NH 10: Gritty, Gruesome & Edge of the seat Thriller
We are in 2015 but rural India still reels in the shadow of bygone tradition and beliefs.NCR is a true picture of such India. Gurgaon which houses the best of MNC’s , Malls and plush housing societies just beyond that prevails a India where Honor Killing is not considered a crime and looked upon with a lot of pride. Well the same is the case with other A & B grade cities of India which epitomizes modern India but beyond it is still the old India which is as backward in thoughts as it was ages ago.
Navdeep Singh with writer Sudip Sharma shows the real & stark face of rural India through the eyes of the couple Meera (Anushka Sharma) & Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam). The couple plan a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city are in for a shock when their weekend plan falls through as they are drawn into a fight with the local goons.
Sudip Sharma’s script is fast and racy and keeps the audience on the edge of the seat. It is definitely not for the faint hearted because the killings are on your face and make you cringe in your seat but Sudip with the pace, kind of makes up for the gruesomeness. Some sequences make you think whether women are really safe in modern India. The main characters are well written but it is the support cast which lacks the depth due to half baked character development by Sudip. You tend to wonder how are the characters related especially the accompanists of the main goon Satbir (Darshan Kumaar) as they are not fleshed out properly. Some characters are a bit of stereotype which somewhere mars the originality. For the climax Sudip and director Navdeep Singh keeps it open ended for the audience to decide without giving any judgment.
The dialogues are dipped in authenticity with the correct accent and language, and it is not preachy with melodrama.
NH10 goes several notches higher due to the brilliant performances by the ensemble cast. Starting with Anushka Sharma who plays Meera a creative director of an Ad Agency, epitomizing the modern day woman who is independent yet fierce fully protective about her family, was quite a difficult role both physically and mentally as she is there right from the first frame to the last frame but she does it with élan and gives a crackling performance, her best till date. Neil Bhoopalam who plays Arjun an IT professional who is so full of ego that he does not care of his wife and goes ahead to fight with the goons to satisfy his ego. Arjun is definitely a complex character which Neil portrays convincingly and brilliantly. The surprise package of NH10 is Darshan Kumaar who plays the main goon Satbir. After playing the supportive husband in “Mary Kom”, Satbir’s character is a complete opposite for Darshan, but he gives his 100% and it shows, right from the accent to the body language to the demeanor he gets it right to the minutest of details. Deepti Naval in cameo of Ammaji, as usual does not disappoint, yet she again proves what a great actress she is….Another actor Ravi Jhankal as Mamaji performs well, an actor who has been around for long but not given enough chances….
To make the proceedings of the movie more gritty Arvind Kannabiran’s cinematography played a crucial role by capturing the ruggedness of the country side realistically and making the correct divide between Gurgaon high rise and the Haryana country side. Action by Armin Sauer & Abdul Salaam Ansari is too realistic and at times gruesome but I must say effective because reality is not that rosy. But I felt the editing could have been crisper by Jabeen Merchant.
Naveen Singh after a fantastic “Manorama Six Feet Under” does impress with “NH10”, albeit falls prey to a few Bollywood stereotypes which takes away a bit of originality which was the USP of his previous movie. NH10 may not be another Manorama but it definitely is a brilliant effort by Navdeep Singh especially the performances which were A class…
I must say for Anushka Sharma who is just 7 movies old, becoming a producer and that to with such a hard hitting subject really needs guts and kudos to her for doing so…
I would go with 3 and a Half Stars….
Movie Rating: (3.5 / 5)