‘Nandalala’ - Inspired but moving (Tamil Film Review)

By Aravindan D.I., IANS
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Film: Nandalala, Cast: Mysskin, Ashwath Ram, Snigdha and others, Director: Mysskin; Music: Ilaiyaraaja; Rating: ***1/2

Mysskin’s “Nandalala”, which has finally hit the screens long after it had been completed, has come out as a movie with artistic features without losing the popular elements.

Though the accusations that he has ‘adapted’ the theme of Japanese film “Kikujiro” are quite reasonable, there is no denying the fact that Mysskin has proved yet again that he is a good filmmaker. He has the talent to transfer the emotions on screen across to the audiences - which is something unique.

“Nandalala” is all about two people who are in search of their mothers. Destiny puts them together. They travel through several places to reach their respective destinations.

The journey by Bhaskar (Mysskin), who is mentally disturbed, and Akhilesh (Ashwath Ram), a schoolboy, has been told in a gripping manner.

Their journey turns out to be a revealing experience that changes their lives for the better. Both walk around without knowing the harshness and striking realities of the world around them.

Battered and bruised by many, they also meet some good people who help them a lot. The travel reveals the greatness of human life. Many times hostile people turn out to be good after realising the real position of both of them.

Their innocence, helplessness and affection change others too.

The scene that shows a physically handicapped person moves the audience. Even the climax is quite emotional and heartening.

Cinematographer Mahesh has done a marvellous work. The visuals are quite amazing. The way he has captured the landscape of Tamil Nadu is excellent.

Ashwath Ram, Mysskin and Snigdha have done their parts very well. Their performances lift the film to another level.

Mysskin, who is known for shaping even the small characters well, has done it again. The characters of the tender coconut seller, granny, maid, policeman, lorry driver and ice cream seller are pleasant to watch. The dialogues are realistic and poignant.

On the flipside, the fact that Mysskin has got inspired from “Kikujiro” does cast a shadow on the merits of the filmmaker.

Though he has deftly adapted the original to fit into the Tamil milieu, the repetition of the characters like the bald two-member biker gang guys, the farmer and the lorry driver from Kikujiro seems to be too much to digest.

Ilaiyaraaja’s music is a huge plus point to the movie. His background score adds immense value to it. The sequence when Mysskin meets his mother and the lullaby that Ilaiyaraaja sings in the background would bring tears to anybody’s eyes.

Despite lacking originality, “Nandalala” works a big way with its stunning visuals, music, script and performances.

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