Spoilers ahead: Why is NGK, the best Selvaraghavan movie ever?

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Spoilers ahead: Why is NGK, the best Selvaraghavan movie ever?

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Disclaimer: This note is strictly for those who have seen NGK already as it does not make any sense for people who haven’t watched the movie.

1. Subtext movie

I think first time we have been given a movie that does not explicitly say everything, it makes the audience think to connect the dots. Selva has treated the audience in a most respectful manner with this subtext and not spoon-feeding all the plot stories like every other movie. How?

Meeting between NGK and Vanathi - NGK helps vanathi with a news that will destroy the ruling party in return NGK asks a help back, what is it? If you think back he asks help for gaining popularity with the Protest against the ruling party and he wants vanathi to get this trending in the media.

The call by NGK’s father - NGK asks his father to help him on something, If you follow closely it is to get information from the CBI Director who is among the two close people to the CM. Which NGK uses it against the CM.

Meeting between NGK and CM - NGK asks for a tip from the CM for the news that he gives to the CM, what is it ? He wanted the protest to happen with police not stopping it and a riot in the protest from ruling party to make most out it.

Relationship between NGK and Vanathi - This relationship itself is shown as a subtext, however if you follow Geetha she says what exactly is happening.

These are just few examples there are a lot of subtexts which you would have to connect for enjoying NGK throughly.

2. The Character graph of NGK:

NGK’s character is one of the best written characters in recent times of Tamil cinema. Why?

NGK starts as a completely white character and starts getting grey shades as he goes through the political journey. NGK like any other Selva’s character like Kumar from pudhuppettai, Karthik from mayakkam enna is driven by his passion and would go any extent to achieve it.

The Organic farmer & Social activist phase- NGK, Mtech in Agriculture leaves his job to do organic farming and helps the people around his place without anything in return.

Party worker phase- The main reason of NGK to enter into politics was to help his people through the party powers. He still has the social activist in him when he wants to get introduced to other party members to help his people.

The taste of power phase- Once he starts getting the respect from government officers to complete his work, NGK tastes the power and wants more uses his intelligence to get both the parties under his influence.

Popularity and Image phase - Popularity becomes the only way for NGK to stay alive in politics. He starts hatching plans one after the other to rise to the top. Uses the PR strategies to tick all the boxes of popularity, image and money from corporate companies.

Power beast phase - NGK understands he will not be let alive by both the parties. Thats when he decides to knock those who will not let him live. The only way he could do is by creating the sympathy to show what his party did for him like killing his parents, hurting his wife and attacking him brutally. Did NGK kill his own parents for getting that sympathy? Likely so, all that is important for NGK is to achieve what he wanted. (Hidden detail: Why would the party kill his parents, no use right. Also NGK tells his parents and wife to see his face for the final time, did he mean it)

Surya is only actor who could reprise this role efficiently with a slight change of face expressions at each phase.

3. Geetha Kumari and Giri anna:

The only two intelligent characters who understand the different phases of NGK are Geetha kumari and Giri. They predict all actions of NGK and know what he is upto.

Geetha Kumari finds out his extra marital affair so easily for which NGK never refuses it, she also knows how he is being guided by Vanathi for all his actions. During the protest scene when NGK’s mom asks her to call someone, Geetha kumari doesn’t get disturbed as she knows this is all drama that is created by NGK. She also knows NGK is using her for his family image and mentions while she is on cycle as well whether this is also for image.

Giri who identifies the good qualities of NGK in the beginning starts to find the cruelty in him. Remember when he accidentally says I am like your elder brother and then immediately apologises knowing he has hurt NGK’s ego.

4. Learn and Repeat:

NGK often uses the phrase ‘Kathukkuren Sir’ what does that mean. He learns every trick that his friends, party members teach him and uses for his rise.

Lesson 1- Giri teaches him party power and acting - Giri teaches him whom you are inside does not matter but when it comes to the party you have to be acting with the Traffic signal scene. Giri himself wears a wig and thick glass to create an image for himself. NGK follows the same with his new makeover and body language to win the trust of Pandiyan.

Lesson 2 - Pandian teaches him to ask a return favour - Pandian asks NGK to join in party as a return favour for his help. NGK learns this lesson carefully and applies it to Vanathi asks a return favour from her. Doesn’t even leave the CM asks a return favour from him.

Lesson 3 - Raja teaches him that sympathy is everything - Raja asks NGK to use his death and cry loud to gain popularity. NGK uses this after he escapes from the CM’s attack, creates a scene as if he is dead and comes back from the ashes. NGK uses the same to create a sympathy wave of his parents’ death and win the elections.

There are a lot more like this when every time NGK says ‘Kathukkuren Sir’ , watch it out.
Selvaraghavan has delivered a movie that is crafted like a piece of art that traces NGK through his political journey. Selva is one of the few directors who can do a movie with 80% close up shots with seasoned actors like Ilavarasu, Surya, Sai Pallavi, Bala Singh who can match up to his expectations.

There is a point at which NGK asks “Ungalukku ella vishayathayum yaaravadhu eduthu sollanuma?”, I just think this is Selva’s question to the audience asking if he has to explicitly convey everything.

If you have watched NGK, go again and watch the second time to celebrate these subtleties. Let us celebrate NGK when it is in theatres, unlike Aayirathil oruvan and Pudhupettai which are being celebrated after 10 years.

Annamalai Kasi
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