Art & Entertainment

'Neru' On Disney+ Hotstar Movie Review: Mohanlal And Anaswara Rajan Are Brilliant In This Realistic Courtroom Drama

Outlook Rating:
4 / 5

Starring Mohanlal, 'Neru' is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. Is this courtroom drama worth watching? Or is it just another sensationalist piece? Read the full review to find out.

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Mohanlal in 'Neru' Photo: IMDb
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Filmmakers follow trends, that’s what it feels like. A few years back, biopics were trending, and filmmakers jumped on that wagon. They gave us many biopics, out of which only a handful hit the mark. The latest trend that is dominating the discourse right now is courtroom dramas. There has been a significant rise in the number of courtroom dramas that we are seeing right now. Starring Mohanlal, Priyamani, and Siddique, ‘Neru’ has now made its way to OTT after a successful run in the theatres. The film has been raking in money at the box office and is being received well by the audience. Here’s all that you need to know about ‘Neru.’

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‘Neru’: Story

Sara, a visually impaired girl, is sexually assaulted in her house when she is all alone. The girl and her family filed a police complaint against the man who raped her. Sara happens to be a skilled sculpture artist who uses her sense of touch to make a clay sculpture of the man who assaulted her. The police arrest the man based on this evidence. But the man hails from a financially well-to-do background. His family hires the best lawyer to fight his case. The lawyer has influenced all the other lawyers to not take up Sara’s case. However, one lawyer who was on a sabbatical takes up the case. The story follows the courtroom proceedings and shows how the trial is conducted in the court.

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‘Neru’: Performances

Anaswara Rajan is the driving force behind the film. This role is quite unlike all the other roles she has played. She has perfectly captured the nuances of a visually impaired woman without going overboard or making her role feel caricaturish. Whenever she is on the screen, she commands your full attention. It is difficult to ignore her or even take your eyes off her.

Mohanlal is splendid in his role. He has nailed the role of Advocate Vijayamohan to perfection. Advocate Vijayamohan is not confident in the beginning, but as the trial progresses he proves that experience speaks volumes. This character arc also follows Mohanlal’s performance. In the beginning, it feels like he is struggling to find his footing. But as the movie progresses, you can see why Mohanlal is a superstar even today.

Coming to Siddique, he has played the antagonist to perfection. In my opinion, when you start hating the villain that is a sign that the actor has done their job well. As the movie progressed, I started despising his character with each passing minute. It reached its peak when he was alone with Sara during the climax. His character and his audacity made me angry. If a character can evoke such strong emotions, you can safely say that the actor has done his job brilliantly.

Priyamani holds her ground and shines. Despite being amidst Mohanlal and Siddique, she still grabs your attention. She understood her character and played the role of a girl following her father’s footsteps with ease.

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The film has been brilliantly supported by Jagadish, Santhi Mayadevi, KB Ganesh Kumar, and Sankar Induchoodan.

‘Neru’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Directed by Jeethu Joseph, the best part about ‘Neru’ is how it has not delved into theatrics or sensationalism. The film isn’t a classic whodunit. Within the starting 20 minutes, you know the story. The story is also something that we have fairly seen – a rich kid using his money to get away from his wrongs. When the plot is so simple, it is easy for the film to fall flat. But what works for ‘Neru’ is that it does not deal with all of the unnecessary drama and only focuses on the trial. The length might seem long to some people, but the performances keep you hooked. The attention to the minute details is refreshing and the duration does not seem tedious.

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The script of ‘Neru’ deserves to be talked about. I’m glad that the film did not have a long monologue by Mohanlal or Anaswara where they got into the depth and spoke about some hard-hitting realities of the society. A lot of films clearly do not need that. The preachiness gets lost when you see a character making a speech in the courtroom. The somber way with which the trial is treated has helped the movie.

The cinematography by Satheesh Kurup has worked well. But the only part where it falls flat is when it focuses on the reaction of the audience during the trial. That was unnecessary. If it was restricted to just the actors, it would have worked even better. The reaction shots felt repeated after a point of time.

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Written by Jeethu Joseph and Santhi Mayadevi, ‘Neru’ is an astounding piece. The story keeps you hooked from the beginning to the end. The characters are well thought out and everyone gets the space to bring them out beautifully. Even if it's just the driver who stood in the court for a few minutes.

‘Neru’: Cast & Crew

Director: Jeethu Joseph

Writer: Jeethu Joseph, Santhi Mayadevi

Cast: Mohanlal, Priyamani, Siddique, Anaswara Rajan, Jagadish, K. B. Ganesh Kumar, Sankar Induchoodan, Mathew Varghese, Haritha G. Nair, Sreedhanya, Harikrishnan, Aditi Ravi, Nandhu, Sabitta George, Dinesh Prabhakar, Krishna Prabha, Kalesh Ramanand, Poojappura Radhakrishnan, Prashant Nair, Ramadevi, Resmi Anil, Antony Perumbavoor, Santhi Antony, Kalabhavan Jinto, Chef Pillai, Rajesh Hebbar, Anup Achuthath Unnikrishnan

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Available On: Disney+ Hotstar

Duration: 2 Hour 32 Minutes

‘Neru’: Can Kids Watch It?

No

Outlook’s Verdict

There’s a line in the film where Priyamani’s character tells Mohanlal that she is glad to see him back. I feel that it was a reference to Mohanlal’s comeback. But this performance made me think that maybe Mohanlal does not need a comeback because he didn’t go anywhere. The actor is a superstar for a reason. Maybe all he needs is to explore a lot of different roles. With that said, ‘Neru’ belongs to Mohanlal and Anaswara Rajan. The film has a few drawbacks. It could have explored Sara’s character more because she was the victim. Nonetheless, the performances keep you hooked. I am going with 4 stars.

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