Cast: Jayam Ravi, Amala Paul, Soori, Sarath Kumar
A family of four is on a bike, the husband is animatedly talking over the phone. It collides into a car. Two men are having a verbal pow-wow right in the middle of a busy road, leaving a trail of honking vehicles. A mini van carrying water cans nearly hits a man walking on the road. Amidst this unlawful mayhem stands our angry, baffled, distressed and helpless hero, the upright and honest Aravind. He is a lot like Anniyan’s naïve, irritatingly righteous, law-abiding Ambi. You see him eagerly producing his license papers to get back his bike. In court when his friends appeal to him to plead guilty so that he gets his vehicle back, his stubbornness to fight the system lands him up in jail. Even the girl he eventually falls in love with tells him to shove aside his morals and be like the rest of them. He still doesn’t budge an inch, not even after his detractors beat him black and blue and throws him near a garbage dump.
‘Nimirndhu Nil‘ starts on a rousing note, the pace is racy, intense and you pump your fist in anticipation. When Aravind devises mind games to fight the system, you get goose bumps, and there is a palpable thrill. You feel for this honest-to- goodness guy, there is no heroism, he gets beaten-almost killed. He cries like a baby, is boringly sanctimonious (check out the scene where he inadvertently alarms his would-be-fiancée with his list of school medals and trophies) and yet you believe in him, you applaud his guts. It’s obviously a character scripted after the Aam Aadmi party chief, Arvind Kejriwal. Thought disappointingly short, the romance between Aravind and his girlfriend is charming. But wish they had edited a few songs!
The movie moves at a judicious pace till the first half. But post interval, the director loses his grip, things just fall apart. He brings in an adversary for the hero who looks like his twin. Ideally, this tried and tested ploy to bring in a hero’s look alike should hit the bull’s eye (remember Dhoom 3?). But the pan-chewing, loud Telugu speaking kingpin cum pimp, Narasimhan is the most superficial link in the plot. He gets introduced through a cheesily choreographed song with an equally wishy-washy item girl for company and you know it’s going to be a long film. And those jokes around Narasimhan’s brothel and its inmates are offensive and the slapdash actors simply add to the misery. Considering the movie throws light on a few germane social evils in our country, attempts to sketch the villains with a comical brush somehow trivialises the plot. A womanising minister who is trying to hold back his young mistress from Narasimhan’s clutches, a judge who asks for sexual favours and misuses his power, a greedy doctor who takes bribes to forge his signature on fake death certificates, a corrupt police officer who doesn’t think twice to hire killers-the antagonists get a raw deal and they seem to be vacillating between showing their evil side or to throw in humour. That also partly resulted in the sore climax. It looks hurried and shakily written as if the director skips from scene 40 to scene 80.
Jayam Ravi sparkles in a role that is tailor-made for him- the naïve and disarmingly upright Aravind. Despite sketchily written, he does full justice to his twin role as well, the loud and loathsome Narasimhan. Amala Paul lends him great support so does Soori whose jokes work for a change (partly cause they are cheeky). But Sarath Kumar (a special appearance) who plays a cop torn between his duty and conscience, looks bored-as if he can’t wait to get over and done with. Rest of the actors chip in, with no particular stand out performances worth mentioning.
Camera is nothing unique and moves according to the tempo, though a few stunt scenes are smartly executed. GV Prakash gets it right only in that opening romantic melody. Nimirndhu Nil reminds you of a flight that took off promisingly but got dismembered mid-air.