Story : Nirmala Convent is a typical tale of hope amidst the love, poverty and stratum. Samuel (Roshan Meka) is a young person, who is studying intermediate in Nirmala Convent in Bhoopathipooram. Samuel and Zamindhar’s daughter Shanthi (Shriya Sharma) grow up together and fall in love. Accidently, Shanthi’s father opposes them and attacks Samuel. He runs away from hospital and meets Akkineni Nagarjuna in Hyderabad. After a special round with 10 best of Meelo Evaru Koteeswarudu players (Telugu version of ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’), headed by Nagarjuna. Surprisingly, Samuel gets selected to take part in a special programme “Champion of the Champions”. But he knows the answers to all the questions. How? Did he cheat? Is he genius? Is it just written in his destiny?? Or is he lucky?? The rest of the story is all about how the teenage lovers unite after going through various twists and turns in their lives.
Technicalities : Nirmala Convent made me remember two different films from two different regions. One was the Kannada film “Mythri” (2015) which was about an intelligent slum dweller who accidently gets selected for Karunada Kotayadipathi hosted by Puneeth Rajkumar. Second was “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) from Britain which is considered among the world’s best films made on the subject of game show.
The reason of recalling these two films was the same old one; it’s a mix of movies mentioned above and few typical teenage loving films with one worth remembering and many forgettable ones. Directed by the debutant G Naga Koteswara Rao (Forced writer turned Director), this film can be only rated as an okay effort from the newcomer but nothing more than that. If he had selected either a different kind of point or a different kind of treatment, this could have been a different scenario. But in the present scenario, this film is based on a very old point of lover going against the odds and earning huge amounts to prove his love.
Starting from the childhood days of two energetic kids, the director G Naga Koteswara Rao surprisingly spends almost more than one hour of its first half only on their school sequences, without showcasing their 13 years of schooling life together. Then goes on to offer many seen before middling and even bizarre sequences which should have been deleted right from its first draft by the debutant director. For instance, there is no proper explanation behind why hardheaded Shriya has such a soft corner for genius bookworm; Director never tries to establish Roshan and from the first scene Roshan is shown teasing Shriya; In a scene where Roshan comes back to return Shriya’s locket things move on a very unexpected note but the brilliant protagonist plans a romantic date by arranging surprises throughout her path to a foggy hill top (even with the Speed 2 drug this could have been an impossible task); In the other scene Roshan’s father gives away his ancestral property without even having a proper deal with the Zamindari’s..Etc. And after that right till its interval director is busy in introducing his characters on the screen in a pretty over confident way. In every frame of the director clearly showcases his forceful attempt to intentionally making an interesting film on the subject of teenage love. But unfortunately he never provides you anything fresh to enjoy and his narrative too remain identical to what we have already seen in many previous films made around the same theme. The film desperately tries to impress you with its ‘Champion of the Champions’ and Akkineni Nagarjuna sequences towards the end, but by then the damage has already been done and the viewer is simply interested in getting with it as soon as possible.
Most of the score by Roshan Saluri (son of music composer Koti) over here are pastiche. Just listen to Okkosari Oka Mundu”, where saluri tries to imitate “Pehali Nazar Mein”, “Kuch To Huva Hai” and few more Bollywood hits. A R Ameen’s version of “Kotha Kotha Basha” is quite soothing on the ears and stands out from the rest, but his voice didn’t quite fit Roshan’s character in the film. The cinematographer Rajashekar using Nanithal and various locations in and around Hyderabad makes the film watchable gets a fine support from its Background Score department. Editing could have been much better in the second half. Production values of Annapurna Studios are alright.
Performances : All together, Niramala Convent is a pretty weak film which still works marginally due to its lead cast. ‘Gayakudu’ fame Shriya Sharma scores a little more than Roshan due to her author backed role, but they both make their presence felt strongly. Shriya Sharma looks beautiful as well as confident but her onscreen presence actually depends a lot on her styling. Actor Srikanth’s son Roshan looks very alright and does a solid job in his maiden film. He is camera friendly and performs uninhibitedly, connecting instantly with audience. Both the actors need to improve in their performance in emotional sequences. Sameer, Satya, Ravi Prakash are not given enough scenes to prove themselves. L B Sriram, Thagubothu Ramesh, Prabhu, Anitha Chowdary, Surya and couple of child artists lend fine support to the lead cast. Akkineni Nagarjuna leaves a decent mark as the host of ‘Champion of Champions’ quiz program.
Verdict : Nirmala Convent is designed to do one thing – to make us like Roshan Meka, and it does quite well. He has got a decent launch pad to showcase his skills. Though I felt he is less convincing in the emotional sequences, where he has to emote and express. With all said and done, movie suffers on account of its premise that’s too typical, and when the point finally takes off, you are not too excited by the revelations that lie around.
Rating : 2/5