The dearth of good scripts & also to cash in on the hype created by the classic, has led to a rush of remakes being made in recent times. The latest film to join this bandwagon is "Nidra", which was one of the numerous masterpieces by the late Bharathan, who played a crucial role in the 80s & 90s, referred to as the Golden period of the Malayalam Industry. Interestingly, the person who has conjured up courage to attempt the remake is none other than his son, Siddharth Bharathan. So would he able to do justice???
Insanity is one of the most confusing & unforgiving ailments that a person could succumb to, considering the insensitive attitude of majority of the society. It is this very concept that "Nidra" is based upon with Raju (Siddharth Bharathan) being a victim of nervous breakdown following his mother's demise many years back. The film unfolds with Raju getting married to his childhood love Ashwathy (Rima Kallingal) much to the displeasure of her mother (K.P.A.C Lalitha). Raju's ideologies about life were different, which were looked upon with a sense of suspicion by the society who always associated it with his prior mental imbalance. In short, they kept passing sly remarks refusing to accept the fact that such ailments could be resolved. How Raju & Ashwathy deals with the judgemental people forms the crux of the film.
Since I haven't seen the original, it wont be fair on my part to compare between the directorial skills of the legendary father & son. But there is no doubt, that Siddharth has imbibed some of the class of Bharathan in many of the sequences. Inspite of having a running time of just 1.5 hours, it seems long owing to the slow pace & drags at many scenes without hardly anything happening. Though the climax does look lame for the present day audience, it still did have a classic feel to it reminiscent of yester years.
Siddharth's performance though raw at times was apt for the character & was able to project the mentality of an insecure person rather convincingly. Rima Kallingal has done total justice to her character & ranks among the best in her nascent career. The rest of the cast such as Jishnu, K.P.A.C Lalitha etc., were fine as well. The major highlight is undoubtedly the stunning visuals by Sameer Tahir of "Big B" fame, which is a class of its own. Equally impressive was the outstanding background score by Prashanth Pillai, which accentuates the mood & lifts the movie to a whole new level. Jassie Gift's music also deserves a word of praise as it's in sync with the feel of the film.
Verdict: The film is unlikely to create any sort of scuffle at the box office owing to the offbeat nature & agonizingly slow pace. It does have glimpses of class which will interest the intellectual, but wont find takers among the masses. In short, you might give it a try if you havent seen the original!!!