Telugu Reviews

Next Enti Review: Where We Say Kunal Kohli Can Learn A Thing Or Two From Betty Neels

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Director: Kunal Kohli

Cast: Tamannaah, Sundeep Kishan, Navdeep

Composer: Leon James

Candyfloss romance and facile ideas about love, relationships take centre-stage in Next Enti, yet another romantic drama from Kunal Kohli, who has been peddling explainers about ‘modern’ relationships’ since Hum Tum. The format has rarely changed with the times, though there is some attempt at redesigning the core content to suit the circumstances.

Here, Kohli takes it upon himself to make sex in relationships palatable to the Telugu audience. To this end, there are endless and utterly pointless conversations about sex, sexual pleasure and dubious advice about holding on to a man who can make you happy.

In between all this, Kohli wants us all to believe that the female lead of this fluff piece, with the equally fluffy name of Tammy, is going through some sort of existential crisis that can only be solved if she chooses between the broody Sundeep Kishan and the silver fox that is Navdeep.

While Next Enti could have truly been great, it lacks that female perspective even though it features an endlessly verbose heroine. She talks and talks and talks her feelings out. But the very inanity that marks her speeches makes this film unbearable to sit through.

You’re not invested in the heroine or her travails. You don’t care who she ends up with. You’re mildly surprised when Tammy ends up being unexpectedly assertive about getting physical with a man. But that’s about it.

Harlequin romances churn out better plots within the constraints of the romance genre. Betty Neels, a prolific author who published with Mills & Boon, used the same template of a Dutch doctor-cum-local nobility falling in love with a English nurse innumerable times and yet managed to infuse a certain uniqueness to the stories.

This is possible. And so, when Indian filmmakers churn out content that fails to distinguish itself from its previous iteration, it becomes a tiring task to even walk in for a romantic film. The saving grace of this film is its music.

Leon James lulls you into a sense of satisfaction with bubbly music that makes one think of Hallmark commercials. But somewhere along the way, you completely miss out on the fact that Next Enti has people talking about several things all the time. And yet, they fail to make even the slightest sense.

*****

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