Nannaku Prematho is a 2016 Telugu thriller film starring Jr. NTR and Rakul Preet Singh in lead roles. Jagapathi Babu and Rajendra Prasad played other important roles. BVSN Prasad produced the film under Sri Venkateswara Cine Chitra. Sukumar has written & directed the film.
Nannaku Prematho Story:
Abhiram (Jr NTR), the youngest son of Subramanyam (Rajendra Prasad), comes to know that his father is suffering from pancreatic cancer and has roughly a month to live. Subramanyam reveals that he lost all his wealth because of a cunning man, Krishnamurthy Kautilya (Jagapathi Babu), who made his empire through deception. And asks his 3 sons to take revenge on Krishnamurthy on his behalf. Abhiram sets a deadline of 30 days to bring Krishnamurthy to zero and hires 3 youngsters to help him. The rest of the story is about how Abhiram succeeds in his plan.
The basic premise is inspired from the movie ‘Now you see me’. Several scenes from many other films were used. Now you see me is a revenge thriller with twists and turns. Four stage magicians are brought together by an unknown benefactor to pull off a heist. The motive behind the heist is to get retribution for father’s death. Nannaku Prematho runs on the same lines and some scenes appear more like magic than the calculation and logic.
The beginning of the movie is simple and aimless with Abhiram venting his anger on strangers on the road for losing his job. This seems pointless, strange and confusing. Then Abhiram narrates the butterfly effect to explain the scene. He then starts a company, KMC pipes and canals, and earns the trust of the investors. The story quickly moves to the flashback of his dying father who asks for revenge on Krishnamurthy who once cheated him. The nature of Krishnamurthy is showcased through the scene where he takes over an oil & gas company by blackmail.
After a brief love track with Divyanka, the daughter of Krishnamurthy, Abhiram meets Krishnamurthy and gives him a deadline. The second half contains mostly the confrontation of Abhiram and Krishnamurthy to outsmart each other. While the story is a simple revenge thriller, the screenplay takes it to a whole new level with connections between scenes and underplay. The scenic order is an asset to the film.
Nannaku Prematho Highlights:
Connections between scenes –
Jr NTR starts KMC company at the beginning, Jagapathi Babu acquires oil & gas company from Ashish Vidyarthi, Rajendra Prasad tells Jr NTR that Satpal Singh has told him everything and Jr NTR gifts a painting to Jagapathi Babu to meet him. All these scenes are connected to the climax. Rakul keeps seeing a dream in her sleep which is initially used for love track but is later connected to the main story.
Background Music –
The film has several complex emotions in most of the scenes which require subtle performances. The background music plays a key role in conveying the mood and emotion of the scene.
Generally, the logic takes a backseat in Telugu movies. Nannaku Prematho is an exception and it has effectively used logic as a storytelling device. Although, the ball game is interesting, Jagapathi Babu failing to pick the right ball is unconvincing. The mind game between Jr NTR and Jagapathi Babu, the scorpion biting Jr NTR and Rakul Preet Singh investigating D in LEAD are all developed with a lot of logical explanation. Apart from that several minor scenes were explained at several stages.
Nannaku Prematho Flaws:
Mining of natural gas –
The portrayal of oil & gas companies in the film is totally wrong. Definitely, they are not as dumb as shown in the movie. The exploration of natural gas takes several decades and the companies only invest in projects that has abundant resources. The seismic exploration is carried out in the area and the resources are estimated. Multi-national companies generally involve resource auditors who check the available data and certify the resources. The investors don’t blindly trust a single person. The mining of natural gas too involves freezing it underground and pumping the liquified gas to storage units. The environmental clearance too doesn’t work as portrayed in the film. It takes several years of study and documentation.
The computer hacking is not magic and even with all the bank details you can’t hack accounts. There are additional security measures like one-time password, multi-layered protection, randomly generated passwords etc. The transactions involving higher amounts involve more security checks. In case, if someone logs into the same account using multiple computers at the same time, it gets automatically logs out as a safety precaution and the premium accounts get a call from bank or get locked out. For example, even gmail notifies us when we login using a new device.
Jagapathi Babu doesn’t have any assets except the liquid cash in bank account. Generally, the billionaires have their assets in the form of cash in multiple banks, bonds, land, shares in other companies, gold etc. It is not as simple as hacking one bank account and making someone lose everything. There is no point in waiting until climax to hack his account if they have spycam placed in the painting. Read complete article on hacking here.
Share market –
The demand of public influences share market. While there is scope of share values to raise after takeover by some other company, you can never guess the amount of raise. There is no way one can know if a share value raises by 100 times. The share values raise when people rush to buy shares of a company and there will be many people who invest once the share value goes up or wait for it to raise. So, the raise and fall of share values are generally not abrupt and happen over several hours, days or even months. In addition, Jr NTR can invest his 25 Crores in the company if he knows for sure that the share value will raise.
Dream sequence –
Jr NTR knows about the past of Rakul Preet Singh since the beginning of the film. And he tells the same when he holds her hands but he never knew that she dreams about it. She shares about the dream only with her friend. Jr NTR tells her that D in LEAD is dream. There is no way he could know about her dream unless either Rakul or her friend tell him. It is left in the movie as a loose end.
Lifestyle of Rakul –
The lifestyle of Rakul Preet Singh doesn’t fit in the narrative. She doesn’t live with her father and doesn’t even have a maid or security. Jagapathi Babu is portrayed as an intelligent businessman. So he could have taken care of her security or recruited spies to protect her from the enemies he has been making along the way. She doesn’t even have power backup in her house which is totally illogical.
Although Jr NTR gives November 1 as deadline to Jagapathi Babu, the film ends on September 1.
Scorpion bite –
This entire sequence is illogical as nothing happens as told by Jagapathi Babu. By the 4th stage, Jr NTR has to lose memory and shouldn’t remember anything but he picks the right syringe.
This is the most complex role portrayed by Jr NTR. His character hides something from all major characters in most of the scenes. The subtlety required is well portrayed by him. The scene where he meets Jagapathi Babu is the best as he wants to just finish him off then and there but tries to control his emotions and he quickly changes mood as soon as Rakul calls him. There are many other scenes which have such underplay.
Rakul Preet Singh is good in her role and she performs very well in emotional scenes. Jagapathi Babu plays a role that’s both cunning and balanced. His performance, particularly in the climax sequence, is very good. Rajendra Prasad is natural in his role. Avasarala Srinivas is an extra who doesn’t have any importance.
The revenge drama is tried and tested in Telugu cinema for several decades. Sukumar does a brilliant job of writing screenplay that is a completely fresh take on the subject. As a director, this is a remarkable film for Sukumar and the interval sequence is an example of perfection. The songs are good and the background music is one of the assets to the film. The dance choreography is superb and matches the style of the movie. Cinematography is fantastic and adds richness to the film. Editing is good and action choreography matches the theme. Production values are grand.
Nannaku Prematho is an intelligent thriller with emotional drama. This is a new age Telugu cinema which breaks all the rules of the game. Although there are some flaws, Nannaku Prematho is both engaging and entertaining.