1: Nenokkadine Review


 

1: Nenokkadine (I Am the Only One) is a Telugu psychological thriller starring Mahesh Babu and Kriti Sanon.

It’s about Rockstar Gautam (Mahesh) who lost his parents at a young age. He believes that his parents were killed by three men and the same men are out to kill him. He kills the men and  he surrenders to the police. Meanwhile, TV reporter Sameera (Kriti) captures everything on camera and broadcasts it on television. Everyone claims that he imagined killing the men and did not truly kill them. Gautam is diagnosed with integration disorder but he persists that those men exist and that they really killed his parents. But no one believes him asking for proof. Gautam has to figure out the truth and prove that what he remembers is true. Will he be able to differentiate between imagination and reality? Will he be able to find out the truth about his parents?

I finally saw this much talked about film. There is a shortage of English subtitles for Telugu films, which causes viewers like me to wait a long time to see them.

1 Nenokkadine is an excellent film. It far surpassed my expectations. It’s far better than other recent and hyped films like Manam. There is sometimes an inclination among critics to favor films that are different. I had suspected that the same had happened here. But that’s not the case at all. 1: Nenokkadine is not just a different film, it’s a well made film with an excellent story.

I do have reservations about just a few points. For example, the beginning scenes were very predictable for me. I’m not sure if I received clues about it while reading things about the film. Perhaps that’s what happened. I actually think that 1: Nenokkadine is not exactly a psychological thriller. It was in the first half of the film, but in the second half, that aspect is completely wiped out. So the film later turns into an action thriller.

One other issue was how quickly the relationship between Gautam and Sameera was established. The romance wasn’t developed well. So when the characters suddenly announced their love for one another, it seemed a little silly. I  found the reaction of the doctor highly unrealistic (no doctor will treat his patient like that). And I also didn’t understand why Sameera played a game with Gautham. The explanation cited in the film was not convincing.

Aside from these minor points, 1: Nennokkadine is an extremely well developed, thrillling story that keeps the viewer on his toes. I cannot praise Mahesh Babu enough for this performance. Until now, I thought that he was an actor that carried a film on his shoulder only thanks to his looks and charisma. But with this performance, he has proven his acting abilities. He was a bit wooden in some scenes (he has a tendency to do that) but in that last emotional scene, he performed unbelievably well. His facial expressions, his tears were completely realistic and very touching.

I also absolutely loved the scene where Gautam thinks that he is talking to a hallucination when he is in fact speaking to the real man. What a scene and what acting! It’s one of the best and most influential scenes I have seen in a film lately. And Mahesh Babu’s reaction when he realizes that the man was real was extraordinary. I think he deserves the best actor award for this performance.

I saw Kriti Sanon’s debut in the Hindi film Heropanti before this. Kriti was far better in 1: Nenokkadine which is her Telugu debut. It’s not easy for a newcomer to carry a role opposite a big star like Mahesh Babu so well. Moreover she has such a meaty, lengthy role in this film which is wonderful. Kriti is a great actor and I see a bright future for her in films.

The other excellent aspects of the film are the cinematography and the action scenes. They were on par with action films like Dhoom in my opinion. Mahesh Babu was very good with the action.

In short, I think that 1: Nenokkadine is the best Telugu film of 2014. Although this is a different genre for Telugu cinemagoers, the film is exciting and entertaining and will satisfy even the masala lover. The writer and director Sukumar, and Mahesh Babu should be getting all the awards for their work in 1: Nenokkadine.

 

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