Staring : Aari, Shivada Nair, Thambi Ramaiah
Director : Krishnan Jayaraj
Music : C Sathya
Production : Aaju, C Soundarrajan , Red Giant
Director Krishna, who made ‘Sillunu oru Kadhal’, is back with his next film ‘Nedunchalai’. As the title suggests, the movie revolves around the highway and a group of bandits, who make a living by looting from the lorries that pass through the highway. Is the movie worth watching? Read on.
As mentioned asbove, the movie revolves around Tharpai Murugan (Aari) and his set of friends who risk their lives by looting valuables from moving lorries in the highway. Masanamuthu (Prashant Narayanan), a pervert and unlawful police officer, makes life tough for Tharpai Murugan and Manga (Shivada Nair), a small-time dhaba owner. Eventually, Murugan and Manga fall for each other, but will they overcome the troubles created by Masanamuthu?
Aari, who was seen in movies like ‘Rettai Suzhi’ and ‘Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakkathilaey’ can expect a big break with this film. His rugged look and his energetic performance help him to get into the shoes of a bandit with ease. His intense robbery sequences hold the movie together, as the movie has many such interesting moments. Shivada Nair as a Keralite is brilliant in her role and she has some powerful moments in the second half. Both the lead actors shine during the climax with riveting performances.
Prashant Narayanan is menacing enough and is always in the main plot. Salim Kumar as ‘Maatu’ Sekar impresses with his unpredictable antics and actions. He is responsible for throwing in some surprising twists into the tale.
Sathya has managed to aid the flow of the movie with his suitable background score, but the songs are a let down, barring couple of them. It is sad to see an item song and a dream song that are forced into the movie. Rajavel’s camerawork during night robbery scenes deserves applause, as the scenes are as realistic as possible without any gimmicks. Also, the colour tone maintained for the flashback is interesting. Editor Kishore Te comes up with sharp cuts in the first half, but he could have cut short the length of the second half, as it drags a bit. The running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes seem to be little longer for the audience to sit through.
Direction – Krishna
Krishna has taken a premise, which has not been dealt in Tamil cinema before. He starts the movie particularly well when he establishes the lifestyle of the highway bandits. The director has been bold enough to show the main characters with shades of grey, without taking sides. Some of the dialogues are timely, for instance, when the heroine talks about ‘Nayagan’ Kamal Haasan, it adds authenticity to the fact that the movie is set in the late 1980s.
However, the screenplay meanders after intermission until it takes off during the climax again. Few songs further bring down the interest level of the audience. The climax looks cliched as it has become a trend to have such endings in ‘realistic’ movies. Barring these few flaws, the movie is worth watching for the earthly treatment.
Verdict : Nedunchalai is a bold and compelling tale about lesser-known highway bandits.
Review : Sai Shyam G