By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

South-Indian movies have been giving Bollywood flicks a run for their money, and obviously some are not taking the leaf from the old adage “If you can’t beat them, join them”. Within five minutes of the 2022 film ‘Nikamma’, viewers can see the makers are trying hard to copy Tollywood and Kollywood giants, for a second some might even wonder if it’s actually a south movie and not Hindi. In fact, it is a remake of the 2017 Telugu movie ‘Middle Class Abbayi’ starring Nani. But the Hindi version doesn’t have the most crucial ingredient that makes a Telugu movie click – an established superstar in the lead.

Directed by Sabir Khan, “Nikamma” is about an unemployed young man Adi (Abhimanyu Dasani) who likes to sleep until late, play cricket and hate on his sister-in-law Avni (Shilpa Shetty). However, Adi’s elder brother makes him accompany Avni to small town Dhamli, where she is suddenly transferred to a post in the RTO (Regional Transport Office). In her new post, Avni ruffles the feathers of goon/politician Vikramjeet Bisht (Abhimanyu Singh) and Adi finds himself on his sister-in-law’s side against the bad guys.

Abhimanyu Dasani does a decent job at being a cocky good-for-nothing guy who can beat up goons, but there’s only so much one can do in a sloppily scripted movie. Shilpa Shetty on the other hand does a much more convincing act of playing the upright honest government officer Avni who cannot stand corruption in any form. The film has few entertaining moments and is brought down by terrible dialogues, an ambitiously long pace and an annoying romantic sub-plot. Shirley Setia makes her debut opposite Abhimanyu Dasani in a completely pointless role that could’ve just been chopped off the story.

It’s a 4/10 from me. The film is available to stream on Netflix.

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