Nagaram is the Telugu dubbed version of Tamil flick Maanagaram directed by debutante Lokesh. It is a film that follows hyperlink pattern, multiple stories that are interlinked converge at one point.
What is it about?
A youngster (Shri) comes to the city in hope of finding a job. He gets selected in the interview, but gets roughed up by goons because of mistaken identity. They also take away his bag that contains his certificates. His job is at stake as he needs to submit the certificates by next morning.
A sincere lover boy (Sundeep) plots an acid attack on the person who threatens that he would pour acid on his girlfriend’s (Regina) face. Police finds that he is behind the attack and he is asked to leave the city until everything is in order.
A cab driver (Charlie) comes to the city so that he could give better treatment to his ailing son. He hires a cab that belongs to a dreaded goon PKP (Madhusudhan) and gets a job as a cab driver in an IT company.
A group of petty criminals wants to threaten someone by kidnapping his son, but they kidnap PKP’s son by mistake. Now this kidnap interlinks all the above characters and how they converge at one point for a conclusion is what the film is about.
Sandeep kishan is good as the tough guy. His looks and performance are very effective. Shri is decent as a stranger caught in an extraordinary situation. He can emote and gets ample chance to exhibit his acting skills. Regina didn’t have much scope. Charlie is good and Ramadoss adds humor to the serious proceedings. Madhusudhan is believable as the dreaded rowdy.
Lokesh Kanagaraj tries to offer something new like many of the young directors from Tamil cinema industry. Screenplay written by him is the biggest plus as it keeps you hooked all the time. He made a slick film with the help of talented bunch of youngsters behind the screen.
Music is in perfect sync with the film and elevates drama to another level in many scenes. There are not many songs in the film but the background score keeps us engaged. Cinematography is superb and makes us feel like we are watching real crime scenes and characters. Editor did a fine job with the interlinked screenplay.
Nagaram is a well knitted film with hyperlinked screenplay. It is about ordinary characters in a city that are thrown into extra ordinary situations. There is no hero or villain in the film as we see just the characters and the situations they face. Director followed Rashomon style of screenplay that is rarely explored in Indian cinema.
Though Nagaram and its script appear simple it is not an easy task to write screenplay for such a film. Director Lokesh didn’t fumble at least once in interlinking all the stories into one. The film smoothly flows along despite switching from one story to another all the time. However, the romance track turns out to be a damp squib with nothing much to offer.
Regina character is just used as a plot device but hardly brings anything new to the table. The track almost slows down the film and is totally out of sync with the thrilling setup of remaining part. The film sometimes moves at a very good pace and sometimes refuses to move forward. They should have maintained even pace as such thrillers cannot afford to take the foot off the pedal.
Despite a few blemishes here and there, Nagaram is a tightly packed thriller that keeps us engaged all the time. It is a film that will definitely impress audience who ask for ‘change’ from the usual masala staple. Films like these have limited appeal which may affect its prospects at the box office.
Verdict: A Thrilling Night in the City.