Director: Venu Udugula
Cast: Sree Vishnu, Satna Titus, Posani Krishna Murali and Devi Prasad
Venu Udugula’s slice of life drama Needi Naadi Oke Katha is relatable on many levels and despite going over the top at some junctures, this heartwarming father-son tale of dreams and reality is a compelling watch and I wish it was hard-hitting, too. It gives us a glimpse into the aspirational life of middle-class folks and it couldn’t have been as convincing as it is if not for Sree Vishnu in the titular role and the bond he shares with his father.
Sometimes, simple stories can make a lot of difference when they’re delivered without compromises. Needi Naadi Oke Katha does exactly what a film of its kind should do to be taken seriously. Without diverting or taking the commercial route, it keeps things as real as possible and gives us a story of underdog that tugs at our heartstrings. Agreed, some liberty is taken to lighten the mood and deliver a laugh or two, but the core of the film that’s centered on an incapable son who can’t live up to his father’s expectations is treated with unparalleled sensitivity.
Sree Vishnu is terrific as son stuck between expectations and self esteem. As a confused youngster who isn’t quite sure about life, he’s a treat to watch, bringing to his performance a kind of maturity we’ve rarely seen from him. It’s easily his best performance to date. Scenes between him and his father are funny but at the same time quite emotional, especially in the latter half of the film.
The film walks a tightrope between being entertaining and realistic. At times, it does go over the top and reaches a point where things appear unbearable, but luckily we get respite in the form of Vishnu’s earnest performance.
Debutant Venu Udugula makes a confident debut with a story that brims with hope and realism. By not opting the commercial route, he gives us a story that deserves to be celebrated.