Director: Venu Sreeram
Cast: Nani, Sai Pallavi, Bhumika Chawla Thakur, Aamani
If not for Nani’s hapless middle-class act, there’d really be nothing worth watching in MCA. After a hiatus, director Venu Sreeram has arrived with a story of a youngster, who struggles to find a purpose in life. And one would definitely wonder the very purpose of his comeback after six years with a tried-and-tested trope that we see in every other Telugu film. It’s definitely a problem if the viewers expect some serious and breezy execution from a film that has a script which no longer appeals due to its archaic theme.
A free-spirited youngster Nani (Nani) yields to the typical middle-class state of affairs and agrees to relocate to Warangal with his sister-in-law, an RTO officer, Jyothi (Bhumika Chawla Thakur). His unambitious life is responsible for doing the lion’s share of the housework and it’s quite logical to see him hate her and feel running away from her. Nani then has a moment of epiphany and understands the intention behind Jyothi’s actions.
Enter Shiva (Vijay Varma), a menacing juvenile-turned-businessman, who can’t tolerate losing, no matter what. He challenges Jyothi, who is forthright in word and upright in deeds and threatens to kill her. Yes, you guessed it right; the action hero Nani jumps into the scene and thrashes Shiva. What follows then is a cat-and-mouse game between Shiva and Nani.
The director has invested too much time in Nani’s household chores, lacklustre love story and failed to translate the hero-villain mind game into an absorbing drama. Although Shiva looks potent to Nani, the script positions him like an Obul Reddy (from Okkadu) and the conflict was presented in a predictable style. The challenges he puts Nani through are silly and childlike and they lack that edge-of-the-seat tautness that is very much needed for a film like MCA to keep it racy and likeable.
Contrary to her debut film Fidaa, Sai Pallavi has essayed the weakest role that holds no significance in the film. Except for the song sequences and a love track, she doesn’t hold up but to blame the script that doesn’t allow her to find her feet and reduces her as a supporting player. Nani, on the other hand, does pretty much and makes the role believable.
He is potentially one of the finest actors in Telugu and this film too sees him tickle your funny bones, convey pain with his eyes and manages to take your attention away from its glaring flaws. However, it’s time for Nani to come up with fresh and fascinating scripts that can help him reinvent himself. Bhumika shows some restraint in a role that lacks emotional depth.Aamani doesn’t have a substantial role but she along with Senior Naresh impress in their cameos. Vijay Varma isn’t compelling. He has only one expression throughout the film and he doesn’t come up with a fitting reaction when needed.
Vennela Kishore, Priyadarshi and others provide some laughs. Devi Sri Prasad’s music and background score are a letdown. MCA is definitely not the film you expect from performers like Nani and Sai Pallavi. Director Venu Sreeram could have done a lot more to make it a refreshing tale. Unfortunately, he has dashed all the hopes of producer Dil Raju, who is desperately waiting to score another hat-trick this year. Watch MCA with your expectations stuck at half-mast.