Try This Puzzle!
Though not a nifty thriller, Nee Enge En Anbe works fairly well and contends us to keep playing the guessing game till the very end.
Cast : Nayanthara, Vaibhav, Harshvardhan Rane, Pasupathy & Others.
Cinematography : Vijay C Kumar
Editing : Marthand K Venkatesh
Music : MM Keeraveni
Based on : Kahaani by Sujoy Ghosh
Written by : Sekhar Kammula & Sai Prasad
Directed by : Sekhar Kammula
Produced by : Viacom 18 Motion Pictures
Release Date : 01-05-2014
Run Time : 02:20:00
First things first. Nee Enge En Anbe is not a remake of the Hindi film Kahaani starring Vidya Balan in the central role. It is an adapted version of Kahaani and not a scene-by-scene remake. In fact, for starters, Nayanthara does not play a pregnant woman here. She plays a Tamil brahmin who arrives to Hyderabad in search of her husband.
There are few heartening things about this rare women-centric film. That the film is a women-centric subject is itself, certainly, one of the heartening things in Tamil cinema. Though contemporary filmmakers like Gautham Menon show their woman on screen dignified and independent, K’town has not been witnessing women-centric films in recent times like the golden years of K Balachandar. Nee Enge En Anbe is a welcome-change. It features no duets, and no male protagonist who fights muscular villains. The film’s hero is the script and the heroine is Anaamika (Nayanthara).
Though not an exceptional and a nifty thriller, Nee Enge En Anbe works fairly well and contends us to keep playing the guessing game till the very end. The last 15 minutes of the film will make you go haywire with a lot of things happening and you have to piece together the puzzles one by one and in the meanwhile, the story keeps hurling surprises at you. It is not intriguing, but sensible and a neatly-crafted thriller.
The film starts with Anaamika (Nayanthara) arriving to Hyderabad from the USA in search of her husband Ajay Swaminathan who is working in a software company. Apparently, he’s been missing for nearly two weeks and there is no trace of him anywhere. The hotel where he stays could not identify him. The HR manager in his company could not find any productive reason behind his impulsive and mysterious resignation. And like this, the story unfolds as layers, one at a time. Will Anaamika succeed in her relentless quest?
The first half of the film is snail-paced and the Hyderabad ethos is beautifully portrayed on screen. The number of layers that unfold in Anaamika’s quest during the first half of the film and its engagement quotient is contradictory to what happens in the latter part of the story. If that narrative balance was handled swiftly, Nee Enge En Anbe could have been a perfect thriller.
Nayanthara has delivered her best performance. Hopefully, this film should provide an impetus to others to do more story-oriented films than the regular dancing around the tree with the male lead in an exotic location.
The film picks up rapidly in the second half and becomes more interesting leaving you curious and inquisitive. We are invested in Anaamika’s character and her quest for her husband in a genuine manner. Except for the fact that the story becomes a little predictable towards the end and the denouement is not convincing, the writing is really appreciable in most parts of the film.
Be it Vaibhav’s benevolent and tender role as a police man or Pasupathi as a ruthless intelligence officer, they have excelled in their roles. MM Keeravani’s background is a thumping win and strides the story forward. The film’s length is indeed a concern. At 140 minutes, the film definitely feels longer and makes you frown.
Nee Enge En Anbe is refreshingly original if you do not play comparison cards with the original.