It's perhaps a sign of the times that films like Nenu Local
get made and launched with such fanfare. A decade or so earlier, filmmakers would attempt to narrate an unoriginal love story by giving the hero some kind of lofty goal so the audience would take him seriously.
But in the age of 140 characters only, I suppose directors like Trinadha Rao Nakkina feel such padding is unnecessary and stick to developing a plot-line with characters who are little more than emoticons.
Increasingly, in the Tamil and Telugu industries, the hero is someone who revels in being unambitious and unemployed (this strangely never prevents him from owning a fancy bike). He's a burden on his parents, a bane on his professors, and is as relentless as the Vodafone dog when pursuing the woman he's in a relationship with in his imaginary cuckoo land.
After being fed on this tripe for a little too long, forgive me for not taking Nenu Local with a whimsical smile on my face although Nani is a charming actor and very likeable when he's in the right film.
The collective IQ of the characters in Nenu Local wouldn't surpass that of a pigeon's. Take Keerthy (Keerthy Suresh) who is in the habit of giving it to men who "disturb" women. Only, she always yells at the wrong men and the wrong men also decide to "disturb" her. So cute ya. Babu (Nani) and Siddharth (Naveen Chandra) are two such "wrong" men who then have a competition about who should get the girl.
And oh, Keerthy's father (Sachin Khedekar) also has a say in the matter because he's brought up his daughter with so much freedom that she doesn't want to betray his trust by doing unmentionable things like falling in love. She will only marry the man he points his finger at.
At this juncture, I was wondering if the director would make one of the characters yell, "Bring the one-eyed parrot! Let the man who shoots its eye get the girl!" or "Unleash the tiger, the man who can sit on its head will be the groom!".
The film might have made a lot more sense if only it had been set a few hundred years ago and Keerthy was a mute princess shut away in a tower. Unfortunately, she's studying her MBA in the city of Hyderabad in the year 2017 and for the life of me, I couldn't understand her behaviour.
Babu does lovely things like stalking Keerthy and joining her MBA course only to "disturb" her, yelling into the college intercom that he loves her (what a dated idea!), and at one point, entering her house, making her sniff anesthetic spray and carrying her unconscious body somewhere - all this to prove his love, mind you. He even tells off a mosquito for touching his "wife's" cheek.
If you thought Babu sounds like an unscrupulous git, you'd be wrong. The man does have his principles. In one of the most touching moments in the film, he advises a gang of goons who sexually harass a woman that while it's okay to tease girls, they should never make them cry. Slow claps.
The film is not all regressive. Babu is thoroughly encouraged by his parents who can't get over how beautiful his object of pursuit is. So modern, no? THIS is probably why the director did away with the whole one-eyed parrot plus tiger scenario that I'd thought would be perfect for this film.
Though the cast delivers a decent performance, the film is let down by its skeletal plot. Devi Sri Prasad has several "youth" appeal songs in the film, including a song about disturbing women and while these are quite brain dead in meaning, they are foot-tapping enough.
However, you have to give it to the director for not pretending that his film was anything but absurd. Towards the end, he has the hero compare his "victory" to Trump's (for real). From sexual harassment to sheer idiocy, that's a long laundry list that the two gentlemen most certainly share.