Neru Movie Review Rating:
Star Cast: Mohanlal, Priyamani, Anaswara Rajan, Siddique, Jagadish, Ganesh Kumar, Sankar Induchoodan, Sreedhanya, Santhi Mayadevi
Director: Jeethu Joseph
Producer: Antony Perumbavoor
Writer: Santhi Mayadevi, Jeethu Joseph
What’s Good: Mohanlal’s versatile performance as Advocate Vijayamohan anchors the movie, showcasing commendable preparation and immersion in the character. The initial half captivates with compelling courtroom scenes, notably Siddique’s portrayal of the defense lawyer.
What’s Bad: The film needs to improve in maintaining balance, with exaggerated situations and an unnecessarily extended latter portion. Some scenes feel overly dramatic and need more authenticity, deviating from the genuine storytelling expected in Malayalam films.
Loo Break: Consider a loo break during the scene where Jagadish, portraying the victim’s father, goes around lawyers to seek representation for his daughter in court.
Watch or Not?: While the acting is commendable, ‘Neru’ falls short of the distinctive twists associated with Jeethu Joseph’s films. The film’s potential for massive success remains determined, and its predictability may leave audiences expecting more.
Available On: Theatrical release
Runtime: 2h 30m
In Jeethu Joseph’s recent film ‘Neru,’ the narrative unfolds around Sara, a blind sculptor seeking justice after a traumatic incident of se*ual abuse. The storyline navigates the challenges within the legal system and Sara’s resilience, creating a compelling blend of thriller and emotional courtroom drama.
Neru Movie Review: Script Analysis
The collaborative script by Santhi Mayadevi and Jeethu Joseph encounters a narrative dichotomy in ‘Neru.’ On one hand, the film captures the nuances of an advocate’s journey, mainly through Mohanlal’s portrayal of Advocate Vijayamohan.
The initial half thrives on compelling courtroom scenes, delving effectively into the complexities of the legal system. However, the script needs to improve in maintaining this balance, succumbing to exaggerated situations and an extended latter portion introducing suspense elements seemingly for plot prolongation.
This imbalance may be attributed to the high expectations of Malayalam films, known for their genuine storytelling. It marks a noticeable departure from the authentic narrative style usually associated with director Jeethu Joseph.
Furthermore, the film grapples with the challenge of recreating the excitement and intricate plot twists Joseph is known for, especially in works like ‘Drishyam,’ ‘Memories’ and ‘Kooman.’
The constraints of depicting courtroom proceedings may have limited the director’s ability to infuse the same level of excitement, resulting in a noticeable shift from the anticipated storytelling prowess. Although ‘Neru’ successfully captures the emotional dimension of the characters, sustaining momentum becomes a struggle, leaving the script analysis in a nuanced position where commendable elements coexist with moments of imbalance and predictability.
The plot of ‘Neru’ undergoes scrutiny due to questionable elements, generating initial skepticism. The portrayal of a blind person, Sara, recreating a sculpture by touching someone’s face, especially in the context of a stressful situation like se*ual abuse, raises believability concerns and questions the film’s treatment of the protagonist’s abilities. Additionally, in a scene where Mohanlal‘s character, special public prosecutor Vijayamohan, presents an image from dashcam footage in court, it needs more conviction, challenging the audience’s intelligence. Typically, a clear view of someone inside a car through a windshield is challenging due to glare and movement. While the film attempts to justify the footage’s preservation for eight months with a backstory explaining the owner’s absence abroad and infrequent car usage, the overall plausibility of such a scenario still needs to be determined. These plot issues introduce elements that may strain the audience’s suspension of disbelief, impacting the overall narrative coherence.
Neru Movie Review: Star Performance
Mohanlal’s star performance in ‘Neru’ is a pivotal anchor for the film. Taking on the role of Advocate Vijayamohan, a once-debarred lawyer who has been out of the courtroom for years but makes a comeback as a public prosecutor, Mohanlal showcases commendable versatility and thorough preparation. His seamless immersion into the character contributes significantly to the movie’s appeal, breathing life into the complexities of a legal professional. Mohanlal’s portrayal brings a refreshing dimension to the film, elevating it beyond a thriller and adding depth to the emotional courtroom drama. His ability to convey the nuances of a lawyer on a quest for justice resonates with the audience, affirming his status as a veteran actor capable of delivering compelling performances.
Alongside Mohanlal, Anaswara Rajan stands out with her convincing portrayal of Sara, a blind sculptor seeking justice. Anaswara effectively captures the vulnerability and resilience of her character, bringing authenticity to the role of a visually impaired victim navigating the legal system’s challenges. The chemistry between Mohanlal and Rajan adds emotional weight to the narrative, enhancing the overall impact of their performances. Siddique’s portrayal of the defense lawyer also deserves mention, as he convincingly embodies the role of an antagonist, creating a palpable tension in the courtroom scenes. The star performances collectively contribute to the film’s engaging dynamics, although specific locations may veer into dramatic territory.
Neru Movie Review: Direction, Music
In terms of direction, Jeethu Joseph, renowned for his intricate plot twists in films like ‘Drishyam,’ faces a commendable challenge in ‘Neru.’ The movie starts strong, particularly in the initial half, with Joseph effectively capturing the nuances of compelling courtroom scenes.
His direction skillfully navigates the complexities of the legal system, presenting a riveting portrayal of a blind girl seeking justice. However, as the narrative progresses, the film encounters challenges in maintaining this balance, introducing unnecessarily extended suspense elements in the latter portion that seem more to prolong the plot than enhance its depth. While Joseph’s signature storytelling style is evident in captivating moments, the overall direction needs to sustain the same level of excitement seen in his previous works, possibly constrained by the inherent difficulties of depicting courtroom proceedings.
On the musical front, the background score in ‘Neru’ enhances the film’s ambiance and emotional impact. It begins well, remaining unintrusive and effectively contributing to the overall tone of the scenes. However, a misstep occurs in the final shots, where loud and intrusive background music is introduced.
This addition, seemingly aiming to underscore the triumph of good over evil, feels unnecessary and disrupts the previously established balance. Despite this minor setback, the music elevates the emotional stakes of the narrative for most of the film, complementing the direction in creating a compelling cinematic experience.
Neru Movie Review: The Last Word
‘Neru’ offers a gratifying cinematic experience, marking Mohanlal’s triumphant return to severe roles. Beyond entertainment, it emphasizes justice for those who can substantiate their case. However, the film’s predictability and deviations from genuine storytelling may leave some viewers wanting more.
Note: The release of ‘Salaar: Part 1 – Ceasefire’ just a day after ‘Neru’ could pose a challenge for the film, given limited promotion and uncertain predictions for its outcome.
Neru releases on December 21, 2023.
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