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Slick but Unconvincing: Nadunisi Naaygal

Cast: Veera, Meenakshi and Sameera | Music: No music or background score | Directed by: Gautham Vasudev Menony

Gautham Vasudev Menon is the single name that has brought the crowd to the theatres to see Nadunisi Naigal and that itself is a credit to the director. The movie, sans any big name – neither actors nor music directors – has pulled big crowds to the halls just because of this man.

Menon’s much anticipated crime-psycho-thriller has come out as a slick product with outstanding making, excellent cinematography (Manoj Paramahams), and some real thrill in some scenes. Menon, however, has failed to make it a complete movie as he has missed the core element of the genre. Any psycho thriller has to establish the reason behind the bizarre activities of the character shown as mentally disturbed. Then one has to execute the activities of the person effectively and then depict the investigation process in a logical manner. While Menon has succeeded in making the investigation process almost flawless, he hasn’t executed the process of criminal activities beyond doubt. Worse, he has grossly failed to make the reason behind the mental disturbance convincing.

The basic story is somewhat similar to Bharathiraja’s Sigappu Rojakkal (1978). Samar alias Veera (Veera) is a psychopath with a disturbed childhood thanks to his father’s perversions. He is rescued by Meenakshi (Meenakshi), a girl from the neighborhood, but unfortunately his horrible experience with his father and his girlfriends have deeply affected him. He develops as a split personality and the girl becomes the first victim of his violent sexual behavior.

The problem with the movie is that the reason behind the boy’s disturbance has not been shown convincingly. The way Meenakshi helps him despite knowing his problem and despite being a victim of his behavior lacks credibility. Then the way he goes about abusing girls looks totally unconvincing.

The performances of Veera, Meenakshi and Sameera are the highlights of the movie.

The film is technically smart. Manoj Paramahamsa’s camera work is awesome. Antony’s slick editing has added value to the narrative. Overall, Nadunisi Naigal would have been a far better film if Menon had added some strength in the areas of why and how of the whole affair.

[Chennai Online]


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