The Malayalam film industry over the years has produced master craftsmen & I can say with absolute conviction that we have been privileged to see the creations of these geniuses. Among the ones who are still active in their craft, the ones whom I admire the most are Renjith & Blessy. The former has been a revelation since "Thirakkatha" & with each venture he ensured that the expectations were fully justified. Though his "Kadal Kadannoru Mathukutty" was a blip, I am sure that his latest venture "Njan" would make up for it. So did it???
Ravi Chandrasekharan (Dulquer Salman) is an avid blogger known by the pseudonym Kottoor, who is inspired to unravel the mystery behind KTN Kottoor, a pre Independent era poet & activist. His search for KTN or Narayanan Nair's history, takes him to the latter's ancestral home in Kottoor. As his research progressed, Ravi realizes the travails & hardships that KTN had to face due to traditions and political ideologies. The film takes us through all the events in KTN's life & makes us wonder how he was left hard done by the happenings around him.
When Renjith had announced his project "Njan", the first thing that fascinated me that it was based on a novel "KTN Kottor: Ezhuthum Jeevithavum" by T.P Rajeevan. Though I havent read his novels, Renjith had adapted "Paleri Manickyam", which I absolutely loved from Rajeevan's novel by the same name. So I was sure that his creation wont be mediocre by any stretch of imagination. Speaking about the movie as a whole, it is pretty engaging for large parts but did take a toll on me especially when the pace meanders at certain sequences coupled with some theatrical discourses. It could have been the lack of knowledge on my part, but then Renjith had already proved with "Paleri Manickyam" it could be done otherwise as well.
Another major highlight of the movie is the technical brilliance, be it Santhosh Raman's art direction & S.B Satheesh's costumes which did absolute justice to the era. Bijibal's music was in sync with the mood of the film while the lyrics by Rafique Ahmed were pretty much like poetic rendition.
Dulquer Salman should consider myself lucky to have got such a meaty role so early in his career. To a large extent, he has done an impressive job of which he can be proud of. However, did he justify Renjith's choice...well I am not quite sure nor can I can question the maestro, but I kinda felt the protagonist showcases a myriad of feelings, turmoils & eccentricities which Dulquer fails to convey at times. All the female leads had substantial roles & each of them has performed brilliantly be it Muthumani (who I personally feel aced it), Sajitha Madathil, Anumol & Jyothi Krishna. As for the rest of the cast, Renji Panicker, Suresh Krishna & Harish Pirady were fantastic in their respective roles while the others have done their parts aptly.
Verdict: Well the trailer more or less imparts the feeling of a parallel or art film, which might be a turn off for many. From a personal point of view, it's engaging & pretty well made as you can see the efforts that has gone into the making of it. In short, if you dont mind watching something stark & realistic of yester years give it a try!!!