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Times of India
Story: The kids of rivals in a village fall in love. Samuel (Roshan) is challenged by Shanti’s (Shriya) father to become their equal. He decides to prove himself and runs away from their village.
Review: There’s a thin line between cute and weird when it comes to teen romance and love stories. The necessity to deal with maturity is immense in such films. And director G Naga Koteswara Rao does bring in a wee bit of innocence in this film which eventually loses track and towards the end, we are just left with an experience of which we can’t make much.
Imagine two 16-year-old kids talking about types of kisses and the guy asks the girl, “Cheppamantara? Pettamanara?” Well, that’s Nirmala Convent for you. The story of two youngsters who have no understanding of what love is but even talk about marriage! Of course, all that is compensated in the form of a realisation towards the end where the hero decides to wait till he turns 21 (thankfully).
Samuel (Roshan) and Shanti (Shriya Sharma) are 11th class students who fall in love (it’s not clear how it happens). While Roshan comes from the family of a poor farmer who owns an important piece of land, Shriya’s father is their rival trying from decades to usurp the land and is waiting for the one chance. Well, what ensues is our own dramatic version of Slumdog Millionaire – where the hero wins Rs 2 crore, with every answer connected to his life!
Well, interesting at the outset for sure. But this convent suffers a weak base and because of that, the student eventually pass only with average marks. Because the director takes us into an age old formula of narration, interesting at times but extremely slow. And the biggest turn off is the fact that despite interesting moments, the film doesn’t have a reflection of reality and every moment seems staged.
The most striking thing about the film would be that it seems like a big screen endorsement for King Nag who is referenced to several times throughout the film. While the intention might be to build up an interest for the second had where Nagarjuna makes an appearance, it comes across as a badly disguised promotional activity. You have people talking about Nag’s good looks, his songs from Manam and Geethanjali are talked about, there’s a poster of Amala Akkineni and Nagarjuna Red Cross in the backdrop and there’s even a reference to Akhil and Naga Chaitanya. It’s okay in the starting but eventually starts to become a wee bit unappealing.
The film’s biggest highlight would be the song Kotha Kotha Bhaasha sung by AR Rahman’s son AR Ameen which is among the few positives. Great camera work, and wonderful performances by the lead pair, especially Roshan who is very promising. His diction, style and even dances are commendable for a start. Shriya is cute and sufficient for her character of a girl in need of saving.
The background score of the film reminds you of an era gone by and the friends of the hero start off as fun but become irritating later on with their jokes not seeming funny at all. Thagubothu Ramesh’s avatar as the drunken guy is nothing new.
Nirmala Convent has an interesting message and class to give but the highly enthusiastic students that we are, we wanted a lot more!