Monday, January 8, 2024

Hi Nanna

 "Hi Nanna" (2023) is family drama and a tear jerker in more than a single issue

 At the beginning we are introduced to a young girl, Mahi and her single father.  He happily reads stories to her at night.  She is disappointed that he refuses to tell her the story about her mother.  We are led to believe it must not be good because he is very adamant.  Another day she is walking their dog Pluto when he escapes and she chases after.  The dog is stopped by a new character, a woman who introduces herself to Mahi and in a short time learns the desire to learn about her mother is told.  The father shows up and in a short time Yasna shames the father to tell the mother's story.  The story is not all good.  Going any further would start to reveal the plot.

One key thing is that Mahi has cystic fibrosis which we are told is next to a death sentence at a young age. We sometimes see her with an oxygen mask at night, but mostly she appears "normal".

Gradually more details are piled on including a few coincidences and a few surprises.  This crude description doesn't do justice, but the story is very engaging.

Shouryuv was writer and director.  A few years back he presented the idea to a production studio that referred him to the eventual star, Nani who loved it.  Previously Shouryuv had only been an assistant director.  This was his first film as writer and director.  One song featured a favorite singer, Shakthisree Gopalan.

Hesham Abdul Wahab composed the music.  The film score was re-recorded using artificial intelligence, the first such instance in India.  He had earned a degree in audio engineering.  He has 34 music department credits, most, but not all as playback singer.  He has 24 composing credits and 3 as an actor.

Sanu John Varughese was the cinematographer.   He has 22 credits including ""Karthik Calling Karthik" (2010), "David" (2013), "Hasee Toh Phasee" (2014), "Wazir" (2016), "Take-Off" (2017), "Badhaai Ho" (2018), "Shyam Singha Roy" (2021) and "Declaration" (2022). Check

Praveen Anthony was the editor.  He has 18 credits.

Nani played Viraj.  He is very popular and has been the leading man in some big box office successes.  He has 39 acting credits, 4 producer credits and 4 Assistant director credits including "Eega" (2012), "Shyam Singha Roy" (2021) and "Ante Sundharaniki (2022).

Kiara Khanna played Mahi.  Her cuteness and charm is an important ingredient to the film.  She drew attention modeling for print ads and tv commercials.  She has four film credits.

Mrunal Thakur played Yasna.  She had been offered a Telegu movie role while in College.  She 26 credits including "Super 30" (2020), "Made in America" (2029), "Dhamaka" (2021), "Jersey" (2022), and"Lust Stories 2" (2023).  Check

Jayaram played Mahi's Grandfather.  He has played in Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu, Hindi and Kannanda films.  Wtih that versatily he has 231 film credits including "Summer in Bethlehem" (1988), "Friends" (1999), "Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo" (2020), "Ponniyin Selvan:  Part 1"(2022) and "Ponniyin Sevan:  Part 2" (2023).

Angel Bedi plays Tony, a close friend and uncle to Mahi.  He was born the son of a captain of the India cricket team and played cricket at a high level until 19 years of age.  He has 22 film credits including "Soorma" (2018), "Gunjan Saxena:  The Kargil Girl" (2020) and "Lust Stories 2" (2023).

Shruti Haasan was listed as a leading character in most promotions, but in fact she was only used for a cameo.  She is a big draw.  Her father Kamal Haasan was a top writer, director, producer and actor  Shruti was a child actress, but altogether she has 49 film credits as an actress including "Hey Ram" (2000), "Once Upon a Warrior" (2011) and "'D-Day" (2013. She has appeared and/or sung in Tamil, Telegu and Hindi. Earlier in her career she studied music in California and has also become a serious playback career including 24 music department credits and one as a composer.

 I have tried to limit plot details, because the film is very rich in surprises and yes there are a lot of coincidences that add irony to the story.  It is one of the more engaging films to be seen.  Subtitled on Netflix.

As usual I have bolded the first mention of films I have seen.

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