NGK movie review: Suriya holds Selvaraghavan's uneven and confused film together
The trouble with NGK is that it is neither a Suriya entertainer nor a Selvaraghavan film.
A lot was riding on the unique combination of a fine actor like Suriya and a classy filmmaker like Selvaraghavan. The exciting first look poster of NGK, which was said to be a political thriller, had Suriya looking a bit like Che Guevara. The trailer and its punch lines also raised the expectations. But the film, which has been in production for more than two years now, is sadly far from perfect, looks disjointed and lacks a cohesive story.
To a large extent, NGK works only due to an astounding performance by Suriya, in the title role of Nandha Gopalan Kumaran. Suriya holds this uneven film together. He plays a small town, highly educated organic farmer and social worker who is forced by circumstances to enter the cesspool of dirty politics. In fact the film looks like Selvaraghavan’s take on politics and political happenings in Tamil Nadu. It is also the director’s first big star movie considering he worked with his brother Dhanush and later Karthi when they were just bursting into the limelight.
NGK (Suriya) is an environmental engineering graduate who resigns from his job to take up organic farming. He is a do-gooder, who always has people welfare in mind and youngsters in his small town look up to him as a role model. The local politicians envy his reach among the youth. He lives with his loving parents, and a caring, possessive wife (Sai Pallavi). But the corrupt political system prevailing does not allow him to help the poor and needy.
When an old politician Giri (Bala Singh) tells him that he cannot make a change unless he infiltrates into a party and cleanse the system, NGK is forced to join a Dravidian party, tightly controlled by the leadership. And there he comes across Vaanathi (Rakul Preet Singh), a modern political analyst who specialises in election strategy. The spark in NGK to change the system causes upheaval among well entrenched political parties. And a subtle extra–marital relationship between NGK and Vaanathi is thrown in. justified as a ‘dream song’.
In Selvaraghavan films, women have strong roles. But here Sai Pallavi is wasted as NGK’s wife and in some scenes she even overacts. However Rakul Preet as the political strategist has a better written role. The film really lacks a strong villain character. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score is good but the songs don't fit in with the content.
The first half along is enjoyable but it is the second half that plods along to a convenient and predictable ending. There is also a mass rest room fight scene thrown in, which looks as though it has been forced into the story. In Kollywood, when a noted director gets the date of a ‘superstar’ he goes out of his way to work the star’s mass image into his plot expecting the star’s fans to flock to the theatres. This is evident with NGK.
The trouble with the narrative is that it is neither a Suriya entertainer nor a Selvaraghavan film. NGK ends up becoming a compromise film which is neither massy nor classy.
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