Naandhi (2021) is a Telugu drama about an undertrial prisoner who is fighting to prove his innocence. While the story didn’t say anything new, the way it has been put together and coupled with fine acting by Allari Naresh as the protagonist and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as the defence lawyer brings the story to life. The film certainly hits you hard with the real sufferings the undertrials in India face due to crooked cops and delays in the judiciary. The film is available on the Aha streaming service and gets a Ripe rating on the Mangoidiots scale.

The first hour was about the sufferings of Surya Prakash, who is an undertrial for many years. Why did he land behind bars, who were responsible for his fate and did he get the justice he deserves formed the remainder.

Allari Naresh has played the role very well. I doubt if any of the mass heroes could’ve pulled off successfully the way he did with this character that had to show the inner pain, disappointment and anger – if a familiar hero had acted we would’ve only seen them, here I was able to see only Surya Prakash. Though the second half revolves around Varalaxmi, there was little she does on her own and I wish her role had a background story and expanded coverage.

For a courtroom drama, there was little legal action or twists, the prosecution was portrayed to be dumb and only using their brawn. The defence once in motion faced little resistance in the climax. Watch this film, I liked it.

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