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'Nene Vastunna' Movie Review
Cast: Dhanush, Elli AvrRam, Indhuja Ravichandran, Prabhu, Yogi Babu, Aajeedh Khalique, Shelly Kishore and others.
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Om Prakash
Producer: Kalaipuli S. Thanu
After a successful romantic drama like 'Thiru', versatile actor Dhanush is back in theatres with a psychological thriller named 'Nene Vastunna'. This movie marks the reunion of the brothers Dhanush and Selvaraghavan who gave hits like 'Kaadhal Kondein', 'Pudhupettai', 'Yaaradi Nee Mohini' and 'Mayakkam Enna'. With Dhanush himself writing the script, there are a lot of expectations on this project. The trailer and songs too created a good impression but the film was released with low promotions both in Telugu and Tamil. Let us dive into the review straight away.
Prabhu (Dhanush) is a common man who lives happily with his wife and daughter. His life turns upside down when his 12-year-old daughter Sathya starts acting abnormally. Apart from getting possessed, her health starts getting deteriorated. A series of events forces Prabhu to go after his twin brother Kathir (Dhanush). Prabhu and Kathir are separated by their mother since childhood. Why are they forced to reconnect? What happened to Prabhu's daughter? How is Kathir connected to what's going on with Sathya? All these questions will be answered in this psychological drama.
Selvaraghavan is one of the most acclaimed directors in Kollywood. He has a very good reputation in Telugu too but his last couple of films like 'Varna', 'NGK' and others have disappointed the audience heavily. Many said that he lost his Midas touch but his fans hoped for a comeback. He teamed up with his brother Dhanush who is enjoying the form of his life with back-to-back super hits for the past 2-3 years. This combination excited everyone and the trailer raised expectations massively. With Dhanush himself writing the story, people expected a stellar performance from the star hero and an interesting thriller.
While the audience got their first wish, they are bound to get disappointed with the story and screenplay. The movie starts off well but moves at a slow pace. The makers establish the characters and slowly create a bit of suspense. The scenes involving father and daughter are showcased well and the director spends the entire first half setting up for Kathir's character which will be introduced in the latter half. The childhood episodes are quite good and the plot thickens before the interval. The mood and tension during the pre-interval scenes surely engage the audience. Dhanush's subtle yet moving performance as a worried father and Yuvan's BGM makes up for the slow proceedings.
Everyone expects the psycho character to steal the show and send shivers down the spine of people in the second half but it is not what happens. After showcasing him as a family man, the devilish side of Kathir's character is well established through a hunting scene. The audience expect more such scenes but there are not too many of them. The 'Rendu Raaja' song is well placed and Dhanush excels during these sequences. But there is a lot of oversimplification in the film and things start to go downhill since then. While the flashback portions are good, people expect more action but the makers focused more on the drama. Also, the climax looked way too simple as Kathir's character goes down very easily. The inconclusive ending chosen to keep the audience guessing did not have the desired output.
There are too many loopholes in the script and the reason behind Kathir being a psycho is not established at all. The psychiatrist's character serves no purpose and why the ghost chooses Sathya's body is not explained. One expects a lot from Kathir's character but he is not explored properly which leads to the film not reaching the expected level in the second half. The dramatic portions are well made but the logic goes missing in places. But with a good presentation and Dhanush's stellar performance in a dual role, the film ends up being watchable. Enjoy the film for Dhanush but the script leaves a lot to be desired.
Dhanush is a proven performer who won two National Awards. But the star hero still manages to surprise the audience with every film. The way he challenges himself and gives his best for every character should be appreciated. He portrayed two contrasting personalities with impeccable ease and panache. His emotional act as Prabhu touches your heart in places while the evil act as Kathir stuns you every time. He carried the film entirely on his shoulders and overshadowed many shortcomings. His look and acting as Kathir is applause-worthy and his versatility is on full display this time.
The young girl who played the role of Dhanush's daughter did a fine job and Elli AvrRam gives a decent performance as a deaf and dumb woman. Induja did not have much to do in this film. The two boys fit the role perfectly too. Prabhu's role did not have any importance while Yogi Babu was kept to bring out a few chuckles here and there.
Yuvan Shankar Raja gave his best for 'Nene Vastunna'. He never disappoints for a Selvaraghavan film and his background score brought a lot of intensity. His music lifted the scenes in many places whether it is emotional or thrilling or psychotic scenes. The 'Veera Soora' song was perfectly used as the BGM for Kathir's character and it worked pretty well while the 'Rendu Raaja' song is placed quite well.
Om Prakash's cinematography deserves a lot of praise too as his lighting enhanced the mood of the film. The dark tones and blue filter used in the first half create a lot of impact. His visuals are fantastic throughout the film. Editing could have been better. The proceedings were a bit slow in places despite the film being only 122 minutes long. The production values are adequate and it is clear that they made this film on a controlled budget.
Writing by Dhanush is below par as there are a lot of loopholes in the story itself. Though the screenplay is written well, the missing logics in the plot doesn't make you enjoy the film completely. Selvaraghavan did a good job with the presentation. He brought out good performances from the lead cast and technicians. The movie impresses in places but the script disappoints on many levels. The combo of Dhanush and Selvaraghavan fails to reach the expectations this time.
Verdict: Dhanush's One Man Show In A Sub-Par Film.