Slow but Sensible
U, 2h 38m
What Is the Film About?
Viraj (Nani) has a past that he doesn’t like to share with his daughter, who has a health condition. He is forced to reveal his past to his daughter with the help of Yashna (Mrunal Thakur).
The core story of ‘Hi Nanna’ revolves around how Yashna is connected to Viraj’s painful past and how everything comes together in the end.
Nani takes on the role of a father and truly immerses himself in the character. Up until the climax, it seems like Nani is simply doing his job, but it’s in the climax where he, as an actor, delivers a touching performance. The climax elevates the feeling of satisfaction, courtesy of the performances and writing, and Nani completely owns it.
However, it doesn’t mean that Nani has excelled in every aspect. There were moments that felt like he tried but couldn’t elevate the scenes, such as the drunk scene.
For Nani, ‘Hi Nanna,’ regardless of its commercial success, is a film that contributes to his identity as an ‘actor’ in his body of work and earns goodwill for him.
Mrunal Thakur plays Yashna and looks beautiful on screen, although her makeup appears inconsistent in certain scenes, resulting in an uneven appearance. Nonetheless, her on-screen presence consistently elevates the movie’s overall feel.
Hi Nanna is directed by debutant Shouryuv. He chose a simple story revolving around three people that leads to an emotionally charged ending.
The movie starts by establishing the bond between a father and daughter, injecting a brief emotional element. Everything unfolds neatly, diving into Viraj’s life until the flashback opens, creating curiosity about his past.
However, the way the entire flashback is written and presented feels average. It doesn’t feel entirely refreshing or unexciting.
Nani and Mrunal, holds it together along with the technical crew delivering what’s required. Parts of the writing work, but there’s a feeling of not generating enough excitement until the interval.
Even though the minor twist that comes at the interval feels familiar, once revealed, it works nicely, making the first half a decent watch.
The second half begins on an emotional note, and although the writing is brief, it works perfectly here. What follows next again feels not entirely underwhelming but not refreshing enough.
All other characters that come in and go feel abrupt, including Jayaram. The introduction of new key cast members, like Angad Bedi for example, is utterly predictable and templated. The movie also slows down, but it doesn’t get boring because of the director’s writing and Hesham’s work.
Similar to how the interval serves the first half, the climax does it for the second half. The entire climax stretch is neatly written, presented well, and well-acted. This elevates the satisfaction of the film.
Overall, “Hi Nanna” has an ending that is sure to win hearts due to its writing and performances. However, the preceding events could have had more impact. Nonetheless, it remains a worth watch for those inclined towards slow, emotional dramas.
Performances by Others Actors
Hi Nanna features a small supporting cast, yet most of the supporting characters feel underdeveloped. Priyadarshi portrays the hero’s friend, making random and brief appearances before disappearing. Even Jayaram’s character also feels unfinished, although he does have some screen presence and acts in the climax.
Shruti Haasan’s brief role leaves zero impact, while others like Viraj Ashwin (the Baby actor) struggle to make their presence felt due mainly to the way director Shouryuv crafted their roles.
Music and Other Departments?
The standalone audio of Malayalam music director Hesham Abdul didn’t work well, but he fully compensated through the background score and bit songs, maintaining the required vibe for a film like Hi Nanna. Hesham gets full marks for this.
Sanu Varghese’s cinematography elevated the visual appeal of a simple film like Hi Nanna, making it visually beautiful and refreshing. However, Praveen Anthony’s editing could have been better; several scenes involving the supporting cast feel abrupt within the overall film.
The production values by Vyra Entertainments are excellent, resulting in a visually rich film from start to finish.
Nani’s performance in the climax
Mrunal’s screen presence
Hesham’s work via BGM, bit songs
Moderately engaging key blocks
Underdeveloped supporting cast
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, it bored me a little too.
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but know what to expect.
Hi Nanna Movie Review by M9
Hi Nanna is a sincerely made but slow-paced emotional film, with performances (especially Nani’s) reaching their peak in the climax. If you know what to expect, it’s a decent watch despite its predictability. Watch it.
First Half Report:
Hi Nanna starts off beautifully with a dad and daughter, followed by a moderately engaging flashback. The interval twist is interesting, making it a decent first half for the target audience.
— Hi Nanna kicks off with simple and nice scenes featuring a dad and his daughter. Stay tuned for the first half report.
Stay tuned for Hi Nanna Review: USA Premiere Report. Show begins at 12.30 mid-night IST.
Nani, after a rustic film like ‘Dasara’, opted for an emotional story centered on father-daughter bonding. Once again, he’s banking on debutant director Shouryuv. Stay tuned for our U.S. premiere report and overseas review.
Cast: Nani, Kiara Khanna, Mrunal Thakur, Shruti Haasan
Written and Directed by: Shouryuv
Producers: Mohan Cherukuri (cvm), Dr. Vijender Reddy Teegala
Banner: Vyra Entertainments
Music by: Hesham Abdul Wahab
Cinematography: Sanu Varghese
Editor: Praveen Anthony
U.S. Distributor: Prathyangira Cinemas