Cast: Nani, Kiara Khanna, Mrunal Thakur, Jayaram
Music Director: Hesham Abdul Wahab
Cinematography: Sanu Varghese
Editor: Praveen Anthony
Producers: Mohan Cherukuri (cvm), Dr. Vijender Reddy Teegala
Banner: Vyra Entertainments
Runtime: 2 Hours 35 Minutes
After Dasara, Nani returns to his familiar genre - family drama. He teams up with debutante director Shouryuv. The film has been making good noise. Will Hi Nanna continue Nani's success streak? Or will it apply brakes to his success saga? Let's check out.
Viraj (Nani) is a single doting parent who is taking care of his terminally-ill 6-year-old daughter Mahi (Kiara Khanna). When Mahi forces him to tell the story of her mother, he does it after a lot of hesitation. And here is the twist. He only narrates the half-story. Who is Mahi's mother and what is the complete story? How Yashna (Mrunal Thakur), friend of Mahi, is involved in it? The film has answers for these questions.
Nani shines in emotional scenes. He does his part well. But he goes wrong in terms of story picking. Baby Kiara Khanna who plays daughter Mahi is the highlight of the film. She steals the show. Murnal's dubbing by Chinmayi is pretty irritating. Somehow there is a slight gap between her perfromance and dubbing. The dubbing of Mrunal's mother role is also not in sync. Jayaram is just alright whose role has some prominence at the end. Angad Bedi and Viraj Ashwin's characters lack the enough punch. Shruti Haasan's role has no importance. She gets wasted in this film as her blink-and-miss cameo adds no value to the film. On the whole, it is Baby Kiara and Nani who breathe life into this film.
Nani and Baby Kiara's Performances
Emotional Moments In Second Half
Stretched Out Portions
Dead-Slow First Half
Debutante director Shouryuv chooses a thin storyline and infuses pain and drama into it. The conflict point has some base, though it looks familiar. The film has predictabile elements squandered all over it. The slow narration mars the film. The only silver lining is father and daughter bond. Mahi (Baby Kiara) shines in this family drama.
The first half is pretty boring owing to the weak love story. The scenes are predominantly fillers until the pre-interval twist. However, the film's story almost comes to an end here. The next is how they reunite. How the director holds one's curiosity and manages one glued to screens in the second half is the million dollar question.
Director stretches the reunion story to the core by adding more drama. The writing remembers several films. Kiara and Nani's performance make audiences invest their time in the film.
The second-half is on expected lines, there is a lot of drama especially towards the end. The film moves at snail pace even when it is predictable. In fact, Hi Nanna reminds us of Nani's Ante Sundaraniki which suffers with the lengthy runtime and slow-pace. The film has amazing visuals and Hesham Abdul Wahab's soothing background score which act as the saving grace.
While the second-half is slightly better than the first half, it has its own flaws as well. Odiyamma song which also features Shruti Haasan is a disappointment. Shruti's moves failed to engage. Production values are rich and making-wise there is nothing to find fault with.
The wedding preparation scenes in Goa failed to make the impact. The film misses logic on several occasions. Director connects all the dots and plays it to the gallery. The film gets cliched with the entry of chracters played by Angad Bedi and Viraj Ashwin and the drama at wedding. Due to all these shortcomings, Hi Nanna ends as a mixed bag. It is slow, predictable tale, but it has emotion that worked in parts.
Verdict: Family Drama with a Stretched Narrative!