Neeli Review: a weak and confused mix of various genres
The new movie Neeli starring Mamta Mohandas is a confused mix of genre that ends up in an unconvincing space. It starts off as a pure horror thriller and the pressure to entertain people sort of forces it to become a horror comedy and thus the whole film suffers from a weakening which eventually reflects in the impact. The lack of thrill and tension is one key missing factor in Neeli.
Lakshmi, a single mother returns to her home after losing her husband. After coming there she loses her daughter Tara. The helpless mother is trying to get her daughter back and the movie is showing us her attempt to find her daughter taking the help from two thieves, a photographer and a man who has knowledge in paranormal activities.
Applying logic won’t be a good idea and if you tend to do that, the whole lab and equipments of Anoop Menon’s character might crack you up. So let’s just take it seriously as the genre itself is fantasy. What is appreciable is that they are using a figure that represents horror to be looked at as a guardian angel. But respecting and accepting audience’s intelligence is a key part of creating such perspectives on screen. Neeli becomes too simple in those areas and there is no real secrecy here in reaching the climax.
Mamta in terms of emoting the expressions has done a good job. But the problem is with her dialogue delivery which at times feels too theatrical. Anoop Menon as the ghost hunter utilizes his typical cool guy attitude to be comfortable in the movie. Zinil Zainuddin was fine while Baburaj and SP Sreekumar evokes humor through pointless characters. Rahul Madhav’s character should have been a little subtler.
Althaf Rahman isn’t really focusing on the movie being intriguing after a point. The dialogues in many areas have this theatricality that reduces the connect. And he is occasionally forgetting the fact that horror is the genre and you have to keep the viewer on the edge of their seats. The diversions it took to lengthen the content takes away a lot of genuineness from the script. It would have been great if we as viewers were forced to backtrack the movie to understand Neeli’s influence and sadly that wasn’t happening. The visuals are fine and the cuts should have been crispier. The songs are placed very poorly.
Neeli is a movie that couldn’t exploit its possibility to interpret a concept in a different way. The weakness in its writing and the dullness in the making are the major reasons why this movie couldn’t have that impact.
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