Abhiram's (NTR) world comes to a halt when he learns that his father Subramanyam (Rajendra Prasad) aka Ramesh Chandra Prasad's days to live are numbered. His father has a painful past and the last wish is revenge.
Every film's story is driven by a goal. It could be anything ranging from exhilaration to contentment, from surprise to curiosity or just an unexplainable feeling of either satisfaction or disappointment. But the ultimate goal is to leave you with an emotion.
And it's that emotion which actually hits you in Nannaku Prematho. Picture this: The film's eponymous nanna dies and the audience is so happy that they applaud. A sad moment that might seem at the outset, but in reality that is probably the most beautiful scene of Nannaku Prematho which is not just a brain game throughout but also comes across as an underlying emotional journey.
Abhiram's (NTR) world comes to a halt when he learns that his father Subramanyam (Rajendra Prasad) aka Ramesh Chandra Prasad's days to live are numbered. His father has a painful past and the last wish is revenge against a man called Krishna Murthy (Jagapathi Babu).
And in this revenge saga, we get to see two things - ups and downs. We see the ups every time Sukumar decides to listen to his inner self and gives us some interestingly conceived sequences (spoiler here: the secret camera in the painting is ingenious!) and the downs come whenever he gives in to the prerequisite mandates of Telugu cinema (why would they break into an Aleba Aleba right after a very interesting emotional high?).
Sukumar uses the revenge conflict to the set the stage for an interesting match of sorts between two very intelligent people. The butterfly effect (a phenomenon where a small localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere), the constant use of numbers, puzzles, ideas and a lot of cerebral activity is seen in this film. NTR does seem like a superhero at times too! It might be possible that a layman wouldn't really understand what's happening because there's too much of racking of the brains that's needed on this one. But haven't we seen enough of no-brainers already? In his usual style, Sukumar also uses songs to take the narrative forward and despite a little slowdown in the story at some points, the 168 minutes of the film do not seem so long at all, especially due to Devi Sri Prasad's racy background score and Vijay K Chakravarthy's beautifully captured visuals.
Added to that is this film's brilliant cast. If NTR's intensity and energy oozes out every time he's on the screen, Jagapathi Babu manages to overshadow even the hero with his evilness! For a change, the heroine isn't just falling for the man and is actually in the midst of all the activity. And it seems Rakul's transformation as the Telugu ammayi is complete because dubbing debut is noteworthy. And then, though he's there only briefly, Rajeev Kanakala makes the most of his time and delivers a commendable act. Rajendra Prasad, as usual, is in his element.
However, if you put in thought, you'd come across multiple flaws and lose ends. For instance, the reference to November in the beginning changes to September at a later stage. Then, when Divyanka (Rakul Preet Singh) finally meets her mother (Madhoo), the story isn't told well and you are left wondering what happened because after that instance, both of them aren't to be seen at all.
But that should be no reason to miss this film because Nannaku Prematho is like a delectable serving of dessert with a hint of tang. The flavour may seem out of place initially because you aren't used to it. But if you try it with an open mind, you'd probably savour it.