Ratings: 3 stars
Stree-smart, is how I’d describe the new Sundeep Kishan starrer. The supernatural comedy-thrillers works on an audacious-going-on-outrageous premise: what if you look into the mirror and see someone else’s reflection staring back at you? Scary, no? Also, a bit of a hoot.
Some of the most amusing encounters of the shivery kind happen in the dialogues between the hero and his mirror-image which shows another person. It’s good to see Sundeep, who is also the producer, make room for other actors in the challenging spectrum of the theme where themes and thoughts never done before in Indian cinema come bursting alive in a crackerjack of film that keeps you invested for its two hours of running time.
The plot unravels its intriguing premise with a fluid virility that never questions the narrative’s allegiance to ambivalence. However attempts to weave comedy into the eerie aura don’t work. The role model is clearly Raj-DK’s Hindi blockbuster Stree where the spookiness was spiked with guffaws. That combination doesn’t quite work here and veteran actor Posani’s comic cop act pretty much drags the drama down to a disquieting depth of drollery and despair .
What works is the confidently enmeshed love story of two couples whose lives get intertwined by a fate worse than death. Cinematographer P K Verma shoots the gleaming interiors with aesthetic glee. The paranormal is confidently and interestingly treated by the director who never seems to be awed by the ingenuity of his plot premise. The narrative moves ahead at its own volition not caring to showcase its star-producer Sundeep Singh’s screen presence beyond what the plot prescribes.
Sundeep carries himself with selfassurance in the dramatic and romantic moments. Anya Pandey (she had made an impressive but failed debut in Yashraj films’s Qaidi Band) is likable in a girl-nextdoor way. Their love story works because it is not worked upon. There is an interesting work-in-progress feel to the way the plot moves. Ominously, and purposefully.
Next time you look at yourself in the mirror, your heart is bound to skip a beat.
That’s the impression Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene leaves us with. Jokes apart.