Films on the woeful tales of rape victims have been depicted many times in many languages. Sometime back,there was Neelakanta's Tamil film 'Priyanka' starring Jeyaram and Revathi, narrating how Revathi struggled to get justice for a servant girl, gangraped and brutally mauled by her husband's younger brother and his friends.With Prabhu and Nassar as fair and foul advocates dealing with the rape case, the movie took serpentine routes in getting justice for the victim, after a series of arguments and events of legal misappropriation by the defence lawyer. Now comes Jithu Joseph's Malayalam film 'Neru', with Mohanlal and Siddique on their straight versus crooked streets of argumentation concerning a blind girl's plight of having been sexually abused by a proclaimed molester.
'Neru'is a mind-blowing film that luminously celebrates a splendid narration,thanks to the remarkable evolution of exquisite creativity towards recreating the crime scene,and identifying the criminal through an art experience.The blind victim with her innate capacity for sculpturing, exposes the criminal's profile,by making a sculpture portrait accurately resembling him.
Apart from this novel dimension in narration, what makes the movie a special audiovisual treat is an absolutely sober Mohanlal,with uprightness gripping his heart and soul, throwing him into a web of anger and cynicism as recurring interludes.Siddique is presented as the personification of perversion, as a scheming devil warming up with diabolic counter designs, to save a periodical perpetrator of sexual offence. Strangely, he forgets the fact that he too has a daughter (Priya Mani) and more strangely, even that daughter is equally hellbent in ditching the poor blind victim,unmindful of any gender affinity.
Nobody could have expected that Anaswara Rajan,who delivered a breezy and casual role in Super Saranya, could perfectly fit into the role of a blind girl,running the unprecedented predicament of falling a victim to a brutal sexual assault and then facing a more brutal legal attack,that prevents her from exposing the act of crime,and the criminal.The climax scene portrays her final moments of anguish in establishing the truth, after being subjected to enormous verbal abuse and virulence.The same way how neatly the former comedian Jagadish has embraced the role of the affected girl's father,with an earnest and deep involvement in the nature of his character!
Justice finally speaks through exceptionally creative, righteously legal,and patiently judicial voices;as the trinity of beauty,truth and wisdom. Mathew Verghese as the judge exhibits exemplary ethical sense,through his power of patience and prudence,in unearthing the true tone of justice,unsupported by either absence of evidence,or presence of false witnesses.'Neru' is different from many other films,purely on account of its unique genesis of its vital base of narration. Like clay taking different figures through the supreme art of sculpturing, an invisible crime scene stuck to the soil, grows into a novel mode of exposition of crime, through the excellence of art. It is here, Jithu Joseph's directorial design takes its new avatar.
Note:- A late review but an irresistible recall of the imprint of the film, after watching it as a theatre show.