Post the success of Kanaa, Sivakarthikeyan has come up with his next production venture, Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja, a film made by the team of Black Sheep, a popular Youtube channel. The film, featuring Rio Raj as the lead actor, is directed by Karthik Venugopalan, with music scored by Shabir.
NNOR tracks the life of Shiva (Rio) and Vicky (RJ Vigneshkanth), two YouTubers whose primary ambition is to make money through the videos. They do face difficulties to meet their daily expenses, but Shiva's elder brother helps them financially. One random day, a playful prank turns their lives upside down and gives them a chance to win a billion of money. To win the money, they are put in a position to complete three tasks which are difficult in their own ways. What are the three tasks and did Shiva and Vicky complete those forms the rest of the plot.
Talking about the positives of NNOR, the film has some really good clap worthy sequences that light up the mood. The pre-interval 'Breaking News' sequence and the climax railway station sequence hold the film upright and it is sure to make the audience glued to the screens. The climax fight scene is well shot and executed. Kudos to the team on that aspect. The stunt choreography is noteworthy for the realistic representation. Not to forget the fantastic usage of the remix version of Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja, which adds so much essence to the scene.
There are not many unnecessary characters in the film and most of them have a duty to do in the proceedings. It is quite difficult to see something like this in a commercial potboiler. Many wouldn't have expected that ending for Chutti Aravind's character, but it emotionally pins the audience and also, acts as a major highpoint for the protagonist to realise his mistake.
Except for the pre-interval sequence, the entire first half doesn't have any high point and we have no take away. Fortunately, things get better in the latter half. Nanjil Sampath's thug life scenes are sure to make the theatre erupt and it will connect big time with the youngsters. The dialogues are well-written and the satire on current political scenarios are interesting. The contemporary references and spoofs will also be enjoyed by the audience.
Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja has a pretty decent packaging as the film engages you in regular intervals. However, on the larger picture as a whole film, NNOR fails to give complete satisfaction. The performances are artificial at places and the staging lacks reality. Due to this, you aren't able to establish a very good connection with the characters. It is also completely worrying to see homosexual cheap jokes coming up from someone like Karthik Venugopalan and his team, who are known for quality humour. The premise is commercially fitting and neat, but the focussed conviction in the writing or execution isn't seen.
It looks like the melodramatic sequences are added to forcefully make you feel empathetic towards the characters. The film has continuity issues, both in the story, and the screenplay. Also, a few questions are left unanswered. Despite having a very convincing flashback, the artificial performances of the actors make it look plastic. For the same reason, you don't feel the emotions of the lead pair. There is a scene towards the film's end where Rio slaps Shirin, but she kisses him in return, and it is raining. As a scene, this is beautifully written, but you don't feel their emotion, as a viewer.
The film doesn't offer anything fresh or new as a whole picture. When it is a film from a bunch of youngsters, you would obviously expect some kind of freshness, either in the idea or in the execution. However, you don't get anything of that sort. A section of the audience would definitely feel if this film is an extended version of a YouTube video.
Coming to the performances, Rio Raj's acting is middling. He is good in some scenes, but later, turns artificial in a few others. RJ Vigneshkanth holds the typical friend character who travels with the protagonist. Nanjil Sampath gets a role that perfectly fits him and the ace politician delivers it in style. Radharavi and Vivek Prasanna deliver their best. The rest of the Black Sheep stars are good. UK Senthilkumar's visuals are apt, while the editing is functional.
Except for Nenjamundu Nermaiyundu Odu Raja remix, Shabir's songs and background score don't make a major difference. Karthik Venugopalan, as a director, has made a decent start, and one would want to see more films from him with exciting ideas, instead of a commercial potboiler.
Verdict - NNOR is a typical commercial potboiler that offers minimal fun and entertainment!
RATING - 2.25/5