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Nilai Marandhavan Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, July 15, 2022 • Tamil ]
Nilai Marandhavan Review
Banner:
Anwar Rasheed Entertainments
Cast:
Fahadh Faasil, Dileesh Pothan, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Soubin Shahir, Chemban Vinod Jose, Nazriya Nazim, Vinayakan, Sreenath Bhasi, Jinu Joseph, Srinda Arhaan, Aswathi Menon, Arjun Ashokan, Dharmajan Bolgatty, Amalda Liz, Unnimaya Prasad, Joju George, Dilan, Dian, Anu K Aniyan, Arjun Ratan, Jeevan Stephan, Len Prasad , Sinu Bahuleyan Anirudh Balu, Sal Yusuf, Paul de Roquemaurel
Direction:
Anwar Rasheed
Production:
Anwar Rasheed
Music:
Jackson Vijayan, Sushin Shyam,

Nilai Maranthavan - Fahadh Faasil mesmerizes in an unique role in Indian cinema

Fahadh Faasil who is one of the most respected actors in Indian cinema has gained huge commercial mileage after the tremendous success of Kamal Haasan's 'Vikram' directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.  It has prompted the Tamil dubbed version of his super hit film 'Trance' titled 'Nilai Maranthavan' to see the light of the day.  The Tamil title is justified as the film will make you lose yourself in the performances as well as the subject matter.

Vijay Prakash (Fahadh Faasil) lives with his mentally unstable younger brother in Kanyakumari where he tries to make a living as a motivational speaker.  When his brother (like his mother years back) commits suicide, a depressed Vijay goes to Mumbai to escape a similar fate.  There he gets an offer to pose as a Christian pastor for a mafia group headed by Solomon Davis (Gautham Vasudev Menon) and Issac Thomas (Chemban Vinod Jose).  When Vijay agrees he is sent to Kochi to train under Avarachan (Dileesh Pothan).  And within a couple of years Vijay transforms into Joseph Carlton, one of the most celebrated pastors in India and abroad.  The rest of the screenplay is about whether the hero will fall prey to the evil forces and cheat the people under the name of god or not.

Fahadh's performance alone keeps the film engaging from start to finish and one can say that the director has literally let him on the loose.  The towering actor with his eyes conveys the many extreme states of mind his character goes through in the most inimitable manner. The one scene in which Fahadh is interviewed by Soubin Shahir where he shows his victories and defeats by changing his posture on the sofa is enough for the ticket money you are going to pay.   Gautham Menon in his usual style brings the corporate shark to life while the talented Chemban Vinod Jose also seen in 'Vikram' is wasted.  Dileesh Pothan is terrific as the senior pastor who mentors Fahadh while Soubin Shahir as Mathew the television journalist and Vinayakan as a victim of the scam are pretty effective.  Nazriya Nazim as Esther is superfluous to the story but who will say no to her charming presence in a character that pushes the boundaries of convention.

There are many layers to 'Nilai Maranthavan' and the film works in every aspect.  The film speaks boldly about how religion becomes an addiction and how devotion becomes the fuel for a multibillion dollar industry which is not only new to Tamil/Malayalam but Indian cinema itself.  Credit to the team that they have not touched on the bhakti industry superficially or for cheap laughs, but have exposed the mafia behind it, who run a multi-crore business using fraudulent gimmicks to lure and fleece the innocents.   Care has been taken not to hurt anyone's religious sentiments but focussing on the parasites of religion.

On the downside, in the second half when the film goes into the Trance mode it loses the grip it had on the audiences.  After that with too much going on there seems to be a hurry to wrap up all the loose ends and even give a romantic end to the hero and the heroine that does not work.

'Nilai Maranthavan' is technically as brilliant as its subject with music director Sushin Shyam enhancing every scene with his background score and cinematographer Amal Neerad capturing every mood and beat of the new age screenplay.  The editing, production design and production values are top notch.  Anwar Rasheed has skillfully come up with one of the most brilliant films in Indian cinema in recent times.  It is also a much needed one for the audience to know what goes behind the scenes with so-called religious guides and leaders.

Verdict : Go for this brilliant film by Anwar Rasheed in which Fahadh Faasil towers as an actor
 

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0

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