Cast: Udhayanidhi Stalin, Namita Pramod, Mahendran, MS Bhaskar, Parvathy Nair
Of late, Udhayanidhi Stalin has resolved to come out of his comfort zone of humor subjects and opting for serious films. Nimir directed by Priyadarshan is one such, which is a remake of Malayalam hit Maheshinte Prathikaaram, a realistic comedy drama.
Set at the backdrop of Thenkasi, the film begins the same way as the original, with the visuals in black and white where we see National Selvam (Udhayanidhi Stalin) cleaning his pair of slippers as he takes bath in a river. And then, a song routine starts where a group of women (unrelated to the story) spring into a song-and-dance sequence and vanishes from the scene.
National Selvam (Udhayanidhi) runs a photo studio in a small town. He is contended with his simple life and lives with his aged dad Shanmugam (Mahendran) who is passionate about photography, but sort of absent minded. Then there’s this Sada (MS Bhaskar) who runs a flex shop next to Selvam’s and whom the latter treats as his family. Vikadakavi (Karunakaran) works in Sada’s shop.
Selvam wants to marry his long-time girlfriend Valli (Parvathy Nair). However, the materialistic Valli leaves him to wed a richer man. And to add to his woes, Vikadakavi gets into a brawl with some local people and when Selvam tries to calm them, one of the rowdies Velliappa (Samudhrakani) beats him up very badly in front of the villagers. Selvam vows to get back at Velliappa and pledges that he will wear slippers only after he avenges his humiliation.
Udhayanidhi as an unassuming youngster has pulled off a neat performance and does what was required out of him. Mahendran with limited dialogues proves his versatility. The scene between him and Selvam is one of the best moments of the film. As usual MS Bhaskar simply excels - be it emotional or comedy scenes. The debutant heroine Namita Pramod appears only post interval and has given a bubbly performance and a promising find. Parvathy Nair is adequate and others like Samudhrakani, Thulasi, Karuna, Aruldas and the guy who plays Parvathy’s hubby chip in as well. The flick moves at a slow pace with hardly any small twists and turns. And for a story that’s not very dramatic, Priyan could have infused few enjoyable little things, which would have made a huge difference. The energy is lacking to keep us hooked to the scenes. The climax did not create the desired impact.
On the technical front, Ekambaram’s camera brilliantly captures the cool and rustic landscape of Thenkasi. Songs by Darbuka Siva and Ajaneesh and background score by Ronnie R Raphael are big pluses for Nimir.