Nani, in an interview, talks about how he grew up in Ameerpet and how becoming an actor/hero is a huge thing for him. Maybe it is his middle class roots, but Nani is so convincing when he plays a boy-next-door. When he attempts to fill in the shoes of an over-achiever who is flush with money and is in the process of buying a villa in an exclusive gated community, he isn't that convincing. When he wears business suits and goes about clinching business deals, he isn't convincing. The moment he realizes he isn't cut out for that world and reverts to being the boy-next-door, it is like he's a transformed actor.
Yevade Subramaniam, the actor's latest outing, shows how a young man obsessed with money realizes that there are several things in life that money can't buy and are more valuable than anything that can be bought by a wad of notes. The role comes almost naturally to Nani - he looks supremely uncomfortable in the initial part of the movie, almost like he's acting out a part that he is unaccustomed to, and supremely comfortable in the second part of the movie, almost like he's not acting but living the part. The movie is as much Nani's journey as that of Subramaniam.
Plot-wise, Subramaniam aka Subbu (Nani) is a young man who is on his way to becoming the GM of the company he works in. He is engaged to his boss' daughter and is one step away from success. He is on the verge of acquiring Ramayya Industries for his boss. A day before the final acquisition, the deal falls through and his entire career falls into jeopardy.
Subbu tries to set things right when his childhood friend Rishi (Vijay Deverakonda) turns up at his doorstep. Rishi asks Subbu to accompany him on a trip to Dudh Kashi in the Himalayas to realise a childhood dream. Rishi says he will if he can clinch the deal. They meet a girl Anandi (Malavika Nair) at a drinking joint one night and decide to take her along. What happens next forms the crux of the remaining movie.
Yevade Subramaniam has some seriously good laugh-out-loud moments which have the entire cinema in splits. The deepest of philosophies is conveyed in simple words, and Nani's transformation is shown gradually through the second half instead of via one aha moment, making it that much more believable. The second half mopes around a bit before finding its feet firmly towards the end. The songs play out in the background, but could have been avoided.
The film revolves around the three main leads, and all three of them put in excellent performances. Nani, as we mentioned earlier, almost goes through a personal catharsis and turns more and more believable as the movie progresses. Rishi Devarakonda has a small role, but is effective. Malavika Nair turns progressively gorgeous as the movie progresses, and plays her role effectively. Her resemblance to Shobhana in some angles is eerily striking.
The film is technically superior. It is shot beautifully, be it at the iGate dome in Hyderabad or the secret lake in Dudhsagar. We could nitpick that the shots in the Himalayas could've been better, but the unit was obviously working with the limited equipment that they could carry to those altitudes.
Yevade Subramaniam is your best bet this Ugadi. We haven't seen the other Nani release yet, but we're quite sure this one will turn out better. It is young and fresh and fun and a must-watch.