Review: Detective Nani | india | Hindustan Times
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Review: Detective Nani

india Updated: May 23, 2009 14:25 IST
Shashi Baliga

Detective Nani
Cast: Ava Mukherjee, Zain Khan, Simran Singh
Director: Romilla Mukherjee
Rating: * & 1/2

You’re thinking Miss Marple. They’re thinking your over-friendly neighbourhood nani-cum-nanny, who babysits her grandchildren, chats up the neighbours, befriends watchmen, and is not above snooping around in the 3rd floor tenant’s garbage.

Turns out the 3rd-floor wallahs — the Yadavs — are making a business of kidnapping children and selling them to adoptive parents abroad. And Nani a.k.a. Mrs Dutt, 75, has stumbled onto their racket with some help from her grandchildren Nakul (Zain Khan) and Anjali (Simran Singh). She tries alerting the neighbours but they think she’s senile. So she escalates the matter to the CID, but they sneer her out. Only her family, and a couple of neighbours take her seriously.

In fact, Nakul rather fancies himself as a budding investigator, complete with a toy gun. So, even as the CID’s bumbling sleuths miss every clue, Nani and her home-spun detective agency crack the case. And the CID concedes that she is a “kadak budiya” (tough old lady) after all.

Debutante director Romilla Mukherjee has her lead actress play the nani sugary-sweet, most of the characters verge on caricatures, and there is some pretty amateurish acting (save for Ankur Nayyar as a CID Inspector). Throw in a teenage romance and some completely unnecessary songs to make matters worse.

You could consider it a summer-holiday movie strictly for the kids — but you just might be insulting their IQs as well.