Production: Fine Focus
Actors: Aari, Shivatha, Thambi Ramaiah, Salim Kumar, Prashanth Narayanan and others
Editing: T.E. Kishore
There’s a unwritten theory – A filmmaker’s proficiency and real strengths are discovered only in their second or third outing. Almost 8 years ago, Krishna made his maiden debut with the film ‘Sillunnu Oru Kadhal’, which boasted of a stark theme that none had attempted before. And taking a long hiatus to make his comeback, he strikes back with yet another new-dimensional film ‘Nedunchalai’. While his debut film had the superstar league of actors and technicians, he has outmatched his very esthetical sense of filmmaking with a bunch of newcomers in this film.
Losing his parents on the same day of his birth, Aari has a bitter childhood when his foster parent Chiyaan also passes away… Acquainted to a group of friends, he grows up looting the expensive materials from the lorries that traverse across highway lanes and sells it to Salim Kumar. When he comes across a beautiful girl Shivatha running a Dhabha centre. It all begins as a clash as Aari ignore to pay her money and that makes Shivatha lodge a complaint to a crooked cop Prashanth, who in turn starts lusting for her. Meanwhile, a combat breaks out between Aari and Prashanth and the start hunting for each other. When he decides to turn away from his bad past and start a new chapter with his sweetheart Shivatha, things take a turn when the heist planned by Prashanth goes in vain that ends with an edge-on-seat climax.
Director Krishna embellishes every frame with more detailing and keeps us enchanted with his pictorial depiction of film in three different phases – 1960, 1980 & 2014. The drama involving the loot from Lorries during midnight scenarios has been stunningly shot, which even leaves us speechless in many places. Although there are some interesting elements in the film, few scenes easily reminiscences of ‘Paruthiveeran’, especially a song shot in perfect nativity. The director gets too cinematic in recalling that he is the director of ‘Sillunu Oru Kadhal’, which could have been avoided.
Each and every piece of background score by Sathya that includes Thamira Bharani, Injaathey and Kadal Thaandi are neat works from this musician, but the placement could have been better. The background score enhances the top-notch visual feel created by cinematographer Rajavel. While Krishna’s debut film SOK was a sweet romantic comedy, the director has tried something different here, but as the screenplay gets sluggish during second half and climax little unconvincing, Krishna should have paid more attention in avoiding these factors.
Aari has been trying his best to explore new arenas with his performance in movies from his debut film ‘Rettai Suzhi’ that went in vain. He continued to make betterment through the film ‘Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakathiley’. With this film, he gets over the top of all order and proves his potentials. He has taken scrupulous efforts in delivering every gesture in an impeccable manner. Actress Shivatha is a glorious treat for her enchanting performance. Her dialogue deliveries and appearance together will commute her to the A-league of actresses in a short span of time. Prashanth as baddie reminds us off the villain Rajnikanth in few places and his attempt to dub in his own voice is commendable. Others in the cast – Thambi Ramaiah, Kishore, Salim Kumar, Kumki Ashwin, Kannan Ponnayya and others have done a splendid performance.
What works – Exceptional storyline, locations, enlivening music, cinematography, art department, overpowering performance of actors and action choreography.
What doesn’t work – The comedy scenes between Salim Kumar and ‘Kumki’ Ashwin hampers the momentum in second half. The loot drama in high-speed lorries looks like artificial, wrong placement of few songs, climax could have been convincing.
Overall - ‘Nendunchalai’ deserves more praises for the plethora of new-fangled ideas in technical aspects and brilliant performances of actors.
Verdict: A journey of more excitements and few speed breakers.
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