Nayanthara has always featured in films in which sentiment plays a major role. If in her Viswasam , starring Ajith, the ‘daughter sentiment’ was a major factor, in Bigil , starring Vijay, the ‘women-empowerment sentiment’ was the driving force.
In her latest Tamil film Netrikann , based on Korean film Blind , Nayanthara channels the ‘thambi sentiment’.
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She plays Durga, a CBI officer who is very protective of her brother. She doesn’t want him in bad company, and in the first scene of the film, drags him out of a party. The brother-sister duo is heading back home when an accident occurs, during which Durga loses her eyesight. Will life ever be the same again?
It definitely will not, as Durga tries adapting to her new normal, which involves a lovable dog named Kanna that helps her in everyday activities. With the entry of the baddie (Ajmal, as a sexual pervert) and an impending Nayanthara-Ajmal face-off, Netrikann wastes little time to get into thriller mode.
Tamil cinema has got many of its thrillers right in the last few years, and Netrikann might have just joined that list had it stuck to its guns and not indulged in ‘sentiment’.
- Cast: Nayanthara, Ajmal, Manikandan
- Director: Milind Rau
- Storyline: A CBI officer who loses her eyesight becomes an eyewitness in a case involving a sexual pervert
The lengthy chase sequences bog down the film considerably – and it’s also a tad surprising that the makers have conveniently shot them at places where there's not a single soul in sight. While Nayanthara gets a lot of things right as Durga - watch out for her intensity when she breaks down for the loss of a companion - Ajmal tries his best to inject life into a character that’s just plain villainous (his flashback sequences, however, are an ordeal to sit through).
The positives in this Milind Rau-directorial are few, but those moments do bring about some joy. That character artistes make an impact in a superstar film (Nayanthara is known as the ‘Lady Superstar’ of Tamil cinema) is a thing to cheer: check out the performance of Manikandan as a cop desperate to make an impression on his seniors. The ‘Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum’ track (and its reprise ‘Sudari’ version) is a neat melody by composer Girrish Gopalakrishnan, but its positioning and existence in such a thriller is questionable. Such elements bog down the racy thriller that Netrikann ought to have been.
‘Netrikann’ is currently streaming on Disney + Hotstar