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NAYATTU (Malayalam) - A bold, eye-opener cop-thriller that exposes the system without any hiding, making you recall ARDH SATYA from the '80s. (Review by Bobby Sing) (Movies To See Before You Die - Thriller)

09 May, 2021 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movie Reviews / 2021 Releases / Movies To See Before You Die / Thrillers

Hindi cinema witnessed a new-age wave post Govind Nihalani’s path-breaking Ardh Satya in 1983, creating a thought-provoking debate among the audience and the filmmakers together. Vijay Tendulkar wrote the bold film exposing the system and it resulted in a complete transformation of the genre bringing in the appreciable change. Post Ardh Satya, though it took decades to deliver any similar meaningful attempt, Hindi filmmakers still excelled in off-beat films like Shool, Gangaajal, Ab Tak Chhappan, Sehar, Article 15, and more (apart from a few well-made commercial projects like Sarfarosh). On the other hand, the regional language cinema also had its share of worth-watching cop-movies released in the last four decades, including many recent ones.
Considering the above, it’s really difficult to assume a cop-drama coming up with something fresh or even more hard hitting than what has already been conveyed. Surprisingly, NAYATTU (meaning The Hunt) breaks the myth despite talking about all the known things. The film has cops framing young boys planting fake evidence, caste-divide causing clashes, police officers used as puppets by the politicians, and elections seen as the most important thing to be held at the cost of other lives including the police force, as earlier seen in many other films.
Yet, NAYATTU successfully delivers the unexpected amid everything known and familiar, making a solid impact. Beginning with a sequence of tug-war being played between two groups in a local event (as a metaphor), the director takes his time to introduce his characters, their families, and the local ambience. In these first 20 minutes, the viewer keeps guessing the plot, which turns out to be so real yet so unpredictable that cannot and should not be revealed in any review or write-up on the film. The same needs to be taken care of while writing about its seriously heart-crushing climax, keeping the shock-value intact. At the same time, the culmination also leaves you with a few questions in mind and thus might be disheartening for many.
Displaying amazing courage, director Martin Prakkat takes off every piece of cloth from the idol of law, order and politics prevailing in our society, leaving it completely naked. He dares to bare it all and does it convincingly without being deliberate or over-the-top. Such is the execution in the film, that at times one feels pity for the police officers for a change. The narrative remains highly realistic from the first frame to the last, with ample support coming from the technical department led by the cinematography. Plus, the three lead performances are a sheer treat to watch featuring Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan and Kuchakko Boban.
To inspire further, here are some related facts about the team and their exceptional work, you might be already familiar with through the various articles at BTC. The film has been directed by Martin who earlier gave us an adorable gem CHARLIE (2015). It features Joju in the lead role, who was simply impeccable in the crime thriller JOSEPH (2018). Shahi Kabir (a civil police officer with Kerala Police) has written the script, who also wrote JOSEPH and pleasantly surprised many. The other two lead characters have been played by Kunchakko Boban, recently seen in the exceptional VIRUS (2019) and ANJAAM PATHIRAA (2020), along with Nimisha Sajayan, who got widely appreciated for her fabulous performance in THE GREAT INDIAN KITCHEN (2021).
(All the above-mentioned films are highly recommended ones with three - also making to the list of Movies To See Before You Die at BTC)
Coming back to NAYATTU - this is a near-perfect film that ends on a heart-wrenching note pointing towards the culprit who doesn’t have any face in this corrupt system, but can come after anyone anytime without an exception. Here if power makes you a hunter, then the same power can make you the hunted too in no time without even giving any prior indication. The film strongly reminded me of Ardh Satya as it is all about the hidden or half-truth that never gets revealed to anyone.
So go for it at the earliest and give it a serious thought as the end credits start rolling. 

Rating : 4 / 5 (Movies To See Before You Die - Thriller)

(Note :
 At the time of posting the article, the film could be seen at Netflix for a subscription) 

NOTE : The article in a short edited form was also published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 15th June 2021.

Tags : Nayattu (Malayalam) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Malayalam Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Regional Films not to be missed, Must watch regional gems list by Bobby Sing, Movies To See Before You Die List by Bobby Sing
09 May 2021 / Comment ( 0 )
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