Starring - Nani, Sudheer Babu, Nivetha Thomas, Aditi Rao Hydari
Director - Indraganti Mohana Krishna
Rating - 4/5
Streaming - Amazon Prime Video
The first thing that you notice about "V", aside from the fact that it is Nani's 25th movie is the cognitive dissonance. Nani's character having shades of grey, Nivetha Thomas ditching the "girl next door" persona and going glam and, the first big Telugu hero's movie to have a direct OTT release. But then the times we live in are dissonant anyway, and this dissonance is slowly becoming the new normal. V is the first big ticket Telugu movie to have a direct OTT release and for sure is a cracker of a movie.
V is a really good cat and mouse action thriller and it gets going straightaway (OK, like after 10 minutes). We have a successful and cocky cop Aditya (Sudheer Babu) who doesn't shy away from the praise that comes his way. After the mandatory song is done away with we get to know that a murder has been committe, the killer (Nani) instigates Aditya to come after him. Aditya goes after this killer with the help of Apoorva (Nivetha Thomas), a criminal psychologist who wants to write a crime thriller. Sudheer's and Nivetha's scenes are fun to watch and she helps him stay hot on the killer's trail. And the chase begins.
The casting seems adventurous and out of the box and it works. Sudheer is utterly believable as the super cop with a potent mix of brain and brawn. Indragnati's heroines are not bimbos and Nivetha is no different. She is intelligent and charming and is not there just to glam up the movie. However, Nani is a revelation as a killer on the loose. Now breaking Nani's image of a "next door boy" is really tough and I had my doubts about it. But watch the movie and I'm sure you will only see a menacing killer and nothing else. The scenes with his co - passengers are pure gold. Nani's makeover doesn't feel out of place at all. Aditi Rao Hydari has a small role and she does it well.
Amit Trivedi's album has good numbers and the BGM score by S.S.Thaman is good. But it gives you the feeling of having heard it before. PG Vinda's cinematography is stylish and slick. The fight sequences are superb and there is no point where it feels out of place. If you watch closely, Indraganti kind of points out to Nani's character through an amazingly placed part in a scene. It is just 2 - 3 seconds at maximum but it is brilliant. He also makes another case through it but I will not tell it here. He also tips his hat to Game of Thrones twice and acknowledges its influence on the world. There is another hat tip to K.Raghavendra Rao and Boyapati Srinu too. The Shakespearean quote at the beginning is also too good and sets the tone for the movie.
I remember after seeing the trailer of V I felt a bit like Naveen Polishetty in Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya and guessed Nani's character. It turned out that way but I really wish it wasn't the case. I would have loved to watch Indraganti go down that route, but then it would be considered too much of a risk. All in all, Nani's mentor, who gave him his first break too, has given us a gripping and a thrilling movie for us to watch. And oh yes, like Nani says in the movie there is no chance given for us to say that V didn't meet expectations. Not at all.