In his directorial debut, actor Suraj Gowda presents a simple love story, with the right amount of comedy, drama and even action thrown in.
Writer: Suraj Gowda
Story: After a whirlwind romance, Aditya and Amrita start living together. Can their relationship weather through once they get to know each other better?
Review: In the last two years, Kannada actor Suraj Gowda has always maintained that his directorial debut, Ninna Sanihake, which he has written as well, is a product of his love for the rom-com genre and commercial cinema. It’s also a film that he wrote and made to bolster his flailing career. Does he deliver on both these counts? To a large extent, yes!
It’s a simple story, no doubt, boy-meets-girl, they fall in love, have differences, separate, and find their way back to each other for a happily-ever-after. The End! But what sets it apart is the treatment in how this simple story unfolds. Suraj’s tale is very relatable, especially the relationship dynamic of the couple, Aditya (Suraj) and Amrita (Dhanya Ramkumar), as they go from being on their best behaviour in the early days of their courtship to letting their true selves show once they begin living together. Their banter is fun and real and never OTT.
The performances by the lead couple and most of the supporting cast, especially Rajinikanth, bring this tale to life. Most notable is Dhanya’s debut, never once giving us the impression that she is only on her first film. Some of the credit for this should go to Suraj for his handling of the character. It is not entirely clear why they chose dentistry as her career, when all we get to see is a couple of shots of her wearing a lab coat. Irrespective, Dhanya sure is a talent to look forward to. The family resemblance, though, is unmissable, especially in the close-up shots; in fact, at one point during the screening someone in the audience was heard saying, “Doesn’t she look like Raganna (in reference to her maternal uncle, Raghavendra Rajkumar)?”
This review, of course, will be incomplete without a special shout-out to Raghu Dixit’s tunes. While the songs from the film have been on the charts for a while, seeing them in the actual setting of the film elevates them further. Nee Parichaya and Olavaagide are likely to stay with you much after you exit the movie hall. The cinematography is also top class.
Ninna Sanihake spans 152 minutes, which, could have been a wee bit more tightly edited if the sub-plot involving the cybercrime police was avoided. It doesn't serve any real purpose than give Suraj an opportunity to can a slo-mo action sequence. It can’t be called a chance to flex muscles, because Suraj isn’t the most sinewy actor on the block.
For a first attempt, though, Suraj deserves a round of applause. Ninna Sanihake is not ground-breaking cinema; there are moments that feel like they’ve been done to death, but overall, it ticks all the requisite boxes to make it a complete package and, most importantly, it is entertaining.
Verdict: Ninna Sanihake is a breezy, light-hearted clean romantic comedy, with just enough melodrama to propel the narrative forward. It has chinks, no doubt, but if you can overlook that, it is a good watch.
Ninna Sanihake releases in theatres acrosss Karnataka on October 8.