Director: Sharath Chandran Vayanad
Producer: Sasikumar Nattokom
Cast: Kalabhavan Mani, Rahman, Indrans, Kalasala Babu, Manikantan, Udayathara, Aravind, Suja Karthika, Aditya, Baburaj, Abu Salim, Majeed, Susmith, Sajith Raj, Sasikumar, Sukumari, Ambika Mohan
Music: Mohan Sitara
Lyrics: Vayalar Sarathchandra Varma
Sarathchandran Wayand who has debuted with Annorikkal has graduated to make a better and watchable film with his latest Nanma. With an emerging combination of Rahman and Kalabhavan Mani in the lead, the director has been able to churn out an engaging movie that has shades of Bharthan’s Thazhvaram and Kanmadham by Lohithadas.
The highlight of the film is definitely Kalabhavan Mani who after flexing his muscles as an action hero in half a dozen films recently, is back to prove his versatility as an actor. He is Muthu Chettiar in the film, an immigrant laborer from Tamil Nadu, who came to Kerala years ago with his three children, Nakulan, Unni and Seetha. Chettiyar was more known for retrieving dead bodies that come floating along the waters – It was not his job, but he was always known to do the same taking out rustic bodies from the lakes, that even the fire force and police were reluctant to touch. He did all the jobs including this with due respect to the dead, and his character is more like a scavenger who retrieves and clear off things that others resists to be in touch, for his living.
Even though with an altogether new getup, with completely shaven head and twirled moustache, Mani looks interesting, but the director has indeed taken clever measures to present the character not in too much rustic shades, to appeal for a larger audience.
The film opens with Muthu Chettiar’s elder son Nakulan (Rahman) attending an interview. He is denied the job of a manager in a construction company, as the board feels that his father’s job will create bad reputation for the company staff. Nakulan, who is deeply affected by this denial, joins a quotation gang and in no time becomes the henchman of a rich money lender.
Nakulan who has some respect for an elderly school teacher of the village also has a crush with his eldest daughter, Thara, who is also a nurse. Nakulan hated his father’s menial jobs and often asked him to stop doing the job of taking out dead bodies. But Chettiyar never paid heed to his son, who has already made a nexus with the big goonda world. This creates a discord in the family as Chettiar finds it’s extremely difficult to marry of his only daughter.
The things become tenser as Paramasivam, the Tamilian owner of the finance film in which Nakulan works makes his entry. Chettiar very soon realizes that his son’s real boss is the one who has created all the havocs in his personal life. Their enmity dates back to their younger days, when they were close pals and lived in a Tamil Nadu village. Now Chettiar is all set to tame his son from unlawful actives and to clear off his long term enemy, who has just appeared before him. Apart from the friction between father and son, the story at times wanders into the subplots of penury in rural areas, new age journalism and farmer suicides.
Mani plays a near to perfect role of Chettiyar, but the director seems disinterested to go into deeper angles of the character. Every other character in the film seems real and is placed with identity and grace. Rahman as Nakulan maintains the tempo of the youthful character. Udhayathara and Abhinaya who debuts as heroines though the film has enough screen presence, but wastes good opportunities to exhibit their acting talents. Anil adithyan as Parmasivan is impressive, especially in the flashback sequences.
Even though the plot by the director looks impressive on paper, some dialogues are at times too melodramatic and predictable, particularly that by Chettiar’s blind younger son Unni. The direction too appears sloppy at times with jumps and onlookers to camera, but the narrative skill that he has developed to present the story with flesh and blood, is appreciable. Cinematography by Sadath definitely captures the mood of the lonely hermitage and greenery in god’s own country with grace.
The music by Mohansithaara and editing by P.C. Mohanan also supports the director to maintain the mood of the film. The Kalabhavan Mani song ulagunile is better choreographed and visualized while the other two songs appear from nowhere adding little to the enjoyability of the movie.
Even though the film doesn’t stand up to the traits of films with which the director has earlier associated, Nanma is the best among the weekend movies and can be tested for once.