Nerkonda Paarvai - Film Review
The last time I remember seeing Actor Ajith Kumar in such a heated courtroom conversation was in the film Citizen. Released in 2001, when Ajith was about 20 years younger, Ajith spoke at length so many memorable dialogues during the fag end of the film for over 10 minutes which went on to become a rage in the coming years for his fans and critics alike.
After that, I have seen Ajith in various roles – romantic on one hand, a stiff cop on the other, a local rowdy, an international arms dealer cum smuggler, a doting father recently, a loving husband, village chieftain and so on. But when I heard that Pink would be remade in Tamil and Ajith would helm the role of Big B (in the original), I wasn’t ready. Honestly. And I have been a big fan of Ajith for over 25 years, perhaps from the days of Ullasam where I really liked his role as a college goer turned truant but with a soft heart. I wasn’t sure if Ajith can carry forward the impeccable legacy left behind by the AB in the original. After watching the official FDFS today at Woodlands theatre at Chennai, I reckon that no one else other than Ajith (from Tamil Cinema) could have done justice to this role, although I would have loved to see Kamal Hassan in a similar role. And my readers know I simply don’t have to eulogise Ajith for no reason. He was stunning all through.
NKP is an honest remake of Pink in spirit (and screenplay) but tuned a bit towards the Tamil Audience which romanticize the screen presence of the leading man. Bankrolled (new word for Producing) by Boney Kapoor, Directed by H. Vinoth (his previous work was Dheeran Adigaram Ondru) and a star ensemble led by Shradha Srinath, Abhirami Venkatachalam, Andrea Tariang, Rangaraj Pandey, Junior Balaiah, Delhi Ganesh, Jayaprakash among others, the film runs 22 mins more than the original, thanks to a few romantic scenes between Ajith and Vidya Balan (official tamil cinema debut although a cameo) and an insane bike & car chase followed by 15 mins of smashing the baddies by Thala, the film satiates the hunger of Ajith’s fan base as well as the critics who have been raving about his performance over the past few films including last year’s Viswasam.
The story is not new (as in, adapted from Pink) but for those who haven’t seen Pink – its about the struggles of a woman – in this case, modern women, who live and work in a city, have a social life, may or may not have vices (something very personal to each individual) and how the society is judgmental about women, whether they are single or engaged, married or separated, staying with friends or with family, what they wear (or how they wear) and so on. Some hard-hitting dialogues by the Director and aptly portrayed by Ajith – his grey hair provides the much needed punch to the narrative and at the same time ensuring it reaches the desired audience. Some positive double entrendes there, such as teaching our boys how to look and live a life, so the girls remain safer; how we judge women as they behave in a friendly manner even with people during their first interactions and so on.
Fantastic work by Nirav Shah on Cinematography and just the right dose of BGM by Yuvan Shankar Raja along with styling, stunts and many other departments. Needless to say, the film had zilch promotions pre-release like any other Ajith Film but has taken the nation by storm, what with the stunning performance of all artists in this outstanding film.
The #MeToo movement started off in the US and flowed all over the world and took a hit on some very big names in India too but has died a quiet death (yes, am already saying this since I don’t see much noise or actions thereafter). But NKP emphasizes the byline of the original and the power of the word “NO” which is actually termed as a sentence too – No means No. Although men play a victim card many a time, they are far and few. The Director establishes the fact that all of us in some way or the other are judgmental about women (and men too) around us and this film should hopefully be the beginning of a change – in our thinking patterns to begin with.
Not just the whistle-clapping camphor lighting front benchers clapped hands for the signature statements of Ajith during the courtroom scenes, even those in the Balcony seats vouched for it. Just one theatre, one show perhaps. But it’s probably a beginning of many good things to come. I hope people realize the power of the word NO.