Revisiting Mani Ratnam Mass
‘UA’ Certified, 2hrs 24mins
What Is the Film Nawab About?
All hell breaks loose when Bhupati (Prakash Raj) is attacked and faces a near-death situation. His sons Varda (Aravind Swamy), Thyagu (Arun Vijay), and Rudra (Simbu) go on a rampage. There is a police Rasool (Vijay Sethupathi) in the mix. Who is behind the attack and what happens to him is what the film is all about?
How Is Simbu’s Performance?
Among the star cast present in the movie, Simbu is the one who can be termed as a star. He has been given a role keeping that image in mind. The actor performs his part well without going overboard. There is no special moment that is there to be remembered but character wise his part is second best enjoyable in the movie. That is the best thing that can be said.
Direction by Maniratnam ?
Mani Ratnam is a master storyteller and his mastery over the medium can be seen here. It is always there but sometimes the themes are complicated and people get bored with the narrative choices made by the veteran. That is not a problem with Nawab as he is in a commercial mode looking for a success. Although the two films are diametrically opposite, it is similar to Ok Bangaram in spirit. It is not a film for ages, but it is what is required “now”.
Coming to the film, the story is simple and many can guess the twist. It is not a big shock. What still makes the movie work is the gripping and fast-paced narration by Mani Ratnam. For his standards, the pace is very quick and the emotions are also muted rather than overblown.
The first half of the movie is almost perfect in the way it sets up space, characters and their motivations. It feels like a classic Mani Ratnam movie. The second half, therefore, feels like a downer after the brilliant setup. The narrative takes predictable turns and many scenes give been-there-done-that kind of feeling. Still, the engaging factor is not missed though. It is only towards the pre-climax that we get the vintage touch again. The fight in sub registrar office shows that Mani Ratnam is no less than the biggest mass director working today. Only, he doesn’t choose to make a film only for mass appeal. The climax is brilliant, though predictable.
Overall, Nawab is a fairly engaging commercial outing from Mani Ratnam. It is a simple and straightforward tale coming from him with old-school masala roots firmly in place. It is a modern retelling of a story that would be commonplace in seventies masala movies of Hindi cinema. If you love those movies, Nawab will be an engaging watch, out and out. Even if you are not, it has enough moments to keep one engaged without pandering to commercial formulas.
Jyothika, Arvind Swamy, Vijay Sethupathi and Others?
Jyothika has the best role among the various female leads present in the movie. Aishwarya Rajesh is okay as she has nothing much to do. Jayasudha is a veteran and she is brilliant in the limited time she gets. Aditi Rao Hydari too has her importance although it lasts briefly. Leaving the heroines aside who have smaller roles, it is their male compatriots who get meaty roles. From Prakash Raj to Aravind Swamy to Vijay Sethupathi everyone has a well-defined part and role. Aravind Swamy acts well, he has heroic moments, but still, his character is not memorable. Vijay Sethupathy gets that part. It is a crowd-pleasing role and contains the best lines in the movie. Arun Vijay is okay. The rest of the cast is apt for the bits they get.
Music and Other Departments?
As a standalone soundtrack, AR Rahman disappoints, but the background score is fabulous. Of course, there are no songs in the usual style in the film. They are all part of the background. The cinematography and editing are slick. The writing is par for the course.
Flat and Predictable At Times
Second Half Drags In Parts
For a masala movie rooted cinema, the director has got the character arcs and ending right, so nothing much to be changed.
Did I Enjoy It?
For the most part
Will You Recommend It?
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