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NH10 - Has both impressive as well as forcibly added content to make it more appealing and realistic. (Review By Bobby Sing)
13 Mar, 2015 | Movie Reviews / 2015 Releases / Inspired Movies (Alphabetical) / N

Revealing the bitter reality, a film like NH10 can be reviewed by two set of distinctive mindsets. One by the people who have actually lived in those areas personally, have been to those deserted scary roads without the sight of any single person for miles, feeling the horror and nature’s beauty together. And the others who have never been to the region but are simply judging the film as a project depicting a harsh realistic truth in a somewhat filmy manner.
But keeping the discussion for the later part of the review, as a film, no doubt this is another impressive venture from the director Navdeep Singh, who once again comes up with a script that beautifully incorporates the inspirations taken from a western flick as seen in his MANORAMA 6 FEET UNDER (2007) borrowing much of its inputs from the cult-classic CHINATOWN (1974). Returning to the screen after a long gap of 8 years, this time Navdeep and his writers choose another English film titled EDEN LAKE (2008), add to it the current in-news theme of “Honour Killings” and then end it all like a typical Hindi film reminding you of the fiery heroines from the 80s taking their revenge in PRATIGHAAT, PHOOL BANEY ANGAAREY or KHOON BHARI MAANG.
NH10 opens nicely with a much focused vision that keeps you guessing about what’s going to happen next in its first half. The unpredictable excitement continues till the roadside scuffle happens with a sudden twist that also seems to be a bit foolish and deliberate one too keeping in mind the particular district. The noteworthy lonely locales, brilliant camerawork, natural lighting, minimal-well composed background score and all superlative performances build-up the momentum in a superb manner and you feel like coming on to the edge of your seats repeatedly before the intermission.
However a short song inserted just before the interval looks like out of place and then the film as usual goes back to the same predictable as well as monotonous plot of revenge in its second half (reminding you of the recent BADLAPUR too). Yes, the brutal execution of its finale terrorizes the viewer well representing the woman-power strongly in all the bold sequences. Yet the lack of novel twists and turns in the second hour hamper its overall impact severely and one doesn’t feel like watching anything out of the box in real terms as it ends.
Having said that, the director’s (expected) sharp, intelligent insertions are right there in NH10 throughout its 2 hours of duration, but the engrossing pull or punch goes missing in the latter half of the film unfortunately. For instance, just watch out the scenes where the husband brings a cigarette pack for his wife on their fun-trip, Anushka rubbing a derogatory word written on the door of a Dhaba toilet, the group of hooligans talking in Haryanvi hinting towards a rape, Anushka lighting up the cigarette just before going for the killings, the kid asking for the missing light in the watch, Deepti Naval cleaning the almirah of her dead daughter and the Daughter-in-law not giving her the ear-machine fearing the consequences.
The engaging script and sharp editing progresses well keeping your interest alive before it all goes back to the routine towards the end. And the performances actually add a lot to NH10’s overall impact which ideally should have been a song-less venture without using even that single well-written and soulfully sung track in the mid. So it was indeed a relief to notice the much publicized song “Chhil Gaye Naina” and many more listed in the end credits not getting featured in the movie as per its dark and bloody theme.
Being there on the screen from the first frame to the last, Anushka gives an intense, spirited performance as the victim girl but the act still falls short of anything path-breaking due to the usual, melodramatic and clichéd second half diluting the end result to a big extent. Neil Bhoopalam is fine as the helpless husband and so is Deepti Naval as the mother fighting with her own inner-self. But its Darshan Kumaar who truly excels playing the extremely violent character post his silent, emotional avatar in MARY KOM, along with the actor playing Mamaji.
Coming back to the point stated in the beginning, you can easily review NH10 from all cinematic angles if you have never been to the region and don’t actually know what happens there in reality and how.
But for the ones, who actually know the sad, questionable state of affairs, the whole fight sequence at the road side dhaba turns out to be too filmy or fake since this is not how anyone intervenes in such matters in these specific highways, even if you have a revolver. In fact showing a revolver can even worsen the things, since its nothing more than a toy for that particular region to be honest. Interestingly the fact gets literally proved in the film too wherein the (city) hero has got the revolver but the (village) goons have simply got iron rods in their car to make an attack.
