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Upperstall Review



Naa Ishtam


Telugu, Action, Drama, 2012, Color

Ganesh (Rana) is a man with a mission for money. He bumps into a bubbly Krishnaveni (Genelia), who is being forced to get married to someone she doesn't want to. She runs away from her hometown to reach Malaysia to marry her boyfriend Kishore (Harshavardhan Rane). Kishore does not turn up at the wedding place and she is left high and dry and on the verge of being caught by a gang of human traffickers. Ganesh rescues her and brings her back to her hometown (as she carries a reward on her head) only to realise that the place and her dad's reception does not bode well with her. So he gets her back to Malaysia. Before he knows they fall in love with each other. Just when you think things are falling in place for Krishnaveni, enter back Kishore...

Naa Ishtam basically means 'my whim'. That is precisely how the movie meanders throughout- on a whim and on a fancy of the crew. Initially it starts off like a Ram Gopal Varma kind of movie with chases, thugs and some impending twists and turns. But it soon slips into some kind of confusion. In fact, it makes sense to carry small cards and jot down the proceedings in bullet points so you can always refer to your card when you are unable to follow the story!

Naa Ishtam is supposedly Rana's first commercial mass masala Telugu film as his earlier films - Leader, Nenu Naa Rakshasi had different overtones. But the current one lacks the 'x' factor even while it has all the regular elements. The various threads in the story - of the lover ditching her and getting back to her, Krishnaveni's family drama, Ganesh's own misgivings at having got her to India and back to Malaysia... There's nothing you haven't seen before. The only good characterisation is of Rana's as the money-minded guy. His dialogues and body language effectively convey his philosophy of life. Rana fits the bill adequately enough. However, the movie lacks those punchy, high-funda dialogues that Telugu movies often revel in. That robs the movie of some of its charm.

Genelia looks older and jaded as compared to (naturally) to Ready or Bommarillu which released a few months ago. Or is it her new marital status that works against her. The rest of cast like Harshavardhan and Nasser do their bit.

Chakri's music is okay in parts. Nijamena, Jillele Jillele and the title song sound nice. None of the other songs pass muster. Venkat's camerawork is good in capturing the skyscrapers and some fast action in Malaysia.

Prakash's direction looks sincere and reminds you a bit of Sreenu Vaitla (Ready and Dookudu) with lots of parallel storylines running which merge into one at the end. However, a stronger narrative, better cinematic craft and more witty one-liners could have raised the film a notch or two. As it is, it is average in its better moments and little else.

- Vanshika Devuni





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