Packed with riveting chase sequences, well choreographed action scenes and some gobsmackingly amazing performance from film’s leading lady, this taut thriller will keep you hooked
In the light of BBC’s latest banned documentary, India’s daughter, the rampaging rape culture in India has been exposed in broad daylight. While one might say, this country is not safe for women after dark, Anushka Sharma-Neil Bhoopalam’s road film underlines the fact that in the interiors of the country, away from the bustling cities, where law and order are just for namesake, no one is actually safe. Backed by Anurag Kashyap’s Phantom Films, the A rated action thriller, NH10, is not for the weak hearted. And as I left the movie theatre, I was engulfed by the feeling of numbness which comes after watching a heck of film, keeping you at the edge of your seat.
What’s it about:
Meera (Anushka) and Arjun (Neil) are an upper class couple from Delhi, who go on a weekend getaway which doesn’t quite go as planned. Arjun takes a wrong turn and the couple reaches a road less travel led, where they witness a boy and a girl are brutally beaten and dragged away in a vehicle. When Arjun tries to interfere, he is slapped by the leader of the gang( Darshan Kumar) who also happens to be girl’s brother. Arjun’s ego is hurt and he follows the goons despite numerous attempt by Meera to stop him. There, the couple witness honour killing of the boy and the girl, but are nabbed by the goons before they could make an escape. Soon, the struggle between the goons and the married couple start to fight it out, and in one such fight Arjun gets severely injured. Now it is upto Meera to find help and save herself and Arjun from the deadly goons. Does she manage to come out alive? Does she manage to save Arjun? Find out yourself.
When you watch NH10, the first thing that comes to your mind is that it is an honest film, with a realistic take on how a fun road trip could horribly wrong. Right from the action sequences to acting to flow of narration, everything seems to be natural. The film has been rightly certified as A, as it will give you goosebumps time and again, and for thriller fan buff like me, it was like a treat. The second half completely focuses on Anushka’s fight for survival, and the seesaw of hope and despair had been deftly handled by the director Navdeep. All actors have done a commendable job. Neil Bhoopalam has done full justice to his role of an egoistic husband, who gets them in trouble. Darshan Kumar is good in a small villainous role. But the film belongs to Anushka Sharma, and I must say the actress has risen up to the occasion by giving a stand out performance, which will make you want to root for her till the end. Anushka has pulled off the stunts with credibility and the vulnerability of her character stuck in hostile conditions makes for a riveting watch. Deepti Naval is the surprise factor in the film, as she leaves great impact with her small role. The chemistry between Neil and Anushka looks great onscreen. Overall, the brutality of the film and the hard hitting nature of the subject makes it hard for viewers to take their eyes off.
After managing to stay realistic and honest for almost throughout the length of the film, the climax left me a little disappointed as Anushka Sharma on revenge mode, goes on killing spree. While those scenes are justifiable as it completes the loop of the story, I felt a more tragic and abrupt ending would have made NH10 flawless. It looked like ghost of Uma Thurman from Kill Bill had entered Anushka’s body, as it is little hard to believe that a person gone through so much trauma will turn into a killing machine within a matter of minutes. I felt a different climax, with an abrupt ending would have been apt for the film, going in flow with the film’s narrative style. Darshan Kumar’s role is not substantial enough to leave an impact on you.
What to do:
It is very rare to find an action film, which is so believable and which will leave you dumbfounded. Anushka’s NH10 is the brave kind of cinema which I look forward from Bollywood, which is not afraid to entertain by telling disturbing truths of our society. I give two thumbs up for NH10. Watch it for hard hitting action, and Anushka’s praiseworthy performance.
Reviewed by Subramanian Harikumar
**** Very good