An adaptation of Sujoy Ghosh's critically acclaimed film Kahaani, the film marks the debut of renowned Telugu director Shekhar Kammula on Tamil screen. Even though Kammula has retained the essence of the earlier version, he has made some changes. So, while it would be an exciting experience for a viewer who has not seen the original, it will entertain even those who have seen the earlier version.
The director has chosen Hyderabad as the backdrop of the story. The city with it's quaint blend of high rise buildings, tombs, dark bylanes and crowded markets has been candidly captured by the camera (Vijay Kumar).
The film opens with a bomb blast at a public place where many lives are lost. Anamika, an NRI comes to Hyderabad in search of her missing husband Ajay (Rana), a software engineer. She approaches the local police for help but is not taken seriously. It's Sarathi, (Vaibhav), a sympathetic cop who helps her in her search. But their search leaves a trail of deaths. The tea boy at the hotel; an Immam who tries to help them; a hired assassin; a lecherous cop who promises help for sexual favours; a senior minster who wants a crucial hard disk retrieved; and Khan, an encounter specialist (Pasupathi) who feels Ajay resembles Milan Damji, the dreaded terrorist — are some of the crucial players in the plot.
Nayanthara looks gorgeous in simple dresses. Her performance, different from the power-packed one by Balan, lends a certain vulnerability to the character of Anamika. Vaibhav's is an earnest performance as Sarathi, while Pasupathi's intensity and sobriety lend conviction to his character.
The first half is slow-paced, but the narration picks up momentum in the second half. With most of the cast being Telugu actors, there is a Telugu flavour to the whole scenario.
The narration inter-cuts frequently to the ongoing Durga Pooja Festival, colourful and grandiose. The Durga metaphor is used to highlight women power as Anamika has her final face off.
Verdict: Nee Enge.... may not have as powerful an impact as the original. But Kammula's smart tweaking and changes and Nayanthara's presence make it a one time watch.
Film: Nee Enge En Anbe
Director: Shekhar Kammula
Cast: Nayanthara, Vaibhav, Pasupathi, Harshvardhan Rana, Naresh.