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Natchathiram Nagargiradhu Movie Review

Director Pa Ranjith who is widely known for his political correctness in his works, for a change has opted to smash the image he was getting into, and has done a breezy yet socially responsible romance drama in Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. The story is about a group of miscellaneous theater artists who come up with an idea to stage a play based on love and the politics behind it. Actor Kalidas Jayaram who was last seen on screens in an extended cameo appearance in the mass action thriller film Vikram is back on screens with his romantic musical drama Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. Actress Dushara Vijayan has portrayed the female lead in the movie. So, how has the romantic musical film Natchathiram Nagargiradhu come out? Will it add another feather to director Pa Ranjith’s directorial hat, and help construct actors Dushara Vijayan, Kalidas Jayaram, and Kalaiyarasan as bankable lead actors? To know that let us get into the movie review. 

Natchathiram Nagargiradhu Movie Poster

Natchathiram Nagargiradhu Movie Poster

Natchathiram Nagargiradhu depicts the incidents that happen between a group of theater artists involving Rene aka Tamizh (Dushara Vijayan), Arjun (Kalaiyarasan), Iniyan (Kalidas Jayaram), and many such interesting characters. Rene aka Tamizh (Dushara Vijayan), is a fiercely independent woman who has built an impenetrable crust around herself turning the insults and shame thrown at her from a very young age because of her background. Her relationship with Iniyan has reached a blind alley after the initial phase of strong pull they had for each other. Yet they find it difficult to move on from each other. Then we have Arjun, a traditional guy from a small town with the ambition to make it big in Tamil cinema. He is engaged. But finds himself falling for Rene. We have Sekar (Charles Vinoth), a man in his late forties desperate to incise a path into the heart of a woman half his age. We have Sylvia (Sherin Celin Mathew), a transwoman who has found love in her life. We have lesbian and gay couples trying to sort out how to go about their relationships. With these characters at play, we see how the definition of love is different for every individual.  

Director Pa Ranjith sort of revisits Attakathi in Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. Only this time as a much-evolved creator with a sense of profound serenity. His films have a raging voice against oppression at its core. Natchathiram Nagargiradhu is also built on that core, but it is calmer in its call for discussion on oppression. With Natchathiram Nagargiradhu director Pa Ranjith in his typical bravura explores the love of people that are cast aside by the society, and subtly slide in the message that love is love, and it is something undefinable. What is even more beautiful about Natchathiram Nagargiradhu is, when a film is billed as a romance drama in Tamil cinema, everything usually revolves around the lead pair. Director Pa Ranjith breaks that stereotype. He not only decides to have multiple characters, but also ensures they have a hold in moving the film forward. 

Natchathiram Nagargiradhu does not have dummy characters present just to exhaust screen time. Every character brings a shade to the table. Ranjith has picked interesting characters to shape his plot, and the color that he paints them with is so authentic that it quickly draws us into its world. To the extent where we feel like one of the artists in the troop wanting to recite our story too. Natchathiram Nagargiradhu is innovative on many fronts. The idea of switching modes from a film format, to a play format, to a documentary set up is a refreshing narration style. Metaphors are in abundance in Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. Buddha effigy. Cats. Usage of vintage songs. To have a play that portrays love – nadagam on kadhal – quietly taking a dig at the nadaga kadhal propaganda on the go, while playing around with his craft and style of expression, shows how clever, calm, and composed the film maker has become. 

Actress Dushara Vijayan’s character is incredibly well written, and certainly will remain as one of the best female characters for a considerable period. Actress Dushara Vijayan to her part beautifully shoulders her role as Rene. She portrays the concealed layers of her character’s personality effortlessly. Actor Kalaiyarasan levels up his performance in Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. He once again demonstrates what a topnotch performer he is. He has got under the skin of his character quite well. Actor Kalidas Jayaram makes his presence felt in what feels like a slightly underwritten character. Actor Charles Vinoth is natural, and cakewalks his role. Actress Sindhuja Viji is functional. Actor Shabeer Kallarakkal does complete justice to his part. Actress Manisa Tait serves the purpose for which she was brought on board. Actors Hari Krishnan Anbudurai, Subatra Robert, Vinsu Rachel Sam, Lizzie Antony, Regin Rose, and Gnanaprasad, have all chipped in and have played their part well. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them. 

On the technical front, music director Tenma infuses life into the drama with his superb background score. His tracks are enjoyable though not playlist worthy. Cinematographer A Kishor Kumar has done a brilliant job covering the film. He has set up his camera at the right spots. His visuals are colorful. Editor Selva R K brings forth his editing dexterity, and complements the work of his colleague well with his sharp scissor works. 

On the whole, director Pa Ranjith’s Natchathiram Nagargiradhu is a love drama that instead of romanticizing love puts forward the nuances of it. 

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