There are subjects which only a Tamil filmmaker is good at dealing efficiently. NH4 belongs to this class. The genre is romantic thriller but there is a difference to it. Except for the fact that the hero happens to be good at bashing up the baddies (and the fights are not unbelievably impossible), there is nothing in the film that would makes us forgivingly say, "Let us not think of the logic. This is a film, after all."
The narration is quite interesting and Vetri Maaran and Mani Maaran know well that it is a shortest route to success. By the time the film is over, the story doesn't seem great. What keeps us glued is the story sequence. Even though there is nothing unusual about the love affair between Siddharth and Ashrita Shetty (debutante), the director manages to look forward to something unseen before. The best testification of the debutante captain's talent is that, we do not feel disappointed despite the story turning out to be like so many such other stories.
NH4 is the kind of movie the 20-somethings would love to watch while munching pop corn. The film has a young look to it, the dialogues (Sashank Vennelakanti) are crisp like a nicely done chicken nugget.There are quite a few laugh lines, there is one boring, villainous father and then there is love in the time of opposition. Pass the Pepsi please, and you can chill with Siddharth and Ashritha, the star crossed lovers.
But beofre you meet the lead pair, say hello to Manoj Menon ( Kay Kay Menon), the encounter specialist. He is the cool dude who breaks bones and gets informaiton from young college students, about a kidnapping by other college students. Half hour into the movie and you are hooked to the story, which keeps unfolding like layers of an onion.
Prabhu (Siddharth) and a few other boys from Chennai are students in a Bengaluru college, and live the ideal life of a student: hanging out with friends and bar hopping. Rithika (Ashritha) who screws up her nose at the Chennai boys' dance style, soon falls for Prabhu, who unlike our usual heroes is pretty chilled out, and doesnt plot, plan and get angsty over seeing the girl. A nice touch there by debutant director Mani Maran.
But then there is trouble in paradise and the snake is none other than the father, who wants to send her far away the day after she completes her graduation. But Prabhu kidnaps her and their race to Chennai begins, with Manoj burning the rubber, chasing them in his jeep. He is supremely confident of nabbing Prabhu within a couple of hours-well in time for his son's birthday party.
Prabhu has other ideas.
The cat and mouse game that unfolds is well crafted and nicely packaged with important details needed to take the story forward in a three dimensional way. Vetri Maran's (the original writer) dialogues are a major plus. GV Prakash Kumar's tunes come with a heavy Kolly flavour.
The scenes in the cyber lab, the conversations between Kay Kay and the girl's politician-father (the point at which he asks the officer to kill his daughter if the need be is believable), the scene where Sid and Kay Kay engage in a face-off for the first time (ending with Sid's unsuccessful bid to secure the girl), are few of the true-to-life elements. Even the scene where Kay Kay forcefully takes away Ashrita is very natural.
The confidence of the cops, who think that Sid and his friends are 'bacchas' who can't outwit them, probably reflects the thinking of the real life cops.
The best part is that Sid changes the heart of a character without preaching him.
Sid's performance, so aslo Kay Kay's, stand out for their understatedness. Ashrita, with her girl-next-door looks just suits the character. Others do their job quite well.
Verdict : NH4 is a joy ride and is a rare romantic thriller which doesn't subject you to unnecessary mental strain. It is as breezy a watch as a rom-com could be.