Starcast: Mysskin, Snightha Akolk
Banner: Ayngaran International Films Pvt Ltd and G.V Films
Where to start? What to say? What not too? A sense of joy, solitude, despair and fun among other things run through one’s mind while watching Mysskin’s ‘Nandhalala’. After a long wait comes the movie which is nothing short of a marvel on screen.
At a time when commercial movies are considered watchable, Mysskin has rendered a film that combines all elements of movie making, which makes one gel with each and every character on screen.
A taut screenplay, scintillating shots and above all the flawless background score by Illayaraja sets up the momentum. A rare attempt on big screen, ‘Nandhalala’ goes on to say loudly that all hope is not lost in Tamil cinema.
Such movies show that the industry is still a director’s medium and those who know the language of cinema can render a classic without compromising on commercial values.
One of the very few full-length road films in Tamil cinema, the story of ‘Nandhalala’ is simple and straight forward. It’s the journey of two persons seeking to see their mothers, who had left them long back.
They come across various faces, emotions and nerve-wrecking experiences in the journey. A sense of joy and sorrow runs through our veins as we start to travel along with them.
Unlike Mysskin’s earlier attempts, which were loaded with action and naach-gaana, ‘Nandhalala’ kindles our soul straightaway. The complex characters, simple human faces and the funny encounters sustain interest all through. The movie doesn’t boast of macho-man stuff, lengthy dialogues or crass comedy. It is straight from the heart to touch our brains.
Baskar Mani (Mysskin), a mentally-challenged youth manages to escape from an asylum with the sole motive to reach his village and question his mother whey she dumped him there.
Aggi (Ashwath Ram), a school student brought up by his grand mother, comes to know that his mother is working in a village. So without informing his grand mother, he leaves the house on a journey to meet her.
At one point, the mentally-challenged Baskar and Aggi meet. They become friends. They set out together to fulfill their dreams. The travel they make on the road gives them many experiences.
On the way, the two comes across one commercial sex worker (Snighdha), who has none to care for. She joins them. They meet contrasting incidents in their villages. Eventually a shock awaits both Baskar and Aggi. The value of true love and care is underlined in a riveting climax.
Three cheers to Mysskin not just as a director but as an actor too. He brings out right emotions. Enacting a mentally challenged youth is no easy task. Especially towards the second half, Mysskin makes us cry and relate ourselves with his character.
Ashwath Ram impresses as a young boy yearning for mother’s love. He is cool and casual in his act. The young kid has understood the burden on his shoulders and delivered it well.
Snighdha as commercial sex worker lives up to her character. Without makeup, she is there evoking right emotions. A host of new faces in the movie identify themselves with their roles. Watch out for actress Rohini and Nasser playing cameo.
The scene stealer is Illayaraja. The maestro has given flesh and blood to the movie. One wonders when was the last time we have seen the background score in a film evoking tears in our eyes. His good use of symphony orchestra is apt. Watch out for an ‘Amma’ song by the Isaignani in the movie.
Cinematographer Mahesh Muthusamy brings perfectly what Mysskin has conceived. The wide lens used by him to narrate the tale of two on a journey is amazing. His camera speaks a lot.
Due credit should be given to Ayngaran International for gathering guts to produce a film that is far from the madding crowd. Mysskin seems to have taken Tamil cinema to a new height. Hopefully the rest will take a cue and follow him. The film may be slow, but it is steady and wins the race too.