CAST & CREW:
Starring: Sundeep Kishan, Regina Cassandra, Sri, Charlee, Ramdoss
Dialogues: Shashank Vennelakanti
Music: Javed Riaz
Cinematography: Selvakumar SK
Written and directed by: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Release date: 10th March, 2017
‘Nagaram’, a human drama at its core, tells at least four stories that coalesce into one finale. It’s a screenplay-based thriller.
Sundeep Kishan is unemployed and the only job he knows is to fall after Regina Cassandra. Like those typical filmi heroes, he thinks he is unemployed by choice. He looks raw and unsophisticated in total contrast to Regina, a soft-spoken hi-tech professional in an IT company.
Sri, a new migrant to the city (the film is set in Chennai), finds the metropolis quite unsettling. He sees it as an unfriendly place where the gullible are taken for a ride. Certain goondas mistake him for Sundeep and beat him up, taking away his academic certificates. From this point onwards, Sri’s life becomes harder and harder and Sundeep, without his involvement, is causing him the hardships! As Sundeep’s fate would have it, Sri is in Regina’s good books.
Adding a rich texture to these tracks are those of a positive-minded taxi driver (Charlie is simply brilliant) and an amateurish kidnapper (played by comedian Munishkanth), both of whom draw Sri and Sundeep into their lives through their respective acts.
The crux lies in how these four people go through a challenging sequence of events and emerge victorious at a moral level. All of his happens in the backdrop of the mistaken kidnap of a school-going kid, who is the son of a ruthless don (Madhusudanan as PKP) shaking Chennai.
The biggest strength of ‘Nagaram’ is the screenplay technique. The hyperlink narrative style is not only a technique, but also a tactic. It can conceal the ordinariness of events by keeping the audience guessing about how the different tracks will meet at a junction. Before you realize that it’s a routine track, the film abruptly shifts to one of the other tracks.
Something of this sort keeps happening on and on in ‘Nagaram’. But it’s the highs that keep it gripping. Once Munishkanth’s character is introduced (in the very first scene, it becomes clear that he is a dumbo who will ill-execute the kidnap plot), the film takes off quite well.
Regina Cassandra does not have much to do in the film. Even though the film has a superb screenplay, too much time has been taken to establish the characters from the start. Films like these need to be very crisp with taut editing and racy runtime but Nagaram has many scenes which are a bit stretched out.
The film takes its own sweet time to reach the interval. Even though the film is quite interesting, at times you feel that the narration is getting repetitive.
‘Nagaram’ is a thriller where four different personality types find their lives converging over a kidnap. Excellent performances (generally speaking) and first-rate technical elements are its major assets. On the flip side, even at 137 minutes, it looks stretched and somewhat puzzlingly cerebral.
Rating: 3.3 / 5.0
Reviewed by CineBullet Team