Theeni (Ninnila Ninnila)
Three human souls finding solutions by variety of food recipes for their so called pro-longed problems.
Director: Ani. I.V. Sasi
Cast: Ashok Selvan, Ritu Varma, Nassar, Nithya Menon
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Theeni opens up in UK on a phone call with Dev (Ashok Selvan) interrogating about a hotel to visit next morning. Dev visits London to join for his new job as chef in a Michelin Star restaurant called Amara, Tara (Ritu Varma) also a worker at the same restaurant working as a chef comes to find her lost dad at her young age and (Nassar) the Head Chef, who lost his family very soon after marriage, leaves cooking behind and runs the Amara restaurant. “Theeni” is these three souls’ story all about. How they help each other find the missing fondness within them through the recipes.
Director Ani. I.V. Sasi’s writing speaks the story all about. Placing the characters at the right frames and making the content look more envision through the dialogues makes audience to feel the taste of the story! Dev and Tara madam’ both are introduced with intercuts which evokes us to see their daily habits and their characters at the same time. Sasi grabbed the audience soon by introducing the characters at the right time. The tasty restaurant food preparation drams were so delightful to watch on adding to it dev’s apologizing sense of humor to everyone and his reason behind those activity is something new to hear on. The screenplay which makes to think, laugh and enjoy the movie is a little newer to watch out for. “somethings are better left untouched”, in a scene where Head Chef says to Dev, those lines of little emotional drama were beautifully portrayed, which carries a lot of hidden unsaid emotions. Such dialogues were delivered so smoothly throughout the story.
Dev (Ashok Selvan’s) performance to the show was very natural to look for. No exaggerating acting and his look with the beard is a kind of new presence to the audience. His cooking sense which got to him from his childhood with Maya (Nithya Menon), where both the characters are revealed later in the flashback gets to a clear acceptance of logic stuffs, in spite of such good cooks exist in the kitchen, he steels the Head Chef’s heart very soon of his arrival. His actions with the Muscle Spasms problem adds bit humor to the screenplay at the beginning. Tara (Ritu Varma) having OCD (Obsessive–compulsive disorder) she looks to be all time hygienic, washing her hands 6-7 times a day and a very time focussed worker. Her eyes with the tears are the emotive part in the movie where the rest is history. Both stay together for a night after they stuck inside the freezer room and from there on tale of flashback begins with Deva and Maya.
After a prolonged good montaged flashback, Tara realises the feelings of Dev and begins to fall for him. Nasser took away his manly way of acting approach away and connects with the viewers through his emotional drama with the care he shows for his family. The film compiles well till the last but never really finds a serious plot to rectify.
The visuals are aesthetic, and lovely. With frames that kept Dutch even for a tight mid shot of dev and Tara’s lying on floor covering the empty plate is something inexperienced to the audience to look out for. DOP – Divakar Mani, utilizing the location well with the lighting and adjusting his way of story telling in the kitchen. Rajesh Murugesan follows the essence of the kitchen’s recipe with his soft gentle background music. It conveys the emotions at speechless moments in the mid-half of the story. The cuts of Naveen Nooli are notable from the very start. The intercuts with free flow of transitions added makes feel much tastier. A worth watchy for a taste with added sugar in it!