Film: Nee-Na
Date Released : 15 May 2015
Director: Lal Jose
Actor: Vijay Babu, Deepti Sati, Ann Augustine
Cinematography: Jomon T John
Duration: 147 minutes
Story: R Venugopal
Review Rating: 3/5

I have huge expectations from a Lal Jose film after watching Diamond Necklace. Yes, I think Diamond Necklace to be a flawless movie in terms of story, screenplay and acting. Otherwise I might not have invested around 2.5 hours for watching Nee-na about which there was minimal news.

Nee-Na is a women centric movie with Neena and Nalini as the lead characters portrayed by Deepti Sati and Ann Augustine respectively.Vijay Babu plays the lead male role called Vinay Panicker. Almost all the movie frames involves one of these 3 characters and Lal Jose doesn’t waste much screen time.

Neena is an extremely talented creative director in an advertising company and the new head Vinay Panicker realizes it quickly.  Neena is portrayed as a chronic alcoholic, a tomboy who drives a two wheeler and has a short hair style. To be frank, I found this setting apart of the character from the usual Malayali woman going a bit overboard. Or did Lal Jose actually wanted the viewer to initially dislike her character when she breaks a lot of invisible barriers – drinking, smoking, riding a bike, partying in discotheques, a short hair style and of course falling in love with a married man? You can see that Lal Jose was indeed risking things a bit when he portrayed an unconventional woman as his central character.

Nalini is on the other extreme. For a person who has returned from Bombay after a long time, Nalini is shown as set-mundu/saree clad, a very traditional woman in her costumes. But she is educated, sophisticated and very self-restraint.

The first half is predictable, yet I wanted to see what is happening and how things unravel. But the most irritating aspect for me was the long dragging first half where Neena will be talking endlessly in her supposedly-drunk voice. I almost gave up on the movie because I couldn’t stand that dialogue delivery.

Vijay Babu takes over the second half of the movie giving it a different direction and that is when I started enjoying the movie, feeling the emotional turmoil of each character. This is where they keep the story going in a steady pace till the end.

The ending is sad but realistic and it doesn’t go on to preach what is right or wrong.Nee-na doesn’t force you to take a moral stand and have left it to the viewer to absorb, think and ask yourselves what you would do if you were one of them. May be that is what I liked best about this movie.

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