Ratings: 3 stars

Stree-smart, is how I’d describe  the new Sundeep Kishan starrer. The  supernatural comedy-thrillers works on an audacious-going-on-outrageous  premise: what  if  you look  into the mirror and see someone else’s reflection staring back at you? Scary, no? Also, a bit of a  hoot.

Some  of  the  most  amusing  encounters of  the shivery kind happen in the dialogues between the hero and his  mirror-image which shows  another  person. It’s  good to see Sundeep, who is also  the  producer,   make room for other actors in the  challenging  spectrum  of  the theme where  themes  and thoughts never done before in Indian cinema come bursting alive in a crackerjack of film that  keeps  you invested  for its two hours  of  running time.

The plot unravels its intriguing premise with  a fluid virility that  never  questions  the  narrative’s  allegiance  to ambivalence. However attempts to weave comedy into the  eerie  aura  don’t  work. The  role model is clearly Raj-DK’s  Hindi blockbuster Stree where  the spookiness was spiked with guffaws. That combination doesn’t quite work here and  veteran actor  Posani’s  comic cop act  pretty much drags  the  drama down to a  disquieting depth  of  drollery and despair .

What works is the  confidently enmeshed  love story   of two couples whose lives get intertwined  by a fate worse than death. Cinematographer P K Verma  shoots the gleaming  interiors with aesthetic glee.  The paranormal  is confidently and  interestingly  treated by the director who never seems to be awed  by the  ingenuity of his  plot premise. The  narrative  moves ahead at its own volition not caring to  showcase  its star-producer Sundeep Singh’s  screen  presence beyond what the  plot prescribes.

Sundeep  carries himself with selfassurance  in the dramatic and romantic moments. Anya Pandey (she had made an impressive but failed debut in Yashraj films’s Qaidi Band) is likable in a girl-nextdoor way. Their love story works  because it is not worked upon. There is an interesting work-in-progress feel to the way the plot moves. Ominously, and  purposefully.

 Next time  you look at yourself  in the mirror, your heart is  bound to skip a  beat.

That’s the impression Ninu Veedani Needanu Nene  leaves us with. Jokes apart.

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