Before talking about the movie, see this clip once and come back…
Well, Trivikram Srinivas said the whole story of this “2 hours” film in just two lines. You may ask Bommarillu is also made on the same theme. Yes, here the discussion is about whether the film deserves a two-hour runtime or not. I brought it up to just share that a two lines worth matter can be said creatively in a two hours length film too. All one needs is a conviction to make people sit and watch the proceedings.
Needi Naadi Oke Kadha, director Venu Udugula tried to creatively bring out the frustration of every young son who is unable to cope up with the current result based education system and it’s pressures. Few youngsters are able to create wonders in the same system but by showing them as the icons and best examples, every parent tries to brainwash a youngster to follow only one person to achieve what he or she was capable. If everyone tries to be Gandhi then what is the greatness of Gandhi?
You need a Bhagat Singh, a Subhash Chandra Bose, a Sachin Tendulkar, an Ajay Jadeja, a Ganguly, a Dravid, a Mahesh Babu, a Pawan Kalyan and a Sampoornesh Babu too. Variety is the order of nature and one who defies it and tries to establish only one kind of people, then there will be no Newton, no Einstein, no Abdul Kalam and no Aryabhatta. They achieved greatness because they tried to think away from the pack and hopefully there will be a day when at least coming generations will understand helping a child to grow is to make them understand the order and pressures of society but not making them pawns for our Identity crisis.
We all face such Identity crisis at every moment. We want to be known as someone and if someone or something looks even remotely damaging that image, we immediately distance ourselves from them. This kind of fake image and prestige lead many parents to lose their children and director addressed this point effectively.
His writing seemed to have strength but his execution that did not have the similar value. Dogma 95, is a movement that filmmakers found too complicated to follow as the traditional filmmaking is still highly popular. So, only a few films attempted such method because it will bring out the characters and help story connect with the audience more. The team might have hardly followed three rules but they did not follow all the rules to the tee. Hence, calling it a Dogma 95 style narration and filmmaking would be just a publicity campaign. This story could have benefitted from a traditional way of storytelling too. Dogma 95 is introduced to keep the filmmaking more real and not credit any person as a creator and improve on the candidness of a visual story. This film and mainly how, Venu Udugula, envisioned it, there are many visual subtexts that could have benefitted from a traditional making style. The film could have been easily made as a docu-drama too. 7/G Brindhavan Colony‘s impact is still fresh in many viewers minds and it didn’t require any special techniques, for an example. I am not against using a new technique but it needed more understanding and careful executing.
Also, the director left off many loopholes in the narration. He tried to sincerely tell a story but there are households where sons appear to be rebels to their parents but they still stay as a group so that they are showing responsibility and care for each other. Slowly, parents are accepting that their children can be successful in building a life for themselves and leaving behind the false pretenses. If the maker tried to see recent families a bit more, the struggle would have different from a 90‘s or 2000‘s generation. That generation had to shout by standing on the rooftops that they want to live as they wish. But today’s generation is more aggressive and parents more understanding and tolerant.
There are even moments that seem artificial. No father would be so happy and laughing to celebrate son’s birthday immediately after a huge disappointment. No son will directly say that they can live happily by selling pan. These moments feel like fabricated to try and push the resolution as much as they can. It also appears like the director and writers did not find much more imaginative ways to build the inner struggle and rebellious attitude within the son and make father equally adamant. It requires a lot more convincing and conviction for a good person to rebel against loving parents. Also, in today’s world the techniques of speech have changed and when you say that this is a universal story and struggle, you need to generalize it as much as possible. It cannot be seen as only one person’s story and there are such touches in the scenes in the film.
Sree Vishnu is a more limited actor and his active dialogue delivery is good but his body language and facial expressions need a lot more improvement and change. He cannot do the same for every character and he needs to try out different things in his expressions too. Devi Prasad is an asset as he is aptly chosen to be the father of Sree Vishnu. They made a match on screen and looked real.
Barring these, the writing of Venu Udugula has a depth and his dialogues have a knack to touch the heart. With even better execution and few more close to everyday life moments, the story could have been a candid camera drama that the director intended it to be. Few over the top melodramatic scenes do seem to drag the point even after a person hit the home run. On the whole, even though the story is relatable, it just feels like one person’s reaction while more than 90% is still trying to figure a universal way to find a solution. For a title like Needi Naadi Oke Kadha, end needed to be more convincing.