When some one you respect, some one to whom you look up to as an inspirational film maker makes a blunder of a movie, it hurts and it hurts very badly. Gautham Vasudev Menon has given the Tamil movie world some excellent creations like Kaakha Kaakha (one of the best cop movies), Vettaiyadu Vilayadu and Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya. In fact, I respected him when he credited Derailed for his Pachai Kili Muthu Charam while most of his counterparts just don’t care about those things. But sorry to say Nadunisi Naaygal will be Gautham’s Achilles heel.
Nadunisi Naaygal is a story of a young man Samar/Veera (Veera) who gets abused by his single dad during his childhood through forced participation in group orgy. Meenakshi (Swapna Abraham), his neighbor saves him from his father and adopts him as her own son. Veera on the other hand develops a strange love on Meenakshi and even kills her husband on their marriage night. He moves on to Chennai and continues to kill girls in a brutal manner. He falls in love with Sukanya (Sameera), his school mate and tries to abduct her. What happens next and why he is on a killing spree is explained rather boringly at the end of the movie.
20 minutes in to the movie, if you watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, you will end up cracking this movie’s story. From then on, its an ordeal for you to sit through the entire 2 hours. A mother like figure replacing the “Mother” of Norman Bates, who warns about filthy girls and kills people with kitchen knife – ugh what more Gautham Menon – the same sort of dresses, wig and worse is that in some scenes Veera looks like Anthony Perkins. Yes, there is a back story of child abuse and but is it not straight out of “Sigappu Rojakkal” and “Moodu Pani”? The scenes look like an mashup of all these movies. Is it lack of creativity Mr.Gautham or you just thought people would not have watched Psycho (a lot of people in the theatre haven’t watched it including 2 of my friends. That helps, a’int it?)
Yes there are a few good things about the movie. Veera is a good find as an actor whereas Sameera scores brownie points with her acting. Swapna is a revelation and Manoj Paramhamsa sizzles with his cinematography. The guy who has done the sound effects has done a commendable job as the movie doesn’t have any background score. (Even that idea was stolen one from Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds). But a minimalistic BGM would have helped the final scenes of the movie as even a 2 Hr movie seems to be dragging at the end
The biggest problem of Nadunisi Naaygal is that it reveals the heights of plagiarism that’s prevailing in the Indian movie industry and relies solely upon the pre-movie hype. The comparison to Bharathiraja’s classic “Sigappu Rojakkal” is a sheer disgrace. It was an original classic and a breakthrough movie when it was taken in 1978. Nadunisi tries to ape and is nothing short of a blunder. From now on, you will see “N” number of positive reviews for the movie in different mainstream websites, 3-4 stars from big time movie reviewers, special programs in TV channels that wows at director’s technical wizardry and nobody will dare to write the similarities with Psycho. It’s a mediocre movie world running behind mediocre movies which is based on hype and not on content. As an ardent fan of Tamil movies, this lack of creativity from the current so called “hit” directors, hurts. It really hurts.
Mr.Gautham Vasudev Menon, thanks to you, I feel cheated.
Verdict: Watch it if you haven’t watched “Psycho”, for you it may end up as an “Classic”
Don’t ask me for a rating