|Directed by||Vijay Kanakamedala|
|Screenplay by||Vijay Kanakamedala|
Abburi Ravi (dialogues)
|Story by||Toom Venkat|
|Produced by||'Naandhi' Satish Varma|
|Edited by||Chota K Prasad|
|Music by||Sricharan Pakala|
|Box office||est. ₹6.4 crore|
Naandhi (transl. Beginning) is a 2021 Indian Telugu-language crime courtroom drama film directed by debutant Vijay Kanakamedala and produced by 'Naandhi' Satish Varma. The film stars Allari Naresh and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar while Priyadarshi, Harish Uthaman, Vinay Varma, and Praveen play supporting roles. The film has music composed by Sricharan Pakala with cinematography performed by Sid. The plot follows the life of Surya Prakash (Naresh), an under trial prisoner who is falsely accused of murder, awaiting judgement.
Released on 19 February 2021, Naandhi opened to highly positive reviews. The film is a commercial success, grossing over ₹6.4 crore at the box office. A Hindi remake has been announced with Ajay Devgn as the lead under the production of Dil Raju.
Surya Prakash is an honest software engineer living with his parents. His only aim is to fulfill the dreams of his parents, which they sacrificed for his upbringing. Soon, Surya gets engaged to Meenakshi. Meanwhile, tensions arise in the state after the death of honest and truthful lawyer Rajagopal and the police are under pressure to arrest the murderer. The in-charge of the case CI Kishore pulls Surya into the case, arresting him by accusing him of killing Rajagopal after getting a contract worth 10 lakhs INR, which Surya actually took debt for buying a house. Kishore creates fake evidence and Surya is astonished as all the ones, who can prove Surya innocent turns hostile.
Surya becomes an undertrial prisoner and Kishore tortures him to make him accept the blame but Surya stands his ground. Surya's parents commit suicide by burning themselves and Surya becomes devastated. On the funeral ground, Kishore reveals to Surya that he killed his parents. Surya becomes infuriated and beats up Kishore, due to which he is charged for another case.
After four years, Surya's case is still in court and he is kept tortured. He meets Radha Prakash, a controversial YouTube star and narrates his story. Later, Lawyer Aadhya comes forward and succeeds in bailing Surya but Surya beats up some imprisoned goons, who beats him up without reason as per Kishore's plan. Surya again ends up in jail. Radha Prakash is revealed to be Aadhya's brother and he recorded the incident in which the goons mistreated Surya. The video gets uploaded on the Internet and the Human Rights Officer meets Surya in jail and upon Surya's request, His case goes to fast-track court with Aadhya as his defense Lawyer.
Aadhya proves Surya innocent and he is acquitted from the accusations. Aadhya is revealed to be Rajagopal's daughter. Surya decides to take revenge on Kishore using IPC Section 211. Satyamurthy becomes Kishore's defense lawyer. Surya abducts Chandraiah, Kishore's assistant who testified against Surya in Rajagopal's murder case. Chandraiah reveals that Kishore bribed two goons to kill Rajagopal but upon pressures from the opposition party, he decided to capture them. The goons learned the truth and escape, which caused Kishore to pull Surya into the case using a co-incidence as evidence. Chandraiah accepts to reveal the truth in court but he is kidnapped by the men or ex-home minister Naagender, who is revealed to be the main antagonist. Aadhya requests the Judge to give them some time and he accepts. Chandraiah is killed by Kishore, who fakes a report that he died in riots.
Aadhya and Surya figure out that Naagender ordered Kishore to kill Rajagopal. Before Rajagopal's death (five years ago), Naagender's land scams were brought under light, and to divert the media's attention, Naagender got Rajagopal killed because of his popularity and good image among people. Aadhya and Surya nearly succeed in exposing Naagender and request permission to tap Naagender's phone calls to prove him guilty. A night before the court, Surya is kidnapped and Naagender blackmails Aadhya to withdraw the case but upon being inspired by Surya, Aadhya goes on with the case. Surya frees himself and reaches court injured. Surya is admitted into the hospital and is saved from being dead. Naagender and Kishore are proved guilty and they receive a death sentence of lifelong period. Surya feels satisfied as he avenged his parents' death legally.
- Allari Naresh as Bandi Surya Prakash
- Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as Adv. Aadhya Mullapudi, Rajagopal's assistant and Surya's defense lawyer
- Praveen as Santosh, Surya's best friend and helper
- Harish Uthaman as CI Kishore, a corrupt police officer
- Vinay Varma as Naagender, a corrupt ex-home minister
- Priyadarshi Pullikonda as Radha Prakash, Aadhya's aid
- Navami Gayak as Meenakshi, Surya's ex-fiancée
- CVL Narasimha Rao as Adv. Rajagopal, a social activist
- Rajyalakshmi as Rajagopal's wife
- Ananda Chakrapani as Meenakshi's father
- Devi Prasad as Surya's father
- Pramodini as Surya's mother
- Mani Chandana as Meenakshi's mother
- Krishneswara Rao as Chandraiah
The film is Vijay Kanakamedala's directorial debut. Naresh, who is known for his comic roles, is cast as an under trial prisoner. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is seen as an advocate that helps the falsely convicted victims. Srikanth Iyengar is a crooked lawyer while Priyadarshi is seen as a controversial YouTuber.
Principal photography of the film began in January 2020 at Ramanaidu Studios in Hyderabad with the first schedule completed by February 2020. Filming also took place in an Aluminum factory in the city. Nearly 80% of the shoot was completed by June 2020.
|Soundtrack album by|
St. Luke's Studio (Visakhapatnam)
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|Sricharan Pakala chronology|
All music is composed by Sricharan Pakala.
|1.||"Cheli" (Backing Vocals: Sricharan Pakala)||Sri Mani||N.C. Karunya, Haripriya Maranganti||3:35|
|2.||"Idhe Naandhi" (Backing Vocals: Sricharan Pakala, Marcus Shammah J, S. Anant Srikar)||Chaitanya Prasad||Vijay Prakash||3:20|
|3.||"Devathalantha"||Kittu Vissapragada||Anurag Kulkarni||3:45|
The Times of India's Thadhagath Pathi rated the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and stated, "A film like this demands excellent writing and that is what Vijay excels at. He tells a story that goes beyond the usual tropes of a man wronged getting a bail and seeking revenge." Sangeetha Devi in her review for The Hindu, wrote "Naandhi marks the arrival of Vijay Kanakamedala as a director with promise and reinforces how good an actor Naresh is. This will go down as one of his career-best performances."
Vishwanath Vijayanagaram of The New Indian Express opined: "Despite being well-intentioned, Naandhi lacks both the consistency of a courtroom drama and the maturity of a legal procedural." Vijayanagaram rated the film 2.5/5 and added, "Composer Sricharan Pakala rises above the mediocre script and deserves kudos for this. Besides Naresh and Varu, Vinay Varma, Harish Uthaman, and Priyadarshi too deliver nice performances."
The film grossed ₹6.4 crore in the first week. It is Naresh's first commercially successful film after nearly 8 years.
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