How do you even begin the review of a movie that has such an impact on the viewer, from start to finish?
Let me try. I hope I do justice to Navdeep Singh's direction and the super performances of the entire star cast.
With his first film in 2007, MANORAMA SIX FEET UNDER
, Navdeep Singh had begun well. Then he fell into a trap from which he failed to extricate himself thus throwing away the early advantage he had earned.
He does not repeat that mistake in NH 10. This is brilliant. This is fast. This is bloody furious.
Geoff Burrowes' 1991 film RUN, starring Patrick Dempsey and Kelly Preston gave you 'heart-in-the-mouth' sequences all throughout the film. In this film, the protagonist is on the run from a mob boss after he accidentally kills his son. A part of Dibaker Bannerjee's LOVE SEX AUR DHOKA is another element in this film; the part about honour killing, which is even more graphic. Both these sequences are executed by Singh in frightening proportions.Also Read NH10 Music Review
The result of which leaves Meera (Anushka Sharma) on the run, looking for help as her husband Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) lies wounded and is dying in the jungles on the outskirts of Gurgaon. A backdrop of the story:
An incident on the streets of Gurgaon in the night leaves Meera traumatized. Arjun has been feeling guilty for letting her drive alone as he wanted to stay back at the party. He wants her to forget the episode and plans a birthday treat for her; a desert holiday.
All seems going according to plan. When they reach the toll booth on the outskirts of Delhi, there is a huge commotion. He learns that the attendant has been killed by four youths when he asked them to pay. This, more or less, explains the scene on the outskirts of the capital and also gives us an inkling of what is in store.
On the Highway, they stop for a meal when they witness a young girl and a boy being mercilessly beaten by six people. When he tries to intervene (the only one from among the crowd of onlookers) he is punched in the face by one who tells him to stay away as that is his sister. He tries again and is punched again.Also Check Out: NH10 Songs Lyrics
Fuming at the insult, he begins his journey as Meera tries to pacify him. As he is driving along on NH 10, he chances upon the Scorpio that abducted the two. He follows them, parks his car in the jungle, takes out his gun and goes in search of them. Meera is paranoid and rightly so. She asks him to let go of his ego. He assures her by saying that he will just frighten ''these villagers''.
But these are no ordinary villagers, these are butchers. A fact he realizes too late after they are both trapped. From here on, the movie breaks into a frantic pace as Meera and Arjun take cover in the jungle. Meera's trauma in the dead of night and her race to get help is what the film is all about. When it culminates, you are as exhausted as Meera. Also Check Out: NH10 Videos
Anushka Sharma has taken a detour from her glamorous role she has acted in thus far. And this is a bold move which showcases her talent as an actress. She transfers her fear, angst and helplessness onto you. Her end scene takes you by complete surprise. Neil Bhoopalam too is first rate. His rash act laced with his ego spells doom for them. This sad fact is expressed through his eyes, when he resigns himself to his fate as Meera assures him she will be back for him.
In fact, all actors revel in their roles, including the six goons. The casting is as perfect as the script and its execution. Deepti Naval as the Sarpanch stuns you with her cameo. A small role delivered with such fierce intensity. Overpowering!
The cinematography and the 'close to real' night lighting and the real locations gives the movie that added authenticity.Also Check Out: NH10 Wallpapers
But for me, the man to watch out for is Darshan Kumar who plays the brother of the sister who is killed. In MARY KOM, you saw him as this soft, subdued, accommodating husband. In NH 10, he plays an exact opposite role with frightening impact. Everything he does within the framework of the role given to him is 'just perfect'. This is brilliance of unimaginable proportions.
What you take home from the movie is this: Is it worth fuelling your ego? The horrific fact of honour killings. Jungle law on the outskirts of Delhi, ''where democracy ends,'' as one cop succinctly puts it and woman power of unrefined proportions. A word of caution:
This one is not for the faint-hearted.