Gautham (Mahesh Babu) is a rock star. Past demons haunt him. He believes he has a past in which three people killed his parents.
The world around him thinks he is an orphan. A journalist Sameera (Kriti Sannon) captures an episode in his life and tries to unravel the mystery behind his past. Soon they become lovers. Together they are on a mission to find the answers to the mystery behind his past that leads to them Goa, London and Ireland.
1 Nenokkadine is primarily a revenge drama. But the director has tried to present it as a psychological thriller to make it different from the regular fare. By establishing the hero`s character as one who suffers to recognize reality from hallucinations, he gets the mood in the beginning. But that plot goes off the mark in no time as too many `cheat` shots and sequences are incorporated for the sake of it.
Anyone who has seen A R Murgudoss`s Ghajini can draw parallels between 1 Nenokkadine and Ghajini but the problem is that 1 Nenokkadine is not riveting as Ghajini was. Yes, we have a hero who is searching for some killers, and a female journalist who tries to help him. In Ghajini, the hero suffers from amnesia.
Here, the lead actor makes you believe that he is suffering from a psychological problem. Apart from these similarities, the films are totally different from each other in tone and in its goals.
Mahesh Babu gives one of his best performances. His presence and performance drives the movie despite hollow proceedings. The undercurrent theme of a man`s search for his parents` identity in order to establish his own identity in life is nice. Interval episode is simply superb. And some sequences in the second half also are good.
Cool visuals and effective background score are also appreciable. No deviations from the main point by unnecessarily inserting comedy track must be appreciated.
Then where does it go wrong? Well, the drive of the movie is completely off the track. Too much of the runtime is wasted on hero`s hallucinations, and when the story is established, the movie goes from revenge drama to hero finding his own identity. This dual conflict in the film does not merge well. Plus the runtime is beyond excusable. And the confrontation with the villain in the climax lacks seriousness.
There is no proper romantic bond established between the lead pair. All of a sudden, the hero who is going through a psychological crisis says he loves her more than anything else and can`t live without her. Really? When did that bond form? We are clueless. And the journalist has no other work except helping the hero in the world?
In an attempt to make the movie different from other regular commercial revenge dramas, the film`s director and writers (one story writer and two more screenplay writers are credited for this) have included many unnecessary sequences that work against the main purpose of the story. Second half is too lengthy and the narration is sluggish.
The so-called action sequences are not that effective despite filming in virgin locations with foreign crew.
Mahesh Babu is the sole reason as to why you should watch the film. He has built up his body and transformed it to look fit. Through out the film he maintains consistency. Watch out for his acting in pre-interval sequences. He has also danced well.
Kriti Sannon looks gorgeous. For a newcomer, her performance is okay. Mahesh Babu`s son Gautham Ghattamaneni makes a confident debut. He is cute and perfect for the role.
Rest of the cast that includes, Nasser, Pradeep Rawat and Kelly Dorjee, have done a neat job.
On the technical front, cinematographer Rathnavelu is effective but not the extraordinary kind. Production values are good. Music director Devi Sri Prasad excels in providing background score. Art direction by Rajeevan is neat. Editors Sharavanan and Karthik Srinivas should have trimmed the film. Peter Hein`s action episodes are not that stunning though some work well. Production values are good.
Couple of writers are credited for writing job. Director Sukumar seems to have confused in judging what to incorporate and what not. Like in most films, initial sequences look good but totality of the movie goes a toss thereafter. He is best in handling romcoms, but he has chosen a revenge drama. Like always, he has brought some coolness to this commercial movie but despite all embellishments, it never achieves the desired result.
In 1 Nenokkadine, individual sequences are cool but the same cannot be said if we see it in totality. Apart from Mahesh Babu`s stunning performance, the drive of the film is completely off the track. It disappoints.