With the release of 'Nidhra', February is turning a memorable month for Mollywood with three quality movies coming up back to back. As the debates are on the hidden reasons behind remaking age old classics, debutante Siddharth Bharathan proves with his remake of 'Nidhra', why and how a quality remake can gratify ever demanding tastes of viewers. Taking the right clues from his father , the late classy filmmaker Bharathan, Siddharth makes a genuine and earnest effort to tell the poignant story of a couple, who with a perfect understanding of each others, liked to live life their way.
The movie has the director as the central character Raju, who falls to paranoia and depression following the death of his mother. The younger son of a wealthy family, the over caring attitudes of his family members and his brother Viswam (Gishnu Raghavan) constantly reminds him of his mental abrasions, which forces him to react differently towards events. Now married to his childhood sweetheart Ashwathy (Rima) the daughter of the former driver of the household, the couple with their compassion towards fellow beings and nature and selfless love tries to live a life of their own creating much indifference to the rest of the society, who are always after money and business. Even after falling to trauma that demands psychiatric help, Aswathy is determined to get Raju back to life with her love.
Though there are only a very few characters , and the movie is mostly woven around the bonding between Raju and Ashwathy and how they unite in grief , not once do you feel that the narrative tends to get talk-heavy or the film looks cramped thanks to the smooth handling of the delicate subject. With truly special and career best performances from Rima and Siddharth with the right doses of histrionics, tautness and anguish, the movie works mainly due to their on-screen chemistry and deftly narrated sequences and dialogues written by Santhosh Echikkanam. The repackaging and placement is near perfect and the emotional but disturbing journey equally engaging.
Threading on a hitherto unknown path with that rare sensitivity of a debutante, Siddharth's 'Nidra' give a genuine feel that such stories need to be retold. Narrated just in 95 minutes, it's the cinematographer Samer Thahir, eyeing for an international award, who gives the utmost to built up the moving journey with his rare flair in creating exuberant visuals. Prashanth Pillai's BG design and newcomer Bavan Sreekumar's cuts are topnotch and is worthy enough to get applauded in any festival of international stature. Sidharth also deserves a few extra brownie points for handling the other artists with aplomb, including Thalaivasal Vijay and Jishnu Ragahavan who as the father and elder brother of Raju is agonised due to their over caring nature and pragmatic approaches. Jassie Gift returns to glory with a couple of different rhythms enmeshed wisely into the narratives.
'Nidra' is a sincere, emotional trip for more discerning viewer and the festival circuits. With heartfelt performances that makes you feel the pain of having lost, the movie is a must watch for connoisseurs of serious cinema. Unfortunately, the film has had an unsung release, with hardly any promotion or awareness, which will make the effort go largely unnoticed.