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By Divya Murali
He started off with a romantic comedy, skated over to action, then a family drama involving adultery, moved to a brainy action drama and finally to a hardcore romantic movie and before we could ask ‘What is next?’ Gautham announced Nadunisi Naaygal as his next and that it would be a psychological thriller and we can’t help but be curious. The movie has opened to mixed reviews.

Certain parts of Nadunisi Naaygal remind us of the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. Although the film may draw parallels with few such works in the past, it has its own merits and demerits.
The film is about an eight year old boy Samar who doesn’t have a mother and is abused by his father who indulges in orgies. Samar’s neighbor Meenakshi rescues him, rechristens him as Veera and takes him under her fold after his father commits suicide. A mentally disturbed Veera seeks solace in Meenakshi and that culminates to something else all together. The rest of the movie is about the travails that Veera aka Samar undergoes and the consequences.

The positives:

Gautham knows the tricks of the trade quite well. Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa is top notch. The best part is how the director extends a moment and increases the depth of the shot and makes it more meaningful. The very beginning when we see a cop being shot, the frame is slowed down with an in-camera movement and our heart beats to that rhythm as we understand the darkness of the subject and prepare ourselves for the ride. The shot ends with the water splotching on the screen, announcing the beginning of the film. Genius! In this era where loud and haunting back ground music is used in most of the horror and thriller flicks to induce fear, Gautham has indeed managed the feat of making a thriller without any BGM or songs.

Brownie points to the NN team for casting the right people. Veera who plays Samar aka Veera has come up with a good performance and this being his debut, he deserves the praise. He is there in almost every scene and he carries off every get-up and is particularly suave in the clean shaven look. But at times he screams too much and the high decibels hurt our ears. Sameera Reddy as Sukanya brings out the expression of fear on her face with conviction and looks every bit like a modern college going girl. Deva who plays a cop has nothing much to do but he does it well. If anyone requires mention it is the actress-singer Swapna Abraham who plays Meenakshi. She steals the show and sometimes, takes the movie away from Veera; she is particularly good in the scene where she sees her burnt face in the mirror and cries.

The Negatives:

Nadunisi Naaygal has excellent technical aspects and praise-worthy acting but the content of the film by itself might be of debatable nature and unacceptable to certain set of audience who might find the movie a little bit of a shocker. Having said that, Gautham could have done away with certain scenes and reduced the running time which would have helped the audience stomach the happenings. Several scenes will make you cringe and that replaces the feeling of fear with annoyance diluting the thrills; adding to it the predictable turn of events, the movie fails to thrill. Due to these reasons, despite acting and technical brilliance, the movie fails to draw us into the story. Also, due to the narration of the story and formation of sequences, it is hard to sympathize with the protagonist’s older self despite us feeling sympathetic to his younger self. The director has used his lucky ‘first sight falling in love’ line here too and that gets a bit boring and does not fit the character at all. The director apart from child abuse, brings in multiple personality disorder that includes three characters Samar, Veera and Meenakshi and this is shown towards the end of the film when the audience are already exhausted and it makes us groan and think, “Not this too!”

Although Gautham Menon once again proves that he is a master craftsman in the technical department, NN manages to disgust rather than thrill in some sequences.
Tags : Nadunisi Naaygal, Gautham Menon, Sameera Reddy, Veera, Manoj Paramahamsa
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