For many friends this may sound strange but that’s what the shameful reality is, where no heroism of any sort works as falsely shown in the film. So for me, if the scuffle was there through some other natural angle in the dhaba sequence, it would have been much more impressive and realistic. But the present one certainly seems to be a deliberately written scene just to make up a storyline around a socially relevant plot of ‘Honour Killings’. Also, when Neil had already called the DGP informing about the serious issue then it was simply fool of him to go after the hooligans trying to teach them a lesson all alone with a girl in that unknown scary jungle.
Regarding the issues the film had with the censors asking for nine cuts, NH10 teaches you a new way of using cuss words in few of its scenes unintentionally. In other words if you cannot say it then just write those words on the wall and let the audience read it themselves, simply nullifying the so called noble act of muting the abusive by the censors. Moreover it really makes me wonder that where all these objectionable words, extreme action or sex is not good for the society, there showing our Police as corrupt close associates of the criminals is quite fine with the Censors sounding funny. May be because they find this truly realistic, making a lot of sense in life, looking at the current scenario.
Anyway hoping that this ridiculous game of objections changes soon, I would like to explain how a simple cuss work entirely changes your perception about a character on the screen in a Hindi film.
There is a scene in NH10 where Neil has gone in search of the goons and Anushka is waiting for him sitting in the car locked from all sides. There is nobody around in the lonely locales when suddenly a thin bearded man comes at the window staring at Anushka. As she tries to talk to him calmly it gets revealed that the stranger is a kind of mentally retarded person with the mind of only a 10-12 years old kid. And as he converses more, we get to know that he is not at all interested in Anushka but in her car instead and wants to drive the vehicle asking for keys.
Knowing the condition of that man, Anushka feels safe, comes out of the car, asking him that has he seen a person (Neil) anywhere around wearing a jacket. The bearded man is just interested in the car and talking about that only he points towards a particular direction giving Anushka a hope and she starts running towards it leaving him alone with the car.
As she runs away, the bearded man says a word looking towards her that must have been “Randi” (a bad character woman with loose sexual morals), but is spoken as “Jhoothi” (liar) which was probably changed as one of those nine cuts ordered by the Censor Board.
Now what difference does it make to the character on screen and its impact on the viewer?
The difference is that if he says “Jhoothi” then the mentally retarded (grown-up) person with a child’s mind remains a child only and shows no evil intentions for the beautiful girl hidden inside his ‘not so rightly developed’ mind and his thought process. As a result the viewer also feels a kind of sympathy towards the thin, bearded man as he says “Jhoothi”.
However looking at it from the other angle if he says “Randi” then suddenly the character splits into two parts with just one word spoken intentionally. The word actually reveals that though a part of his personality might not have developed due to some medical reason, but a certain part of his mind or thought process does have many evil intentions towards the women he meets. And if those women don’t agree to what he is asking for, he starts calling them “Randi” as if they all are of loose character, not to be respected in any way. As a result, the moment such a character says “Randi” looking at the girl moving away, the viewers feel “all disgust” for such a person with no sympathy at all for his medical state.
Hence such is the change in the viewer’s perception caused by the alteration of only one word in the dubbing that the Censor Board needs to understand urgently.
Returning to NH10 as the latest Friday release, for many it might be a much relevant film talking about ‘women empowerment’. But for me it was another of those technically appreciable as well as inspired (well-performed) attempts with a routine second half that fails to deliver the required punch.

Rating : 3 / 5

Tags : NH10 Movie Review by Bobby Sing, NH10 Review by Bobby Sing, NH10 and EDEN LAKE, Inspired Hindi Films, Copied Hindi Films, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Films Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com
13 Mar 2015 / Comment ( 2 )
Suchith

Tahir Raj Bhasin would have been an interesting choice as the villain.

What do you think Bobby jee??

Bobby Sing

Yes Suchith, Tahir has done very well in his first film but the replacement can only be thought of when the present actor had not done it well.
But since Darshan Kumaar has done it really fine in the film without even having much dialogues, so I think he should be given the credit rightly.

Cheers!

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