Released just over a week after the controversial and incorrectly named documentary "India's Daughter" flocked the media, NH10 is a social commentary that neither inspires nor deciphers.
A couple (Sharma & Bhoopalam) witness an aggressive incident of honor killing during a holiday trip. Abashing causes the ubiquitous male ego to splutter, and what follows is a serious commentary on crime in a morally corrupt rural India. Basically, the film is a chronicle about attacks and harassment against women that start from the core (national interiors) and spreads to the urbane neighborhood. It is surprising to learn that superstitional crime is spearheaded by a matriarch and that women are not at only the receiving end, but are even a part of it. It will be wise to conclude that Gandhi's ahimsa (violence) is the best way to look at the ongoing mishappenings around us, even if it means letting your ego go and sustain mental suffering.
The terrorizing experience when an ordinary person gets embroiled in crime is greatly captured. But Mr Singh's amateur direction is evident throughout the narration. Suspense is created solely with the help of manipulative score and good photography. And while the themes are interesting, the screenplay may repel its sensitive audience. Which means, the intensity of crime elements will not be suitable for a person who enters the hall expecting typical Bollywood.
Neil Bhoopalam is the new Arjun Rampal, with a wooden face, version 2. Anushka Sharma definitely steals the limelight, and I have to say she strikes the right chord with her maiden production (only if she had paid more attention to the originality and closure of the script). Deepti Naval's brief role was like Anil Kapoor's forgotten one in Mission: Impossible 4 (2011).
Alas, the chronicle is narrated of a world which is a mixture of reality and artificiality. Since the beginning, the screenplay tries inventive ways to base its construction, but eventually falters. How else can one explain the procuring of firearm for women's safety as a way of disentanglement? And the film continues to work itself on fool's ideas. There is some more sermoning on the caste system in India, but it takes you nowhere. While the ugly side of India is captured well with obscene inscriptions behind restroom doors and decrepit walls that we often see in trains and elsewhere, the film loses traction when it turns into a revenge drama, hoping to provide a solution I told you about.
It, thus ends up in an abyss of illogic and mindless pudding. And the aftermath is left to us, perhaps to increase our misery already pumped up by the highly uncomfortable watch.
BOTTOMLINE: Advocating criminality in the name of women empowerment is ridiculous and an incorrect way of tackling the subject, and for that matter, NH10 does only that. Thus, while the film is a gripping thriller per se, it shouldn't be taken seriously, and thankfully for the way it is made, it most probably will not. 5/10.