Kerala

A promising thriller that ends in a whimper

Managing to build up the anticipation and to keep the audience guessing until the time of the scriptwriter’s choosing would mean half the job done in constructing an effective thriller.

But much of the other half rests on how potent that final reveal is.

Imagine the feeling when you expect a lion to walk out of a cave, after listening to its majestic roars for some time, and you see a mouse crawling out.

In Nizhal, in the end, after much anticipation, we get to see something much better than a mouse, but something lesser than a lion too.

Plot

Judicial magistrate John Baby (Kunchakko Boban) is recovering from an accident that has left him with a post traumatic stress disorder. During consultations with his clinical psychologist friend Shalini (Divya Prabha), she tells him about a school student Nithin (Izin Hash), who had narrated a disturbing story in the class.

The boy’s over-protective mother Sharmila (Nayanthara) is initially reluctant at the idea of digging deeper into this, but soon she joins John in trying to unravel the mystery.

Appu N. Bhattathiri, who has made a name as a film editor, dons the director’s hat for the first time in this moody, atmospheric thriller, that is concerned a lot about the mindscape of its characters.

Script

S. Sanjeev’s script keeps the audience wondering as to where the thread will lead next, with each possible lead turning cold.

The viewer has much to chew on. But the final reveal appears as somewhat of a whimper.

A wish on the part of the screenwriter to leave the audience with a message seems to have led to that rather tame ending, which is a letdown considering the genuine effort in maintaining the mystery almost all through.

Nizhal is worth a watch if you are of the kind who enjoys the journey rather than the destination.

S. R. Praveen

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 6:27:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-promising-thriller-that-ends-in-a-whimper/article34298117.ece

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