Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and Half stars)
Star Cast: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumaar
Director: Navdeep Singh
What’s Good: The greatness of how a woman can take on a society full of men who want to kill her, molest her or even ask her to not look at them in the eye. It is that moment that wins you when you see Meera rigorously rubbing a Hindi slang which means a prostitute written on a women’s latrine door.
What’s Bad: The only thing that kept bothering me in spite of liking the film is Arjun’s impulsive behaviour and why he would willingly enter a dragon’s cave. Also there are ample of times Meera could have either escaped or been killed but then… it is a film!
Loo break: Don’t even think!
Free from any fictitious representation of love-dovey romance, Meera (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) are the perfect new-age couple. With high-flying corporate jobs in Gurgaon, the happy couple seem to be a complete package. After Meera gets a wicked dose of the city’s rogue nature when she is attacked in the middle of the night with an intention of molestation, she goes into a trauma of the unsafe environment.
To ease her from this stress, Arjun decides to take a break and book a cottage on the outskirts of town for their getaway and to celebrate Meera’s birthday. Little do they know, that what lies ahead will change the dimensions of their life forever.
An encounter with the rowdy hooligans indulging in honour killing across the highway will make them suffer a hell ride. Will the sensitive and impulsive nature of Arjun make things better or worse and how will it all impact on Meera’s life? How safe is the NH10? Watch it, to believe it.
NH10 Review: Script Analysis
NH10 in its true sense is an edge of the seat thriller. The writing is taut and highly gripping. It packs a punch with its ballsy nature. Sudip Sharma does an excellent job with his water tight script other than some minor glitches. In a male-dominant society, Meera’s character stands out as the hero. She likes her smokes and at a crucial point in the film when she lights that cigarette gazing at the fear in her opponent’s eyes, that’s what makes you hoot! As a girl, I get that sadistic pleasure when she kills men for her vengeance. The film’s writing is apt for current times when cases such as that of Nirbhaya happen and men call it as a lesson to teach women their place. Well, answer to all those lechers is the rod-killing scene of Meera.
The script is blood-filled and gut wrenching and at every point it is a mirror to our society which is partly urban and partly barbaric. In a fitting dialogue by a corrupt cop in the film, the small towns of India are “Jaha bijli paani nahi pohonchti, wahan constitution kya pohonchega”.
Other than unfolding the male-dominance in society, the story is exemplary of male ego. It is male ego that drives Arjun into taking a wrong turn and a huge lapse of judgement in dealing with barbarians like Satbir (Darshan Kumaar) who is on the kill for his sister who married out of caste. Also, Deepti Naval’s character as Ammaji is the matriarch because of whom people like Satbir are born and raised with beliefs of women being the lesser ones.
While I overall love the presentation of the film, one question remains as to why would Arjun decide to enter a hell hole himself with his wife? But, Men will be men.
NH10 Review: Star Performances
Anushka Sharma had forever been termed as the bubbly, effervescent self when it comes to films, but this one is her honest attempt at breaking the stereotype. She screams, yells, is soaked in blood and she is hungry to kill. Anushka Sharma breaks the damsel in distress myth and she says it out loud why we don’t need a hero for a film or why an actress can’t be the hero. She is ferocious and this is her special performance.
Neil Bhoopalam as Arjun fits the bill. He is the typical husband who does not like his wife smoking yet loving enough to gift her a pack of it. Neil does his job quite perfectly.
Darshan Kumaar was last seen in Mary Kom as the sweet husband but as Satbir he will scare you to the core. As the Haryanvi lad, he comes out strong enough and in one particular scene where he kills his sister’s husband in a barbaric manner, he makes you scream from inside and scares you to death.
Deepti Naval as Ammaji who is a Sarpanch and a matriarch in the family is excellent. In a scene where she is scraping off stickers from her dead daughter’s cupboard, will give you goosebumps.
NH10 Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
I strongly believe that films are meant to create an impact if they hit the right nerve and NH10 does that. Navdeep Singh takes up an issue which is simmering and as society is contemplating over it, they are fed with some harsh realities of life. His last film Manorama Six Feet Under was a little too mature for its time but NH10 is bang on. He keeps the audience hooked with a great plot and does not play much with the music thankfully.
Most of the film is captured in the dark and dim light environment, but that is what makes it grow on you. He also gives us a reminder of Kill Bill as he dresses up Ansuhka in a yellow jacket and instead of a sword, this one goes local as she hunts down her enemies with an iron rod. The editing is crisp and at no point do you find the pace slow.
NH10 Review: The Last Word
NH10 is a need of the hour. There may be many road trips that you have taken but there can be nothing as gruesome as this. Watch it for girl power. I am going with a 3.5/5 for this film.
NH10 releases on 13th March, 2015.
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