There is something about movies with food. Be it the Hollywood film Chef or its Bollywood remake, you often feel that such movies are a rare breed that often cater to your soul packaged in a feel good environment. So I have just finished watching the Telugu film Ninnila Ninnila on Zee5. To be honest, I went in the movie with little knowledge about what it is about and also with minimum expectations. Does this movie cook up a storm, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Ninnila Ninnila is the story of a amateur ‘overweight’ chef who is appointed in a new restaurant in London. What is his backstory and will be survive here? The story is almost like a long warm hug that will leave a smile on your face. The screenplay is quite well written and keeps you engaged right from the beginning. The comic elements early on work like a charm. The portions featuring food is so well shot that it will leave your stomach growling for food. At the half way mark there is an interesting twist to the story. But never do the writers make this film heavy with melodrama, it is breezy right from the word go. Tell you what, this is unlike a regular Telugu film screenplay who is often guilty of the over the top antics(which are equally entertaining). This is more in the Malayalam zone. And the screenplay is a winner, no two ways about it.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues especially in the first hour and minimal and so they leave a lasting impact. The music is vibrant and wonderfully blends with the story. Director Ani I V Sasi has done a phenomenal job here. Firstly a film centered around food was a risky proposition, but he definitely cooks up a delicious affair here!
The performances are all excellent. Nasser as the top chef is an institution really. If there are budding actors out there then notice tjat he doesn’t have too many dialogues to play with. Yet his nuances are subtle and impactful in this acting masterclass. Nithya Menen as Maya is so cute and does a terrific job here. A large chunk of the second half belongs to her. Ritu Verma as Tara looks so pretty and is wonderfully restrained. A beautiful performance. Ashok Selvan as Dev is the star of the show. He has such a lovely smile which he puts to full use. He is earnest and quietly charming.
Ninnila Ninnila is deliciously charming and just so refreshing to watch. Watch this with a tub of popcorn for sure, as it will make you hungry while leaving a lasting smile on your face. Available on Zee5 and Highly Recommended.