One among the rare mainstream Telugu films to go for a direct-to-OTT release after the reopening of theatres, Ninnila Ninnila will stream via the pay-per-view option on ZEE5 on February 26. Starring Ashok Selvan, Nithya Menen and Ritu Varma in lead roles, the Tamil, Telugu bilingual film marks the directorial debut of filmmaker I V Sasi’s son, Ani Sasi, in both languages. He’s assisted his father in the past and worked with ace director Priyadarshan. This slice of life rom-com has a surprising name as a producer – BVSN Prasad, someone usually associated with big commercial films with leading stars.
Ninnila Ninnila revolves around the love story between a chef with muscle spasm and his colleague. Shot entirely during the post-pandemic phase, its OTT release was finalised during mid-2020 itself and the makers didn’t have an option to roll back to the theatrical option later. It is, in fact, a blessing in disguise for the team. Bhadram actor Ashok Selvan, the male lead in the film, is making his straight Telugu debut with the project and is a relatively unknown face to Telugu people. The trailer also suggests that the film, despite being in the rom-com genre, isn’t any other love story. In spite of names like Nithya and Ritu, one couldn’t have been sure if it had legs to pull in crowds to theatres.
OTT is indeed the most ideal choice for the film. The promos hint that it’s just the kind of a pleasant, spirited film that’s best savoured in the digital medium where content is a priority over star power. Nithya Menen claims that her role in the film is quite similar to Ala Modalaindi’s. The director Ani and Nithya have been friends for many years and reportedly, they’ve been planning this project for a long time now. The actress has shed a lot of weight for the project and is looking as lively as ever, in good shape in the promotional events.
For Ritu Varma, there’s a sense of deja vu that she’s getting to star in another film surrounding food after Pelli Choopulu. Premam-fame composer Rajesh Murugesan is returning to Telugu cinema after five years, while the entire team has had great words of praise for the cinematographer Diwakar, who’s worked with Rana Rangam and Viraataparvam. Ninnila Ninnila’s release timing is apt, considering love stories may be the flavour of the season after the success of Uppena.