NH10 Movie Review: Gritty, Gruesome, Disturbing, Haunting
When you stay stuck in your seat once the end credits start rolling, take a deep breath, walk out with a heavy heart and then prefer to unwind overnight before penning down the review next morning, you know that a film has indeed drained a lot of emotional energy out of you. NH10, a film which has been projected as an action thriller, is actually a new kind of horror affair where fears continues to lurk from every hook and corner with real humans, and not ghosts, threaten to terrify you out of your skin.
Trust me, NH10 is not an easy film to watch. In a ghost movie, you can still afford to sneak out a nervous laughter because you know that it is largely make believe. But how do you erase that tension which arises out of real situations, where as an audience you are as much a part of the journey that Anushka Sharma and Neil Bhoopalam take on NH10? Yes, except for that one fatal mistake that the latter makes (which, despite the ego attached to it, doesn't seem convincing at all) and was avoidable to the core, you believe in everything that actually unfolds on screen.
(Spoilers ahead) So when Anushka finds herself attacked first on a lonely night back to office, you know that a situation like this is actually plausible. Later when the couple finds an honor killing in motion, it is straight out of news headlines. Furthermore, the run and chase that ensues is the stuff that horror is made of. Moreover, the villains out there, led by Darshan Kumaar (seen last in Mary Kom), are so chillingly real that you wonder if you have actually seen them on a regular trip through the streets of Gurgaon. The deceiving cops, the migrant laborer, the village kids - it is all so close to reality that it suffocates you.
It is this suffocation that is the strength and the USP of the film, but then may also be a little too tough to digest for some viewers. For those who aren't scared to encounter a world on screen which is not quite feel-good, NH10 makes for a gritty, gruesome, disturbing and haunting movie watching affair, as director Navdeep Singh (Manorama-Six Feet Under) makes good use of technology at his disposal (background score, sound design, cinematography, editing) to ensure effective storytelling.
On the other hand for those who just can't digest such proceedings on screen, it could well be a stomach curdling experience. It is not as much as cuss words as violence - both physical and mental - which makes NH10 a really dark affair. There is no respite whatsoever from the very opening scene of the film itself when Anushka and Neil drive around the roads of the Millennium City on a dark-cold night. You know that the glitz would soon make way for the bloodshed and wholesome brutality that would follow, where you don't doubt for one minute that the end result would certainly not be pleasant.
The ones who help Navdeep realize his vision are of course his bunch of actors. Anushka Sharma is so much convincing as a young woman who gets hunted to the core that you instantly begin to care about your real life loved ones. She is just perfect in the most challenging role of her career so far and opens up altogether different prospects for herself as an actor. Neil Bhoopalam is charming in his part that where he does make one feel for him to have taken a life threatening impulsive step.
Darshan Kumaar may not have as much screen time as Mary Kom but his haunting presence fills up every frame once he arrives on screen first. One wishes he would have got into more dramatic verbal encounters with Anushka as well, though his finale face-off with her is worth the price of the ticket. It is superb. Another actor who just makes you hate her right from scene one is Deepti Naval. From being a stereotypical dukhiyaari maa (as she was in another Gurgaon based film Aurangzeb), the veteran actress is seen in (probably) her first every violent avtar.
Violence - This is how NH10 unfolds as a whole. It sets up a very disturbing premise and just as you get the 'sur' of how the narrative would unfold, there are chills and thrills with several heart-in-your-mouth moments that threaten to give you nightmares long after the audio-visual medium has left you breathless.
Release Date : 13 March 2015
Director : Navdeep Singh
Genre : Thriller