Neetho Review: A thoughtful romantic drama whose sensibilities matter

Cast: Aberaam Varma, Saathvika Raj and others
Music Director: Vivek Sagar
Cinematographer: Sundar Ram Krishnan
Editor: Marthand K Venkatesh
Producers: AVR Swamy, M R Kirtana & Snehal Jangala
Director: Balu Sharma

The film begins with disparate scenes involving Varun (Aberaam Varma) and Meghana (Saathvika Raj). We get a sense that Varun, an unassuming insurance agent, is desperate to patch up with Meghana, his girlfriend from a higher economic class. The film then cuts to six months earlier when the duo started out as an agent and a client. Meghana is scheduled to get married to the son of a rich businessman with whom her father (Gururaj Manepalli) is working out business deals. While Meghana and Satya have known each other for years, their wedding doesn’t materialize.

Neetho Review: A thoughtful romantic drama whose sensibilities matter
Neetho Review: A thoughtful romantic drama whose sensibilities matter

On the professional front, Varun is tottering on the brink. He could be fired anytime if he fails to clinch a big-ticket insurance policy. He pins all his hopes on the wedding insurance that Meghana and Satya wanted to buy. Now that their wedding has been shelved, Varun has hit a dead-end. His girlfriend Anusha, meanwhile, has walked out on him, multiplying his headache.

While Meghana and Varun falling for each other is a predictable plot point, director Balu Sharma doesn’t narrate the story through convenient plot turns. The construction of their equations is leisurely, thoughtful and deliberate. ‘Neetho’, by and by, turns out to be a slow-and-steady romantic drama where the characters question themselves, self-introspect, ponder and think twice before putting forth their questions to each other. The fear of committing mistakes weighs on the duo.

The lead characters talk like adults who know what it takes to reach the point of marriage rather than fun-loving youngsters who are infatuated with love. That’s why sensibilities matter more than the plot in films like this one.

Unlike in run-of-the-mill rom-coms where love takes root mechanically, ‘Neetho’ is a conversational drama where even the friends/colleagues reflect the social milieus they belong to. They plant doubts but not with dark intentions. They amplify hopes but not recklessly. There is no attempt at caricaturing.

That said, the film also suffers from the burden of over-stretched portions. The heroine’s dad could have had a better characterization. The film works a little less when it gets too light in the middle portions. Yet, even in its weak moments, the film doesn’t abandon organic story-telling in favour of commercial elements or far-fetched plot turns.

Thankfully, the concept of ‘wedding insurance’ hasn’t been exploited for cheap laughs. The male lead and his colleagues (played by Ravi Varma and Sunjit Akkinepally) are above low-brow humour. Again, as you see, sensibilities make a world of difference. ‘Neetho’ also doesn’t throw around themes like ‘rebound relationship’ to sound pretentious.

Aberaam Varma delivers a dignified performance, showing vulnerability where necessary. Saathvika Raj makes the most of a character that has been designed to exude minimalism. Vivek Sagar’s songs are thoroughly laced with the drama, while Sundar Ram Krishnan’s cinematography suits the metrosexual setting.


Varun is a senior editor at Moviezupp, a popular entertainment website devoted to all things movies. He is an experienced reviewer, writer, and news reporter. Varun has been covering the Telugu cinema scene for several years, writing on everything froml film festivals to regional and national releases.