'Netholi Oru Cheriya Meenalla' was looked forward with ave,since this curious titling of the movie. Together with its cast and crew which boast of such names as Fahad Fazil, Shankar Ramakrishnan, V K Prakash and Kamaalini Mukherjee,the movie was surmised to be the one which will definitely cater to the needs of viewers who wants strikingly different plots and flicks. And now as this NOCM has turned out to be, it is a definite watch for the cinephiles who love untapped genres in Mollywood. And for the rest, this may seems to be a tiresome exercise without that characteristic, formulaic beginning or end.
Netholi'takes on a novel premise and transports you to an altogether new world. It is all about a young commoner named Preman (Fahad fazil)who is aspiring to be on film industry with his writing abilities , but ends up as the caretaker in a multistoried flat, which house many type of people in its ten plus floors. Together with the watcher Vasu and sweeper Kumari, he tries to cater to the needs of all, but finds a new nick name in 'Netholi' and also, very little time to spend for his uncompleted scripts, lying bare on his room. With the CCTV outputs of various floors in the monitors of his personal room, Prem is spared with not much free time as the likes of Prabha(Kamalinee), a bold adventure- tourism organiser by profession, who is hell bent on making him work all days with their list of demands and treating him just like a slave . The husband of a lady on one of the floors phones Prem to have a watch of his wife and to find out where she is going in the disguise of taking dancing classes. But as he starts following this lady, he is caught red handed , which results in him beaten by Prabha and other inmates. Prem decides to quit, but is brought back by his mental guru, who asks him to fight the ladies , back with his power of pen. And soon he starts concentrating on completing his manuscripts with the men around as his characters. He creates one Narendran (again, Fahad in a stylish look) as the new villain who comes up in to the life of Prabha to teach her a lesson. The movie follows the cat and mouse game and the conflicts between the author and the surrealistic villain character that he creates to accomplish his vengeance on Prabha.
NOCM is not a serious take on any big social issues, but on the attitudes of men. An amusing journey, actually, the first half is embroidered with many thinkpieces and fine observations that result in chuckles. Though some attempts here back fires, the movie has a easy ride with plenty of mirth in its first hour after which it turns a little serious. The highlight of the movie is the never before attempted story line in Mollywood , that Shankar Ramakrishnan has managed to call it an end without much fuss. That characteristic ending with all punches and tensions are missing though. The makers has also managed to take liberal digs at themselves and new generation movies all through, as the writer sits down to pen down sequences listing out what is on demand and what is not for a genre. So is the final suggestion about VKP's habit of churning out many movies every year.
Fahad Fazil is one actor how continues to amaze us with each of his outings. NOCM is yet another in his list of bests in a complete natural role. He once again proves that he is an accomplished actor, who can handle the comic sequences with as much flourish as the emotional ones. Even his body language in the role of Prem krishan speaks tons and makes the charterer absolutely ravishing. Kamalinee does a super job with her striking screen presence, and appears a damn confident actor, though the lypsync is not that proper at times. The rest of the cast are fine in their roles with the pick among the lot being Mukundan, playing the deglamourised role of the watcher, with elaan. .
In the technical sides, V K P as usual maintains high standards with Arun James contributing heavily for the beautiful visuals. The songs by Abhijith are average while Mahesh Narayanan's edit is sharp, except in the scenes where Narendran is seen maltreating the lady.
If a film like NOCM works, it will propel film-makers to travel around this untapped genre of cinema and give them confidence to push the boundaries and undertake risks. But we are not that much sure of the movie's Box Office outing. On the flip side, a film like NOCM is not everyone's fish and may not be savored and relished by everyone. It's not for, what we label in filmi parlance, 'formualic film audiences'.
Anyway, cheers VKP, Shankar and Fahad , for finding that real difference on screen.