Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana: Is there a Telugu word for Kawaii?

I’m going to be honest. I wasn’t expecting to like Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana as much as I did. I mean, I liked Bomarillu, the only other Siddharth movie I’ve seen, but I didn’t find it life-changing or anything. I was pleasantly surprised to find that NVNV was to Bomarillu what Jab We Met was to Jaane Tu - heartfelt and anchored in good moral values.

NVNV is the story of two adorable youngsters – Santosh (Siddharth) and Siri (Trisha, who will soon be starring opposite AKSHAY KUMAR if the Internets are to be believed).

Siri lives with her brother, a farmer, out in the country somewhere. They live a simple and earnest life which they earned with hard work and, yes, good moral values. You’d think I would find this annoying with my slick 21st century media-savvy outlook but if you think that then you haven’t been reading my blog for very long. Siri’s brother Krishna (Srihari) is good. Really good. But in a “Hero” kind of way rather than an annoying scold kind of way – not that there aren’t also Heroes who are moral scolds. But Krishna isn’t one of them. He is all about living and letting live.

The dark part of Krishna’s soul is the tragic story of his and Siri’s mother – who was cast out by her evil, rich husband and promptly died. So, Krishna is understandably very prejudiced against the wealthy.

Siri was just a baby when this happened and didn’t have the scars of having seen her mother tossed to the curb like garbage. She’s a happy girl but not flighty. She’s got a good head on her shoulders.

The plot kicks into motion when Siri goes to stay with her friend Lalita (Veda) before Lalita’s wedding. (And can I just add that I loved Lalita. She has glasses.)

The thing is… Lalita has a rich cousin from London who is coming to the wedding. Did I mention that he’s played by Siddharth? You can see where this is going.

The internationally-approved Siddharth as Santosh is extremely winning. He reminded me a lot of a young Salman Khan all through the first half of the film. Think back to Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. But it works. Santosh is a brash Westerner, yes, but he is drawn to Siri’s quiet charms and her love and generosity towards her friend Lalita.

Siri takes a little longer to discover the gentle soul behind the brash Santosh but who could resist Siddharth? It’s impossible, really.

In one of their first romantic scenes, he reaches out to stop her from running off and she jerks her hand away in shock. Santosh is confused, thinking that she doesn’t like him after all but Siri just stands there and slowly extends her arm again…

And then we both swooned as Siddharth very gently reached out to touch her.

The rest of the first half goes very much like one of those upper-middle class family dramas where Shahrukh Khan comes running in from a helicopter. The real good stuff happens after the interval.

I don’t want to spoil too much of the plot but I will say that Santosh’s mother does NOT approve of a farmer’s sister for her son and says as much to Siri’s brother.

Santosh, refusing to give up, and working on a very thoughtful tip from Lalita, goes out to the country to find Siri and win over her brother.

And then we’re treated to some delicious pastoral sequences of the kind that you never see in Bollywood anymore. Siddharth cuddles baby animals, people. Why haven’t you seen this?

The dil - I don’t know the appropriate Telugu word, maybe somebody can help with that – is so in the right place in NVNV. Seeing Siddharth transform himself from spoiled brat to hardworking citizen made me go all squishy inside. And Trisha was so refreshing as Siri. Not only did she not interpret “good” and “quiet” and either “dull” or “boring” but Siri had a bit of spark to her – even if she was usually too shy to show it.

NVNV is an all-around, highly satisfying family drama – there’s not much more to say beyond that.

8 comments:

martoufmarty said...

I forgot to mention in the review I did for this film the other day, but I was really surprised to see a cow give birth during that one montage number.

I mean, I've seen cows give birth in real life, but it's something that I've never seen in any Bollywood film. Tollywood seems just a little more open than Bollywood.

And how hilarious was that 'Who Let The Dogs Out' bit?

Emily said...

I just re-watched this last night! It's the perfect movie for when you need to be cheered up.

Siddharth is about the cutest thing ever, isn't he? He's like a puppy -- whenever I see him I just want to snatch him up and cuddle him. :-D

eliza bennet said...

Ok you have a point with Salman resemblence since this film is a remake of Bollywood film Maine Pyar Kya (starring Salman). MPK is very different from NN though. MPK is a film of continuous WTF moments - in a very entertaining way (ok I'll even admit shedding a few tears at the end despite laughing throughout the whole thing).

Your comment re: Bommarillu/ NN and JTYJN / JWM is exactly what I think, only you said it a lot better :)

ajnabi said...

Arg! How am I supposed to get through my to-watch list if I keep re-watching the movies I already love??? Darn you, Filmi Girl! ;-)

Um, my word verification is "mated." Maybe it was the cows.

Filmi Girl said...

@mmarty The cow was priceless! HEE! And I really loved the "Who let the dogs out..." (Who? Who? Who?)

@Emily If you could bottle Siddharth's cuteness and sell it... you would make a billion dollars!!! He's so cute!

@Eliza I got so caught up in NVNV that it never occured to me that it was a remake!! Interesting! Maybe I need to revisit Maine Pyaar Kiya. :)

@ajnabi LOL! There are always too many movies and not enough time... such is life. :)

Cindy said...

I also completely agree with your Bommarillu/NN and JJTYN/JWM comparison. I watched Bommarillu last August and liked it okay, but not enough to seek out any more Telugu films. Then I watched Nuvvostananthe Nenoddantana several months later, and that started a Telugu-film-watching spree that's still ongoing. It's such a happy movie, and the character growth and characterizations and all that are just so satisfying. I love it.

ajnabi said...

LOL I just realized I compared him to Salman in HDDCS too! (I hope it was my own perception and not unintentional plagiarism!) This movie is so beautiful.

Kaitlyn said...

My copy makes me sit through tons and tons of ads for Tamil films, one clip, and like 50 images of DVDs. snooze.

But I like the shower scene, who let the dogs out cracks me up everytime!

And no caps from Adire? For shame.

DANCING COWS.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl