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NIZHAL (Malayalam) - An engaging innovative mystery that could have ended better. (Review by Bobby Sing)

02 Jun, 2021 | Movie Reviews / 2021 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Nizhal’s unique presentation begins right away with an accident and an unusual appearance of a young magistrate, struggling with his post-traumatic stress issues. Though the initial sequences at once make you think how he can sanely pass judgements over the cases heard, the film refuses to give it a thought and leaps on to its basic plot without wasting any time.

The mystery element gets in as the magistrate meets a school-going kid through his psychologist friend and listens to his strange story. The kid’s disturbing tale is about a murder and is convincing enough to force John to begin his investigations like a private detective. Post a clear denial, the kid’s mother also agrees to cooperate and then begins their journey into many dark secrets of the past related to their personal lives.

As an atmospheric thriller with noteworthy cinematography, crisp editing and a pulsating background score, Nizhal (meaning Shadows) keeps you thoroughly engaged and the interval point further creates curiosity to know what’s coming next. The script successfully deceives the viewer pointing towards various directions suggesting a ghostly intervention and a past-life remembrance working in its favour. Unfortunately, it soon starts losing the grip in its second half and doesn’t end fulfilling the promises made with its less convincing revelations.

Directed by Appu N. Bhattathiri as his debut project, Nizhal has a fine, effortless lead performance by Kunchacko Boban, whereas Nayanthara doesn’t get much to do playing the glamorous mother. Maybe it was purposefully done to keep the focus on the mystery element and the kid, right from the beginning. The young Izin is impressive, particularly in his scenes together with Boban and the supporting cast acts well in their given roles. 

direction deserves praises presenting it as an innovative investigative thriller, whereas the writing hampers the overall impact, because of its glaring loopholes and a less impactful second half. As a result, even though the revelation remains completely unpredictable, it still leaves you less satisfied asking for something better. 

In all, Nizhal certainly scores due to its fresh and novel plot involving a talented kid, but it doesn’t deliver more than a decent watch that can surely be seen as a promising directorial debut with controlled expectations.

Rating: 3 / 5

Directed By: Appu N.Bhattathiri
Cast: Kunchacko Boban, Nayanthara, Izin Hash
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

NOTE : The article was first published in THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 1st June 2021.

Tags : NIZHAL (Malayalam) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Malayalam Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, New Regional Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing
02 Jun 2021 / Comment ( 0 )
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