Hi Papa

The highly anticipated Telugu family drama Hi Papa, starring Nani and Mrunal Thakur, promises to tug at heartstrings with its poignant yet uplifting exploration of single fatherhood. Directed by Shouryuv, this film looks to deliver an emotional journey accentuated by strong lead performances against the idyllic backdrop of Coonoor. As the film releases widely, here’s what audiences can expect from this heavy-hitting human story.

An Emotional Story About Second Chances

At its core, Hi Papa revolves around celebrated photographer Viraj (Nani), a devoted single father to daughter Mahi (Baby Kiara) as he navigates work, parenting and his daughter’s struggle with a dangerous lung condition in bustling Mumbai.

Movie NameHi Papa
Release DateDecember 8, 2023
CastNani, Mrunal Thakur, Baby Kiara
Movie CategoryFamily Drama
ProducerMohan Cherukuri, Vijender Reddy Teegala

Their world changes with the arrival of Yashna (Mrunal Thakur), causing upheaval but also second chances at love and happiness. Flashbacks reveal Viraj’s backstory with Mahi’s mother Varsha in the misty, mountainous Coonoor region as well as the circumstances that led him to single parenthood.

Director Shouryuv noted his intent was crafting “a film that celebrates the power of resilience in the face of adversity and the belief that one finds light even in the darkest of tunnels.” This uplifting message promises to resonate amidst the heavy drama.

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Standout Lead Performances

Nani brings nuance and stoicism to his performance as Viraj, capturing the quiet struggles and deep love of his devotion to fatherhood. His restrained yet powerful acting looks to provide the emotional anchor.

Mrunal Thakur has garnered praise for her versatility and screen presence as Yashna, bringing grace while also conveying a depth charge of complexity set to disrupt lives. Her chemistry with Nani also won notice as a highlight.

Meanwhile adorable child star Baby Kiara charmed preview audiences as Mahi, bringing a delightful touch to the heavy proceedings. The trio seems poised to deliver a compelling human drama elevated by their collective talent.

Stunning Backdrops

Shot extensively across Mumbai and Coonoor, Hi Papa looks visually resplendent, with cinematographer Sanu John Varghese capturing the lush greens of the hilly remote region as well as the kinetic energy of the bustling metropolis.

The beauty and contrasts of these locations mirror the tonal and textural dichotomy of the film, juxtaposing the peaceful, romantic past against the busier yet lonelier present. The sweeping vistas of Coonoor provide soothing respite from the urban chaos, inviting audiences into quieter, introspective spaces as flashbacks unfold.

An Intimate Slice-Of-Life Tale

While many Indian dramas escalate into broad melodrama and heightened theatrics, Shouryuv noted his intent was crafting a more intimate, grounded narrative focused on universal emotional truths.

“I wanted to capture the small moments that make up life, the beauty and pain often found in quiet corners and every day routines rather than dramatic gestures,” he remarked.

This naturalism extended to the performances, with stars Nani and Mrunal Thakur praising the director’s subtle, actor-friendly guidance in helping them shape fully realized characters through behavior and unspoken nuances.

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The result looks to be a film centered on layered portrayals and vulnerable human intimacy free of facade or exaggerated histrionics. For fans of emotional yet accessible storytelling, Hi Papa shows promise.

An Ode to Resilience and Redemption

While the film promises no shortage of drama and heartache, at its core Hi Papa conveys themes of perseverance and hope. Nani summarized its essence saying, “This is a story about overcoming life’s difficulties through the power of forgiveness and the remarkable strength of the human spirit.”

Even in scenes showcasing the leads grappling with pain and turmoil, the film emits a worn yet underlying optimism true to its translation of the Hindi title “Hi Father.” Life’s realities bring suffering, yet bonds of family and humanity endure.

This celebratory tone extends through the filmmaking, with bright, inviting cinematography and a lively soundtrack accented by soulful songs by rockstar composer Hesham Abdul Wahab. The emotional tenor promises a healthy catharsis by the final frames.

For fans of triumph-of-the-spirit stories in the vein of Lion or Forrest Gump, Hi Papa looks to deliver stirring yet life-affirming cinema.

Critical Praise

Hi Papa debuted earlier this year in Telugu under the title Hi Nanna, earning rave reviews.

The Times of India applauded the film’s tender realism and Nani’s understated performance, musing “There’s hardly a false note.” They also singled out Hesham Abdul Wahab’s poetic songs and music that “tug at your heart strings.”

FirstPost also celebrated leading man Nani, noting “He brings a restrained grace to the emotionally complex central role,” while commending director Shouryuv for avoiding maudlin tropes in favor of intimate human drama.

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With passionate performances and polished craftsmanship, Hi Papa promises to cross language barriers and connect audiences across India through universal themes.

Contenders for Wider Success?

As Hindi remakes of Southern blockbusters like RRR and Kantara draw crowds nationwide, Hi Papa’s intimate yet accessible storytelling could similarly rally mainstream audiences beyond die-hard Nani fans.

Strong word of mouth praising the film’s raw emotional power and stirring themes of resilience seems likely to propel solid theatrical returns. And once streaming across platforms like Netflix and Amazon, Hi Papa’s A-list leads and award-worthy acting should captivate households everywhere.

So move over grand VFX spectacles and larger-than-life masala movies. This tender heartland drama looks ready to tap into our shared humanity. And Nani and Mrunal’s star-power promise to make audiences everywhere shed tears and smile through life’s bittersweet beauty.


With poetic visuals and universally resonant themes conveyed through moving lead performances, Hi Papa looks to deliver a sensitive yet spirited testament to the bonds of family. Nani and Mrunal Thakur seem destined to captivate in this human tale tackling heavy emotional terrain with light and hope. Get ready to have your heart stirred and your spirit stoked when this uplifting drama reaches theaters and screens everywhere.

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