The Telugu film Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty is directed by Mahesh Babu P. Cast includes Naveen Polishetty, Anushka Shetty, Murli Sharma, Abhinav Gomatham, Sonia Deepthi, Thulasi, Jayasudha, and Nasser.
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Miss Shetty Mr Polishetty Review
+ Naveen Polishetty
+ Comic lines
+ Contemporary theme
– Lack of chemistry between the leads
– No emotional heft
It is seldom that the real-life names of the protagonists are used as the title of the film they are part of. It requires a certain amount of creativity — a sub-editor’s skill — to think of such a title. The 2020 Hindi movie AK vs AK went the whole hog by coming up with a meta story that pitted Anil Kapoor and Anurag Kashyap (the two AKs) in their real-life avatars on screen. The fictional story had everyone playing their real-life avatars. That conceit was pure one-off.
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Miss Shetty Mr. Polishetty has no pretensions to be an all-out layered movie save for the fact that it smartly uses the leads Anushka Shetty and Naveen Polishetty’s second names in the title and also casts the latter as a standup comic, which is his other calling in real life too. Having shown some smartness right off the board, the director, Mahesh Babu delivers another surprise. In a film billed as a romantic comedy, the first 10-15 minutes are reflective and emotional.
Just as you are wondering where it is all leading, the film then shifts to its expected path. And the director impresses and disappoints almost in equal measure. While the story arc of these kinds of movies is broadly understandable, especially its climax, the thing that keeps you hooked is the treatment. It is here Mahesh Babu makes you feel that he could have shown the same flair that he showed in coming up with the catchy title.
The story is simple, even though the premise is modern and new. Anvitha (Anushka Shetty) is a chef in Londo. She and her ailing mother, who has relationship issues in her marriage, come back to India. Once the mother passes away, Anvitha feels lonely but isn’t ready to commit herself in a formal relationship as the bad experiences that her mother had been through make her wary. Enter Sidhu Polishetty (Naveen Polishetty). He is an IT guy but also does stand-up comedy. His vivacious and funny ways impress Anvitha, but she doesn’t want to go the hog with him. Instead, she comes up with a plan that is either daringly liberal or downright silly, depending upon your standpoint. The issue rests between them uneasily, and eventually, it is all about whether the two unite or not. Okay, you know that.
Naveen Polishetty, returning to films after his hit Jathi Ratnalu (2021), is the livewire of the film. Cast as a standup comic, which is what he is otherwise, is an inspired idea. The man is a riot, delivering zingers and one-liners with palpable relish. The deadpan humour works wonders. Telugu film is no stranger to stand-up comic roles. In the 2021 film Most Eligible Bachelor, Pooja Hegde played one. But all those flicks were hotchpotch affairs, with the standup act looking forced. With Naveen in great form, it is all comic fireworks and on point.
Anushka Shetty, too is coming back after a lengthy hiatus. And the rustiness shows. Also, a film like this rides a lot on the cute chemistry between the lead pair. Here, that is not evident abundantly. The lack of fire between the two does not allow us to get involved in the emotional portions in the second half. The rest of the cast, including Murali Sharma, Jayasudha, Nassar, Abhinav Goutham, and Harsha Vardhan, have little to do. The central theme has the potential to be explored more, but the director tip-toes around it and just milks it for jokes and nominal emotions. It is a contemporary idea hence it has to be seen as a missed opportunity.
The film has a feel-good feel. But the real polish comes from Mr. Polishshetty. The film gets that part of the title right.