CINEMACOMA…HARDCORE POSTMORTEM OF CINEMA
“…AND THE BIGINNING OF THE GRAPHIC VIOLENCE ERA…”
By HEMANT NILIM DAS
NH10 Movie Review
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumar
Director: Navdeep Singh
Background score: Karan Gour
Weeks back, when I had cramps in my stomach, rounding over the Sriram’s graphic violent BADLALPUR, NH10 is of course more motivated towards a social evil called KHAP system and untowardly disrespect for daughters, overall.
When my filmmaker friend was offered to india-nise and re-interpret EDEN LAKE, a British production, by some lost-angles based NRI producer, he disagreed to agree as according to him a slasher film without a social theme won’t work meaningfully in India! I have no clue on what my friend would be commenting on NH10 but I must agree that Eden Lake couldn’t have been better converted into a slasher road trip movie than this one, directed by MANORAMA SIX FEET DOWN fame NAVDEEP SINGH.
While act one in the story is about a married couple Meera (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) planning for a road trip …taking a break from their lunatic working life! The surrealistic part was that of a cold attack by hooligans on Meera where she took the driver’s seat to go back to her office alone in the night. Those men who attacked her were the symbols for what non-Urban Gurgaon realistically stands towards being woman!
NH10 Official Trailer
Act two is about the road trip, going berserk when the couple comes across a group of goons (led by Darshan Kumar) taking away another eloping couple, for a killing! It is not understood well how Arjun gets his venerable ego priced up so high, but arjun’s ego-giri lands the couple in the devil’s paradise where everyone they meet want them happily dead, once after Arjun dared to challenge KUMAR in the killing act!
Its always difficult to render a slasher theme go wholesomely so balanced with a socially impactful issue like honour killing…kudos to the director for keeping the fine line pounding all through the act 2! But how censor board is impacting the brilliantly themed out screenplays to go less graphic. Is it that the obvious reason for not going the extra-mile to make it more graphic! Definitely there was a demand by the producer to make the treatment go “audience friendly” even for adults!
The class “A” performance by producer-protagonist Anushka dwells well to carry an entire film on her shoulder. You can derive a vital point here that as against a well-loved queen, there are equally powerful manly non-flimsy themes which are being stormed out recently! What NH 10 proves is that Indian daughters are not just vulnerable, but they can stand well too, albeit being a David against a goliath system!
NH 10 merges 2 genres: a long dead good revenge drama, after Badlapur, which is what act three is all about and a social relevant female centric commentary! SO, the director uses lesser dialogue to convey the message home as the script demanded. The real-time film could have been shot in one long continuous take, except some gritty action scenes!
The music score is brilliant and it adds to harness a taste for such imagery scenes and sets the mood to head-front the story! Karan Gour does a much better job than anyone else could have! There are 3 songs which are background healers! Per-se the acting of Anushka, where she has grown tremendously in her first non-mainstream Indian genre, Neil reacts at equilibrium to her, Deepti Naval shocks us and tells us the very reason she was casted opposite her image while Kumar’s performance as the evil guy is more lethally natural than his last big time in MARRY KOM!
The worst part in the film is losing logic in many parts; something like couple got none to help throughout the night while touting the whole village and also the climax was a bit of fast where Meera must have fought a little more. The locations were a less greasy and could have been turmoiling as in such genre horror is brought down by more suspenseful badlands.
Although a rip-off from Eden-lake, its nice indenisation job doesn’t over-commercial at all. As much as you loved QUEEN, you may love MEERA also as she FOUGHT for the Bharat-India divide!
Don’t miss it! It’s not escapism, as opposite to, too many today!