It is very rare that a film has a profound impact on your psyche, especially when we are talking about Bollywood films. Noir is a genre that has been plodded much but the results haven’t been all that praise worthy. However, films like Ugly and Badlapur have tried to change that image in the recent times. Joining the wagon is yet another brilliant film from the Phantoms, NH10.
This debut production venture of Anushka Sharma has not only a gripping tale but great acts put up by the leads. As the trailer spelt, the film revolves around a road trip that turns into a massacre for a couple. The Delhi rape case evoked one too many questions in our minds about the safety of women in Delhi and adjoining areas. And the film with its enthralling touch brings one such story to light. The film may not involve a gruesome crime like rape but it sure is gory!
The story of the film revolves around a high profile couple who hop on a road trip for birthday celebration. Arjun (Neil Bhooplam) has booked a villa and goes out of the way to surprise his wife Meera (Anushka Sharma). Even before the trip comes to culmination, the couple meets with some uncivilized incident which leads them to a deathly hallow. Meera’s husband is dying and she vows to save him from the rabid goons. Will she be able to save him? Will the two get out of the situation safely? Those are the questions that get answered after you watch the film.
The film has abundant of choking, cruel, crude reality which is difficult to digest. We have been fighting crime against women for a very long time yet haven’t received desired results. Honour Killing is one social evil that has gripped the North India. The venom of which has penetrated deep in the veins of Indians who care much about caste, sub-caste and gotras. The film explores this terrain and delivers the haunting reality with triumphant. The film takes us into a situation which is very real and very possible. It could be us instead of Arjun and Meera!
The story of the film will win the hearts of the viewers, hands down. But the direction and especially the sound editing too shall garner accolades. For in this film, even silences have a sound, eerie, vague, terrifying sounds! Be it the screeching of cars, grizzly sound of sand, crinkling sound of the iron rod being dragged on the gravel path or the splattering of the blood- add up to the thrill of the film. Despite the fact that there are too many composers coming together to give music to the film -Sanjeev-Darshan, Bann Chakraborty, Abhirup Chand, Ayush Shrestha, Savera Mehta and Samira Koppikar- songs are hauntingly beautiful that render a soulful essence to the film.
The film doesn’t shy away from showing the gory realistic portray of life. The blood bath is gut wrenching and ghastly. From the starting frame till the climax, the film keeps you at the edge of your seat, biting your nails. Although the film becomes a tad predictable post interval yet what you see leaves you numb.
There are bare minimum dialogues in this film that have a lasting impact on your conscience- Yeh Seher (Gurgaon) badta baccha hai...Comparing the increase in crimes in the city with a growing up kiddo, it not only insane but blasé on the part of the law protectors. The performance by all the stars-Darshan Kumaar, Anushka Sharma, Deepti Naval, Neil Bhooplam- is raw, rife and real. The film demands performance and the actors ably deliver the necessary.
Over all the film that’s about one wrong move for right cause, is relentlessly brutal and ruthless. The hate story that starts with ego issues dips in social cause and ends with knocking out “male-volence.” The film makes us reflect, react and inspires us as it is not the story of antebellum India, but a present day situation which calls for immediate action!
To sum up, this story that comes from a master storyteller, Navdeep Singh who simply proved his mettle with this one, (his first, Manorama Six Feet under, although critically acclaimed, tanked at Box Office,) isn’t a casual affair. If you have the heart to tete-a-tete with harsh realities that are at the heart of this country then certainly don’t miss this one.