Film: Neenello Naanalle
Cast: Vishnuvardhan, Anirudh, Rakshitha, Anant Nag, Komal, Sreenivasa Murthy, Rangayana Raghu, Ramakrishna, Chitra Shenoy
Director: Dinesh Babu
Producer: K Manju
Neenello Naanalle is a neat family entertainer from director Dinesh Babu and producer K Manju, known precisely for making such films.
It comes as a refreshing contrast from the crop of gangster films, which dole out large dollops of sex and violence and dominate Kannada cinema today.
Neenello Naanalle is free from double entendres, flick knives and other features that the Karnataka audiences have now gotten used to.
It is a remake of the Telugu hit Nuvvasthaanante Nenoddantaana, which lifted quite a few sequences from Salman Khan starrers Pyaar Kiya to Darna Kya and Maine Pyar Kiya.
The film is about NRI Santhosh, who comes to India with his mother to attend a wedding. He meets a village girl, Siri, and they instantly fall in love.
Siri has a doting brother, Veera, who believes in hard work and honesty. Santhosh's family doesn't approve of his love for Siri because they want him to marry a suitably rich girl. They humiliate Siri in front of her brother, who is infuriated and returns to his village with his sister.
Santhosh is crestfallen but doesn't give up. He goes to Siri's village and pleads with her brother to forgive him. Angry Veera throws him out first, but later gives him an opportunity to prove his love.
He challenges Santhosh to grow rice on a one-acre plot and ensure that the final produce exceeds everyone else's in the village. The climax follows.
Vishnuvardhan, as Veera, carries the film on his shoulders. He steals the show despite the fact that he has less footage than Anirudh and Rakshitha.
Draped in unusually demure attire, Rakshitha looks glamorous in saris and churidars and gives an excellent performance.
Anirudh, as Santhosh, also excels. This certainly is his best film so far.
Veteran actor Anant Nag proves his mettle even in a small role and is a pleasure to watch in the sequence where he eats hot and spicy food. Komal, too, is at his hilarious best in many scenes.
Most of the songs - except the one sung by Vishnuvardhan - have been lifted from the Telugu original. But Ramesh Krishna has provided a lilting background score.