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
Sharathchandran Wayanad, who made his directorial debut with Annorikkal, has improved vastly with his second film, Nanma. The film has many pluses and of course some minuses too. Still it is a film that is not totally insufferable.
Nanma takes us into the world of Muthu Chettiar, who fishes out dead bodies from ponds, muddy waters, marshy areas etc and sees it as his profession and is never ashamed of doing what he has been doing all along. Nakulan is Muthu Chettiar’s son, who has been knocking on doors for a job, but has always been turned away just because he is the son of Muthu Chettiar, who does a job that is abhorred by the elite. And thus Nakulan turns a rebel in the family and eventually becomes a henchman for a financier, a kind of a street goonda. Muthu Chettiar is dead against this.
Muthu Chettiar has a daughter Seetha and another son, the blind Unni. Muthu Chettiar and Nakulan are always against each other and they quarrel almost every time they meet, with the son blaming the father and his profession for his misfortunes and the father vehemently opposing his son’s wayward ways.
Close by lives an aged school teacher, who is called as ‘Master’ (“Maash” to be precise in spoken Malayalam) by everyone. Muthu Chettiar holds him in high esteem especially because he had helped Muthu when he was in dire straits earlier. Maash has two daughters Thara and Meera, and a son. While Thara is a nurse and is in love with Nakulan, Meera is a news-reader in a local television channel and is involved in a romantic relationship with Dattan, a programme producer.
Maash is deep in debt, and is constantly troubled by financiers and bank-people asking him to repay loans. At his tether’s end, Maash does something drastic to salvage his family and then commits suicide by hanging himself from a tree. It is Muthu Chettiar who is asked by the police to bring the body down. And then one day, Muthu Chettiar meets Nakulan’s boss, the owner of the financing company for which he works as a henchman. The story takes a turn from here after Muthu Chettiar meets Paramasivam, a man who wields considerable amount of influence.
The main highlight of the film is obviously Kalabhavan Mani, who has done full justice to the role of Muthu Chettiar. It appears however, that the script writer, who incidentally is the director himself, has created the character with Kalabhavan Mani in mind, and hence there is some kind of a lack of depth. He could have made the character somewhat more vibrant. Still the character is good and Kalabhavan Mani does it well. Rahman as Nakulan also does justice to his part.
Anil Adityan as Paramasivam does a stereotyped role as in Mambazhakaalam, Chacko Randaaman, Rashtram, Bus Conductor etc. There is nothing new about him or his acting, but he has done full justice to the role. Suja Karthika as Seetha is OK. The new faces Abhinaya and Udaythara are a waste. Aravinder as Dattan is OK though he hasn’t got much to do. Kalasala Babu as Maash is good. Television actor Manikantan of Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam fame makes his big screen debut in an almost similar get-up as Muthu Chettiar’s aide, and is OK.
Cinematography by Sham Dutt is a highlight of the film. He has captured the scenic beauty of the locations in such a way that it jells well with the theme and the mood of the film. The editor and art-director have given able support. Songs are not that impressive, except the Tamil number “Periya ulakinile…”, which may be hummed for some time and then may very easily be forgotten.
The film is watchable for the story and also for the performances of Kalabhavan Mani and Rahman. Sharathchandran Wayanad has, as mentioned earlier, improved considerably, but he still has a long way to go. He has to bear in mind that as far as a film is concerned, it is totality that matters and hence a director should keep an eye over all the aspects of his film. While in Annorikkal he had concentrated on the story and the characters, he seemed to have paid little attention to the actors, their performances and their body languages. (As a result Kavya Madhavan’s acting had been rendered unimpressive at many points in the film).
Similarly in Nanma, while he has concentrated on the story, the main characters, the main actors, their body language etc, he has erred in choosing the supporting cast, especially the female members of the cast. Hope Sharath will keep these points in mind and give us an even better film the next time.