Director: Navdeep Singh
Cast: Anushka Sharma
Director Navdeep Singh got rave reviews for his memorable neo-noir debut film Manorama Six Feet Under. That was way back in 2007. Now full eight years later he comes up with his second film NH 10. Produced by Anushka Sharma, who also plays the lead role in the venture, does this film make an impression? Is it a worthy follow-up to the talented director’s cult classic?
What’s the plot?
It is the story of a young, successful professional couple (Anushka Sharma and Neil Bhoopalam). Settled in Gurgaon, they are going through the typical ‘Work hard, party harder’ routine. The wife’s unexpected night-time encounter with some unruly elements is the first blip in their life. To get over that experience, they decide to go on a long road-trip on NH-10 (National Highway 10 connecting Gurgaon to Punjab through Haryana). But instead of being a stressbuster, this trip proves a recipe for disaster. Witnessing a dastardly violent act is just the beginning of their nightmare. With the enraged perpetrators now in their hot pursuit, this yuppie couple will need every ounce of energy and courage to survive. How will it finally end?
· Navdeep Singh shows an exceptional grasp of Gurgaon-Haryana sociocultural divide. Many incidents and characters in the movie seem real.
· The film is a taut thriller with a no-holds-barred depiction of misogynistic atrocities still widely prevalent in India’s hinterland.
· Anushka Sharma gets the plum role. (Well, she is the producer!) She is quite impressive in portraying the transformation from a confident career woman to a scared victim on the run to a person, who has lost fear and is ready to strike back.
· The supporting cast is good. Dipti Nawal is superb in her short role.
· The overall plot premise is far-fetched and not really convincing.
· The twists and turns are fairly predictable.
· Gut-wrenching violence.
For those who enjoy dark movies, NH 10 is a well-made thriller, with a definite and relevant sociocultural subtext. Anushka’s fine performance and Navdeep Singh’s welcome return as a director are the highlights of this film. But exccessive violence and a predctable none-too-convincing storyline are likely to put off many viewers.