Cast: Suresh Gopi, Kavya Madhavan, Siddique, Shammy Thilakan, Kollam Thulasi Suresh Krishna, Vijayakumar, Suja, Karthika, Urmila Unni, Poornima
The much awaited Naadiya Kollapetta Raathri has finally hit the screens. This K. Madhu-directed investigative thriller with Suresh Gopi in the lead has come out quite well and is rather impressive, though it does not elicit loud applauses of the kind that Madhu’s CBI films (Oru CBI Diarykurippu, Jagratha etc) had received. But still, the film has things that are new to viewers of investigative thrillers in Malayalam and the suspense element too is well worked out.
Naadiya Kollapetta Raathri begins from where the Railway Division of Salem forms a Railway Anti-Criminal Task Force (RACT), headed by Dr. Sharafuddin Tharamasi IPS, an encounter specialist. RACT is formed with the aim of cracking some difficult cases of concern to the railways. At top priority is the Souparnika Express case.
Souparnika Express on its inaugural run between Chennai and Mangalore bore witness to three murders. Sharpshooter Naadiya Mather, who had boarded the train after missing her flight, is found brutally wounded and almost dead. The assailant had used a scalpel and had stabbed her in such a manner that the wound directly affected her brain leaving her in a state of coma from which there is no likelihood of her ever recovering. She is brain-dead and people around her begin to think of euthanasia rather than letting her continue in such a vegetative state.
Two other ladies – danseuse Thulasimani and NDTV reporter Sreya Maria – are found dead. Thulasimani is found hanging inside the coupe in which she was alone. Sreya Maria is later found lying dead on the tracks. All three were travelling in the AC First Class Compartment. Sharafuddin Tharamasi and his team take up the responsibility of cracking the case. How they solve it and what happens in the process forms the plot of Naadiya Kollapetta Rathre.
Suresh Gopi as Sharafuddin Tharamasi has done a good job. He has given life to the character. But there does not seem to be much freshness about him, his performance or his appearance. It may be because he has been doing such roles far too often. Though there is nothing outstanding about his performance, he has lent credibility to the role and done it in his own style.
Kavya Madhavan as Naadiya is good. Others in the cast too have done their respective roles well. Siddique though seems to have overdone it a bit; but perhaps that was because of the nature of the character he was playing. He doesn’t impress much though.
As for the technical aspects, art-direction by Gireesh Menon and cinematography by Anandakuttan deserve special mention. Editing too is slick and in tune with the tempo of a K. Madhu thriller. The background score by Rajamani, though in sync with the mood, isn’t outstanding or impressive when compared to the CBI Films or Irupathaam Noottandu for that matter.
The film is good but not outstanding and could even prove disappointing. It is likely to be dismissed as just another thriller, though a well-made one. The novelty is that there are three murders committed on a single night on a train, and the victims are in no way related.
The best advice is not to go for it with too high expectations. As for Suresh Gopi, Sharafuddin Tharamasi is definitely not one of the best roles he has done. Still, the film is worth a watch, especially for those who do not have Hollywood or Bollywood thrillers as their staple diet. Good work, K. Madhu and team!