Nikamma Movie Review

Nikamma is based on the Nani and Sai Pallavi starrer hit Telugu film Middle Class Abbayi (2017). The film combines the elements of family drama with an action thriller, with comedic elements thrown in between.

Adi (Abhimanyu Dassani) is an aimless young man, who is asked by his elder brother (Samir Soni) to live with his bhabhi Avni (Shilpa Shetty) for a while when she gets posted elsewhere. She’s an RTO officer who raises hell for a local goon (Abhimanyu Singh) who is running an illegal taxi service. Adi thinks his strict sister-in-law has alienated him from his brother. When she comes to know that everything she did was aimed at his betterment, he has a change of heart and vows to protect her when he learns that the goon has put a supari on her.

The film is loud as they come from the first frame, where the protagonist is shown to win a cricket match using eidetic memory – don’t ask us to explain this. The initial portions, showing Shilpa Shetty as an avatar of Durga in Abhimanyu Dassani’s imagination contrive to make you laugh. There’s freshness in the way romance develops between Shirley Setia’s character and Abhimanyu’s in the sense that it’s the girl who proposes and indulges in the kind of courtship behaviour reserved for lads in our films. But as soon as the hero challenges the villain to do his worst, you know how it’s all going to end. The film is supposed to be a cat and mouse game between the hero and the villain but it runs on predictable lines and kind of drags towards the end. The villain becomes more bombastic by the minute, the hero becomes louder, and you hope people start killing each other soon so it all ends. The twist is that even death doesn’t end the rigramole. It takes a life of its own…

Abhimanyu Dassani is choosing films with a thought towards marketing him as a versatile actor. His last release, Meenakshi Sundareshwar, saw him as an old-fashioned romantic hero and the present film marks him out to be a mass actor. He gives his 100 per cent to playing the loud, over-the-top hero. Whether the audience accepts him or not remains to be seen. This was supposed to be Shilpa Shetty’s comeback film but it got stranded because of the coronavirus and she made a comeback with Hungama 2. She’s good as the strict bhabhi and official and gets to execute some stunts as well. Given the fact that she’s going to feature in Rohit Shetty’s web series Indian Police Force, we kind of get a glimpse of what she’s capable of as a cop. Shirley Setia has been taken to provide the oomph, which she does amply.

Bhumika Chawla was much admired for her role in the original, which revolved around the interaction between bhabhi and devar. Here, that emotional punch is missing and that’s the film’s main problem. If only the action scenes were balanced by the drama, we’d have gotten a better film.