The film ‘Nee Enge En Ambee’ directed by Sekhar Kammula is the South Indian Bilingual adaption of Bollywood film ‘Kahaani’ which had Vidya Balan in the lead . If you have seen the original version of Hindi then you will find this film underwhelming. The film is not a frame by frame remake.
Unlike Vidya Bagchi in ‘Kahaani’, Anamika, here, is not a pregnant woman to instantly earn our empathy and trust; she is an ordinary young woman who claims to have come from the US to India (Hyderabad, in particular) in search of her missing husband, Ajay Swaminathan. At this point, you know that the climax is not going to be the same and the rest of the film builds up to this climax, which may not exactly be as powerful as the original, but packs enough punch in its own way A slow start to a gripping finish!. Here in the remake the director effectively shows how such a young woman could also be vulnerable — one cop wants her to share his bed in exchange for information on her husband, while another berates her and blames her after noticing that she has failed to button up her top.
Many a time remake movies have surpassed the originals, and even more, the remakes have bombed at the box office by setting a sad example of the original. And one of Bollywood’s biggest sleeper hit till date is Vidhya Balan’s thriller “Kahaani” and Shekhar Kammula a known director in Telugu has remade the movie in this bilingual with quite a lot of inspiration and some twists that makes the movie still enjoyable.
Not much has been changed from Kahaani, as it was the rugged streets of Kolkata in the original and this time it’s the old city of Hyderabad.
The story follows Anaamika, (Nayanthara), who comes to India in search of her software engineer husband Ajay Swaminathan, who seems to be missing. This native of Kanchipuram comes to Hyderabad – an alien city to her, be it in terms of language, people or culture. She goes straight to the police station to file a complaint about her missing husband Ajay Swaminathan (Harshavardhan) and that’s where she meets Parthasarathy (Vaibhav) a Tamilian police officer, who helps her out of her very delicate situation and quite unabashedly develops a massive crush on her. He Plays the helpful police officer who assists her in finding the whereabouts of her husband and they come in contact with senior officer Khan aka Pasupathi. Playing the role of Anamika, a woman from USA, she sets about a daunting search in the old Town of Hyderabad for her lost husband Ajay. Now with the investigations on, simultaneously there are sinister murders that happen around and the twist comes through the later part of the story. Though Shekar has done enough work in making the movie watchable for the audiences who have already watched Kahani, the main character names could have been changed, say Bob the assassin, the terrorist Milan Damji and so on makes this look to be lose its own uniqueness.
In confrontation with so many events, Nayan and Vaibav encounter a lot of struggle in digging information and eventually the senior police officers try to convince her that her husband is a most wanted terrorist. Her emotions to prove her husband’s innocence is remarkable and makes you wonder how much Nayan has matured as an actor. The scene involving the assassin, Nayan and the police officer in the cop’s house is sheer brilliance for its film making as it trots home with the required thrills and spills.
So can a lone woman brave all the odds and succeed in finding her husband? Or will she succumb to a male chauvinist world of tricks and pits? A question to watch and find out!
Here comes the million dollar question! Of all the thrills and suspense clouding the movie, the biggest one came in the form of Vidhya’s pregnancy and Shekar to make it even more spicy has shredded the main character’s role of pregnancy. This is sure to lure the movie goers who have already watched Kahanni as well, hats off to the director for coming up with creativity. Even though a thriller movie by all means, the first half is a snag in its slow portrayal, it’s mainly because of the way Shekar tries to evolve the characters one by one. Saving the best for the latter part of the movie, Shekar loses steam in the first half, which might be one of the letdowns.
Acting wise, this is Nayanthara’s film through and through. As Anaamika, she comes alive as a desperate woman, who will go to any lengths. Her transformation in the climax, we wish were a tad bit more elaborate rather than the sudden change, which takes everyone by surprise. We really wish she’d have a different hairstyle though – the hooded look is becoming too stereotyped. Pasupathy, a stellar actor is perfect for the role of the angry-one-minute and immensely-respectful-the-next encounter specialist Khan and he even manages to steal the scene on many occasions. Vaibhav is awkward initially, but eventually settles down into his character of a friendly and helpful police officer.
First of all, credit to the director for having made many changes to the original, some for the good and some needless ones too. When we have a few directors who have mastered the art of ‘Xeroxing’ movies in the name of remakes, Sekhar has shown that even a remake can be infused with good original touches. His ambitious stance has to be lauded.
Kahaani worked big time due to its killer twist in the end but here in the remake, there are no such twists and turns. This is the main minus point with the movie and one which is a consequence of the changes which have been done to the original. The big reveal here, doesn’t have even 10% of the impact that the original had.
And as expected, the movie is being shot extensively in Hyderabad and has enough amounts of Telugu dialogues amongst the locals making it a challenge for the audiences to interpret it. Even though Nayan’s probably the best woman in the south to be retained in the lead, for a common woman in an agonic search for her husband the makeup is indeed too cheesy. The cast : Vaibav, pasupathi have indeed done a fair job in their part, jarring the English speaking sequences from pasupathi, they live up to their part quite well.
All said, the climax is wonderfully shot and brings about the best in all technical parts. Keeravani’s BGM through the movie is amazing, and grips the storyline with some immense and pulsating bass effects, to mention the climax with the Durga pooja. And without Vijay’s neat cinematography in capturing the darkness and thrills, this would have been a downer indeed. Finally the director who’s known to have given some good light hearten movies has indeed done the best with a remake which is sure to be enjoyed with family.