NGK movie review: Works to some extent, elevated by Suriya’s performance

This lack of coherence between what’s said and what’s shown adds to the flatness in the narrative. NGK is about Nandha Gopalan Kumaran, a grassroots worker, who eventually becomes the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. 0
Comment(s) They were real, not animated. I am not saying it is easy writing, but NGK is the simplest yet safest film of Selvaraghavan to date. There cannot be another Kokki Kumar. But you can watch it for the rock solid performance by Suriya, and of course, for Selvaraghavan, who has directed his first ‘mass’ film with a star. Popular Photos

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Songs are a huge disappointment. He writes the most complex and powerful female characters, which NGK doesn’t have. NGK could be Kokki Kumar’s son (the character played by Dhanush in Pudhupettai). Sai Pallavi plays Geetha, Kumaran’s jealous wife. None of them has a recall value, given that Selvaraghavan and Yuvan Shankar Raja have given so many hit numbers in the past. I’m not sure, thus. Unfortunately, Sai Pallavi and Rakul Preet’s characters don’t live up to the hype. He is less psychic and predictable. As Kumaran’s mother puts it, he is “mad about the country.” Selvaraghavan is an avid fan of MGR. Advertising

What happens when an ‘artistic’ filmmaker, known for specific kinds of films, collaborates with a mainstream commercial hero? Think of Sonia Agarwal from 7G Rainbow Colony, or Sneha in Pudhupettai or Richa Gangopadhyay in Mayakkam Enna. The narrative is rather incoherent and convoluted, without working on the links that connect them. But again, the tone of NGK is drastically different from the 2006 cult classic. (Dhanush and Karthi were relatively new then)
When NGK ends, we cannot help but see the gap between what was promised in the trailer, and what was delivered finally. The political overtones, very much on the surface bits don’t really work. Suriya delivers a sincere performance, undoubtedly, though it takes some time to warm up to his character. You may say it doesn’t have to be. Rakul Preet plays Vanathi, a political analyst, but her character seems an extension of Megna, her role in the previous outing, Dev. If you have missed him, please go back and catch Aayirathil Oruvan and Irandaam Ulagam. But someone needs to change the template of the genre, so as to speak, in Tamil cinema. Although the film puts all efforts in elevating its protagonist, NGK lacks the finesse of a mass film that builds drama from subtle moments. NGK is a tad filmy for a film that’s quite rooted. What could be the result? NGK shows no interest in exploring their personalities and reduces them to a stereotype. Maybe, that’s why he has named his protagonist NGK that also comes with three initials. Kumaran (Suriya), an organic farmer who has completed M.Tech and PhD, joins a political party to do good for the locals. He is frustrated by the system and wants a change. Kumaran isn’t like Selvaraghavan’s typical heroes. For those yet to watch the Suriya-starrer, how do I describe the film in a few words? A random filmmaker, perhaps, can attempt that, but definitely not Selvaraghavan. It reminds us of several other political drama protagonists. Advertising

The best moments in NGK are those where Kumaran doesn’t exactly play the ‘hero’ but a sidekick. Suriya’s character isn’t like that. How easily can a ‘serious’ director pull off a crowd-pleasing story? A hotchpotch. I couldn’t help but compare them with Selvaraghavan’s iconic onscreen women characters. But that matters to an extent, right? That’s the problem with NGK. There is only so much an actor can do. NGK isn’t a Mudhalvan, Sarkar, NOTA or a Bharat Ane Nenu, but somewhat plays out that way. Why keep doing something a Shankar or AR Murugadoss would do? Why do we still talk about Kokki Kumar, Kathir (Ravi Krishna in 7G Rainbow Colony) and Karthik (Dhanush in Mayakkam Enna)? It is in these instances the drama unfolds and that the film manages to touch the bar of a Selvaraghavan film. The film begins as an excellent character study and then proceeds to be a political drama that explores the genre with seriousness. What happens when two different worlds merge? Simply put, it is neither a Selvaraghavan nor a Suriya film. There is a certain classiness to this intense political drama that you can’t deny—but NGK, on the whole, isn’t satisfying.