Hitting the screen’s today, Vijay Sethupathi’s first release of 2018, Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren, an adventure comedy-drama, talks about a tribal leader who kidnaps a young girl. Why, how and what happens next is all ONNPS is about.
The first and foremost thing that you must remember before entering the theatre is to brace yourselves to not find an emotional connect with the film. Set in a tribal village in Andhra Pradesh and being an experimental project, there is a high chance, you might not relate to the script.
The director’s idea to induce humour in even serious scenes is appreciable, but the way it has been executed, might not work for the majority. Except for a few really good laughs, the majority of the film might not be an enjoyable ride. ONNPS often becomes slow-paced and director Arumuga Kumar could have literally focalized into this attribute keeping illogical traits at bay. Though the premise is promising, it has been let down by many factors, such as forced humour and the lack of emotional connection.
The film runs for 2 hours 28 minutes, but feels like you are actually watching the movie for a longer duration. Sluggish screenplay turns out to be one of the blatant minuses of this film, but the main issue is the narrative imbalance. The lack of clarity during the first hour trivializes the intensity.
It is a rarity to see a Vijay Sethupathi’s character not connect well with the audience. Though he has given a fine performance, there is something that stops you from letting you love him the way we usually do. Playing a carefree college student who would even be smiling even if you were to chop off his fingers, Gautham Karthik’s performance and expressions are improving with every film. One-liners by Ramesh Tilak, Daniel and Rajkumar, which are usually enjoyable, sparkle only at a few places. Niharika makes a decent debut while Gayathrie doesn’t have enough scope to perform.
Justin Prabhakaran has put in more effort for the background score. Sree Saravanan’s visuals are functional while editor R Govindaraj’s cuts could have been crisper. Arumuga Kumar could have taken a more serious approach while making a dark comedy entertainer with an interesting storyline. Had the writing been more efficient, and screenplay tighter, we would have witnessed a decently enjoyable experimental film.
Verdict: ONNPS might work if you are a fan of dark humour.