Naachiaar Tamil Movie
There was no real buzz when this movie was announced. It certainly didn't pop up in the 'most awaited movies' list for this year.
But, Jyothika being roped in for a role in a Bala movie, especially, given the fact that she is more 'responsible' in choosing her roles in her comeback innings was quite intriguing. For her, being in a Bala film at this point in her career would have been like minesweeping.
It's a known fact that Bala would go to any extent to bring in those dark and raw emotions that he has on paper. But thankfully, it seems he has realized that audiences have grown 'tired' watching the same dark and gory films that he has churned out time and again. This time around he has spiced things up with a refreshing narrative that is still raw on emotions but at the cost of playing easy on the audience's psyche!
Naachiyaar (Jyothika), an upright cop - yes, could be considered as an 'Anbuchelvan' equivalent, takes into custody a pregnant minor girl, Arasi (Ivana) who is thought to be raped by her boyfriend, Kathavarayan (GV Prakash). Then a surprising twist entails and the search for the real rapist ensues. Naachiyaar battles the bureaucratic norms and straightens up things.
This was a very different movie from Bala in the sense that there was a major gender reversal. Though Bala is thought to be a different filmmaker, his portrayal of women hasn't been noteworthy until this movie. We usually get that crude kind of characters or the timid ones who ultimately surrender themselves to the ruthless male chauvinists. But in here, he has taken that big leap, with Jyothika not only playing the title role but justifying it with her confident and effortless makeover as a 'Dirty Harry' cop. And guess what, Naachiyaar's husband plays a gynaecologist. So, gender reversal can't be more explicit.
Of course, the timid and demure female character was also tucked in and was played to perfection by debutant Ivana. She plays the innocent Arasi who falls blindly for another innocent and unassuming Kathavarayan, that was portrayed beautifully by GVP. Even other characters like Naachiyaar's police colleague, played by Rockline Venkatesh, the judge who makes a brief and comic appearance, and those wicked higher-ups who are tainted more with their caste and religion, were typical Bala trademarks.
At some point, I lost count of the various religions and caste that were at play. Bala doesn't fail to take a dig at the popular beliefs, teasing of which falls into the 'no fly zone' for any filmmaker worth the salt. But Bala has taken those jibes for good reason and never once has he shown anything unfair. Ilayaraja's background score was fantastic and added the necessary emotions for the scenes.
Of course, the movie had its fair share of Bala's dark strokes with Naachiyaar doing the honours towards the end, unwanted jail tortures, brutal payoffs for the wrongdoers and an easy to make out muted expletive (as shown in the initial trailer). But one could still see through these cribs. After all, these are the visceral pieces that constitute Bala, the filmmaker. Isn't it? The movie certainly adds a variety to Bala's body of work, as it stands out for a solidly written script that is driven by nuanced emotions and is engaging at the same time.