Njan Ninnodu Koodeyundu Review
In his latest film 'Njan Ninnodu Koodeyundu', director Priyanandanan leads us on to a utopia of sorts through the medium of a dream, where integrity reigns. Offering glimpses of a distinct profundity, this is a film that's dutiful to the core, but which is sapped of the punch and spirit that could have made it a terrific cinematic experience.
Damanan (Siddharth Bharathan) and Madanan (Vinay Fort) are two petty thieves who on a night out to rob a house, get chased by the villagers. Fleeing for their lives, they jump into a river, only to wake up the next day on the shores of an alien land. In no time, the duo sense something strange about the place they have landed on, and soon discover that it's unlike any land that they have ever been to.
The idea is pretty much interesting and you cannot really blame Damanan and Madanan for being bewildered, having set foot on a land where people have not heard of money. The land, the yield and their lives are pretty much for one another, and it amazes the youngsters that human beings could in fact live in such absolute accord, without the backstabbing and assaulting that they are accustomed to.
The romantic element that is brought into the narrative, with the arrival of the two native girls Snehaprabha (Aparna Vinod) and Taara (Navami Murali), proves to be its downfall, and when the first molestation on the land occurs, the film looks like having run into a dead end. There is a song as well, where the four of them together explore the mystic land.
It's amusing to watch the village folk transform every dreadful act of the twosome into one that deserves appreciation, not realizing for a moment that there exists a world outside their hamlet that has a different tale to tell. Finding themselves face to face with such veracity, Damanan and Madanan evolve into their black and white selves, and soon go their separate ways.
The rich abundant greens that talk much of the prosperity of the land, eventually gives way to a dusty brown terrain, indicating that the obliteration is complete. They have reached a point of no return, and the director leaves us stranded there, refusing to let us into their story any more. We find ourselves back in reality, with more immediate queries scattered all around us.
But there is indeed an air of artificiality that is very much there, and at times it makes the proceedings appear a bit too synthetic. The film isn't able to sustain its momentum as well in the latter half, and it all winds up in a hurry, as the two men are shaken out of the reverie that they have been caught in.
Both the lead performers are equally good, and yet if I had to make a choice, I would go for Vinay Fort who with a very honest performance, emerges an artist that one should be on the lookout for. Siddharth, with his haphazard looks is no less an actor, and delivers the role with negative shades, with aplomb. However, there are very few known faces in the film, and some of the freshers do leave a lot to be desired, when it comes to their histrionic skills.
'Njan Ninnodu Koodeyundu' offers plenty of food for thought, and in the closing scene, the judge makes it apparent with his judgement that dreaming could be a horrendous crime. The smile on Madanan's face as he is led away to the jail says it all - this world could, and should have been a much better place.
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