After a long gap of seven years after delivering a critically acclaimed film 'Ammuvagiya Naan', director Padmamagan is back with 'Netru Indru'. He has said that he was forced to take up a commercial flick and has used that as an opportunity to give a commercial film without the regular ingredients of main stream commercial flicks. The director's resolve begins from the casting. The star cast of the film includes a host of actors who are aspiring to make it big in Kollywood for long.
What is there in this commercial film without regular ingredients of Tamil commercial films? Read on.
The story of 'Netru Indru' is bifurcated into two segments Past (Netru) and Present (Indru). The film begins with a forest brigand Veera (having everything that is required to identify with Sandanakadaththal' Veerappan) and his accomplices being killed by a group of police officers. Though Veera has been killed, the police department wants to nab a cop David (Prasanna) who was sent on a mission to kill Veera and is suspected to have turned as an accomplice of Veera , thereby wrecking havoc to the police operations to kill the brigand. Five police men (Richard, Harish, Bharani, Nithish and Gemini Balaji) are sent to catch David, dead or alive. In their mission the officers are confronted by a group claiming to be 'Tamil Terrorists' and then Akila (Arundathi) claiming to be the native of the forest and also a prostitute joins them. This pertains to the 'past'
In the parallel narration pertaining to the 'present', a girl (Mano Chitra/Nandagi) comes on a mission to reach Kabini check post and seeks the help of a car mechanic Sivaji (Vemal) to take her to that place since her car gets breaks down. She accepts to pay the hefty amount charged by Vemal.
Did the officers nab David and come to know his story? Did the girl reach Kabini Check post? What is the connection between the two stories? Who is Arundadthi and why did she join the police officers on a mission? The answers to these questions have to be known by watching the film.
Padmamagan has aspired to give a commercial film with a difference. The film has minimal romance, action, sentiment and comedy that are rampant in regular commercial films. That way the director has fairly achieved what he has aspired for. And taking up a non-linear narrative and presenting it without confusing the audience deserves praise. Also the presentation and narration does not bore you anywhere except in the song sequences.
But are these enough for making a movie worth a watch? We are confused on whether the director wants to present a crime thriller based on the hide and seek game between the police men and their person suspected to be traitor or a heist for money. Even the connection between the Past and Present segments becomes highly simplified and disappointing when it is revealed at the end.
Perhaps to compensate the lack of other commercial elements the director has rested his stakes on sleaze, sex and skin show. The character Arundathi reminds us of ones that can only be seen in soft core porn movies, more so when her real mission is revealed. Also the 'present' segment has plenty of skin show with Vemal's character having a continuous urge to have sex. The 'A' certificate issued to the film has been completely justified.
The director may have intentions to highlight the physical needs of police and security services personnel who are forced to be separated from their families for long periods of time, being given a scant regard. But the intention has not been properly executed. Even in the other segment, there seems to be an urge to compensate the absence of romance with sex.
Prasanna (cameo), Richard and Harish have done their part well while Vemal, Arundathi and Manochithras fit the bill. Rerecording by Rehaan is simply jarring in most sequences and songs end up as a test of patience except the one song by Silambarasan, that is featured with the end credits.
Despite these inadequacies and inconsistencies and being not suitable at all for viewing with family, 'Netru Indru' cannot be termed as a bad movie. The different premise and non-linear narration that does not breed boredom saves the show.