By Anita
WILL WE EVER SEE A NH10 DOWN SOUTH ?, Anushka sharma, NH10


While films like Mother India and Bandit Queen shook the Bollywood industry in the 1950s and 90s, movies like The Dirty Picture, Kahaani, English Vinglish, and Queen are enduring in the present times. These are simply because strong women leads have showcased their acting abilities at par excellence and these movies were nothing less than top-notch. Up next in the list is NH10, a recent production venture of Anushka Sharma who is also playing the woman in the lead role.


What was missed was achieved!


Somehow there is always a stereotype in women centric films to display male chauvinism, showcase their superiority via gender or the female will overpower the men. What I found most sensible in NH10 was the way the character was positioned. Meera played by Anushka Sharma is not shown as a woman who sets out to stand unique in the crowd but, the situation demands her to pull herself together and behave in a certain way that comes across strong in terms of her characterization. Though her ulterior motive is to shun the men in the end, this film justified that given such a situation even a man would have reacted in the same way. Here it was hardly about the gender but about the collision of events that leads to a strong role. Male chauvinism was shown as part of the story displaying a certain community and was not compelled into the film.


We also see a lot of long high intensity monologues when we watch female centric films, whereas over here, the last twenty minutes of the movie runs without any dialogue. Action did speak louder than words in her case. When a strong independent urban woman is trapped in a situation like hers, in my opinion there could have not been a better way to showcase those intense moments.


Strong characters are not made, they are developed!


I am sure people will agree that a strong character needn’t travel throughout the film or speak most of the dialogues or stay in the frame for a long time, they just have to be developed from the given situation by the actor. In NH10, be it Neil Bhoopalam or Darshan Kumar, these actors have perfected the craft of acting in their respective roles. While Neil stays mostly in the first half of the film, Darshan travels along with the film from the beginning as he is the primary villain in the movie. Irrespective of the time frame, these characters stay in memory even after the film gets over. Here the power of a man, his oppressing abilities and the extreme manifestation of supremacy is displayed while keeping the plot in par with such expressions. These aren’t pushed into the film but are needed for its characterization. (Now, you will understand what I mean after watching the film)


Layered meanings are understood and not told!


From Satyajit Ray’s Apu trilogy to Slumdog Millionaire we have seen many films displaying class discrimination, gender disparity and caste system. NH10 has its own flavor in showing these social issues in a more symbolic way throughout the film. The last scene where Anushka lights up a cigarette shows much more than just that act. Here she showcases her power as a woman who destroyed the chauvinistic gang; this scene has no dialogues but just consists of facial reactions and body language that shows revenge, dominance and reinforcement of the wrong act. The scene further unfolds where Darshan Kumar tries to get up after being horrendously injured. In that moment he tries to just showcase how a man is bigger than a woman as he stands up but not attacks. The film majorly revolved around high intensity ego clashes, a rural brought-up and about a community that has a taboo over every common element. The whole film travels under the line of ego between a man and a woman and a competition to show who is greater than whom.


Hands down appreciation to the censor board


Amidst being one of the brilliantly made films, the censor board of the North must be appreciated for signing off this film with hardly any compromise on the violent scenes. The film is certified with an A and it is something that might not be welcomed with open arms here down South. Although it will be wonderful to see one of our strong woman actors like Trisha, Nayanthara and Nazriya take up such roles. NH10 is a true new age film that is a must watch.


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