happy they are. It might sound preposterous, even silly, but this is where the story takes off.
The flashback romance between Pallavi and Uma is young and spontaneous. Nivetha and Nani are a delight to watch. Many a time it doesn’t seem like Nivetha is acting; she looks like she’s going through all those situations. It’s fun when she struggles to find her rhythm in dancing. A tad immature, hopelessly in love and afraid of defying her parents — she shows all the emotions through her expressive eyes.
Nani is good in a character that’s not completely likeable. He seems like the mature one when he wants to complete his Ph.D, get a job and then approach the girl’s parents. But later, he behaves like a prick in front of the couple. He shines in the scene where he wants some alone time to come to terms with situations.
The drama slows down now and then, with some hilarious lines coming as a breather. A welcome move was to include the father in the journey. When romances and marriage turn out the way they do, parents too play a role and this plot gives the father room for introspection.
Ninnu Kori is helped by Karthik Ghattamaneni’s cinematography and Gopi Sundar’s music; Adiga Adiga by Sid Sriram and Unnattundi Gundey are melodious earworms. Aadhi’s is a restrained, mature performance. Of the three, this is a character that could have been explored a little more.