Certain films come as a surprise and suddenly they prove to be a ‘Black Horse’ indeed. Couple of years back, it happened with ‘Pizza’ and now on the different lanes, we have ‘Nedunchalai’. Filmmaker Krishna before eight years made his debut directorial with the film ‘Sillunu Oru Kadhal’ and now gets back with a different concept. What’s so special about this film is the collage of stunning performances by some promising actors, among whom almost all are newcomers. Aari of ‘Rettai Suzhi’ and ‘Maalai Pozhudhin Mayakathiley’ appears in a different avatar and Malayalam actress Manga throws up a heavy surprise and not to miss the crooked baddie Prashanth Narayanan.
The film opens with a flashback narrated by an aged man as he accompanies a couple of Lorry drivers carrying illicit goods to Delhi. The flashback dates back to 1980s that depicts the hard life of Murugan (Aari) who makes his livelihood on looting the costly materials on lorries that run during late nights on highways for the sake of his mentor Sekhar (played by Salim Kumar). When a corrupt-pot smoker cop Masanimuthu craves and lusts for Manga (Sivada) running a Dhabba shop across highway. When these characters clash on the course, things turn out to be a bizarre with an unexpected climax leaving lump in your throat and smile on your faces.
Making things simple, the film holds a lot of brilliant flashes and the first appreciation goes to power-packed performance of actors. Aari makes us forget about his previous films and creates a new record with his splendiferous show. Well, he doesn’t go for any change in makeovers through the film, but showcases difference with his performance. Sivada as Malayali girl excels in her bold performance and her dialogue delivers are additional plus. Prashanth Narayanan leaves your spellbound with his villainous character and he keeps winning applause in many places…. Salim Kumar establishes his very own style of unique performance and Thambi Ramaiah is a cool delight.
Musical score by Sathya stands out as the backbone for this script. Such is the great impact of his background score and the songs filmed with top-notch cinematography is yet another highlight. Cinematography is perfect, but editing looks little vague in places. The first half proceeds with gripping moments in establishing the characters and conflicts and second hour has a lot of twists and turns.
Overall, ‘Nendunchalai’ is exceptionally exceeding in both narrative and technical aspects and deserves a watch.
Verdict: A new milestone on the ‘Highway’ of Tamil cinema.