Director: Martin Prakkat
Author: Shahi Kabir
Solid: Kunchacko Boban, Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan
Streaming on: Netflix
Nayattu is a chilling movie in regards to the machinations of the system. The title means ‘The Hunt’ in Malayalam. Right here the hunters are law enforcement officials however the fugitives are additionally law enforcement officials. Author Shahi Kabir and director Martin Prakkat assemble a taut and tense thriller, which reveals the rot on the coronary heart of our democracy. It’s a jungle and every individual within the hierarchy casually condemns the one decrease. Justice is a joke. Caste is weaponised within the battle for energy. The one factor that issues is notion and profitable.
This isn’t new data. What makes Nayattu sensible is the best way Martin reworks it. The movie begins with a tug-of-war competitors. Praveen, who has lately joined the police pressure, is a key participant. However right here he is on the group opposing the police group, which hints at occasions to come back. On the police station, we’re launched to Praveen’s senior, Maniyan, and a junior named Sunitha. It’s a busy time. Elections are across the nook. Via the primary half hour or so, Martin establishes the rhythms of police life – the compromises huge and small. Praveen, maybe as a result of he’s new, is extra idealistic however Maniyan understands that they’re pawns in a bigger recreation. Early within the movie, Maniyan follows orders and vegetation proof to arrange an harmless man. With a bitter resignation he remarks: “Even goons have the liberty to simply accept or reject such orders however we don’t.”
Martin additionally provides us a glimpse of their private life – Praveen’s sick mom, Maniyan’s gifted daughter, whom he dotes on, and Sunitha’s belligerent relative, whose aggression units off a sequence of occasions that derails their lives. One night time, there may be an accident. Maniyan’s first intuition is to flee however Praveen insists that they do the correct factor and take the sufferer to a hospital. However there may be little reward for decency. As a substitute, the three change into embroiled in a cauldron of politics and violence. They’re compelled to run and what unfolds has a ugly inevitability.
Martin narrates this story of horror with out a hint of artifice or exaggerated drama. The cops, the Dalit social gathering staff, and the media including gasoline to the hearth are all in the end puppets within the palms of politicians who wholly lack an ethical compass. Martin and Shahi go away us with an open ending however honestly, it’s unimaginable to be optimistic in regards to the destiny of those characters.
The three leads are terrific – Joju George as Maniyan, Kunchacko Boban as Praveen and Nimisha Sajayan as Sunitha carry authenticity and an understated gravitas to their roles. Joju particularly towers over the narrative, seamlessly slipping from involved father to compromised cop to determined runaway. Martin hints that in a extra simply world, maybe Praveen and Sunitha may need discovered a connection however their circumstances make a relationship unimaginable. There’s a pretty second when the three are in hiding, through which Praveen goes to a retailer and buys Sunitha sanitary pads, with out her asking him. There may be compassion in that gesture that speaks volumes. Be careful additionally for a police officer named Anuradha who leads the group that hunts down Maniyan, Sunitha and Praveen. Yama Gilgamesh is strong.
Nayattu additionally boasts of A-list technicians – it’s been co-edited by Mahesh Narayanan, the director of C U Soon and Take Off. The cinematographer is the sensible Shyju Khalid who captures the gorgeous fantastic thing about Munnar. The sound design by Ajayan Adat and the music by Vishnu Vijay add to the textures of dread and despair that Martin skillfully constructs.
There was heated debate on-line whether or not all this artistry is in service of a movie that, at its coronary heart, is anti-Dalit. That the illustration of a horrifically marginalised neighborhood is one-sided and the politics are willfully naïve and serving an upper-caste gaze. The aggressor within the narrative is Dalit and so are two of the three leads. I’m not acquainted sufficient with Kerala politics to remark however Nayattu doesn’t peddle in blacks and whites. The villain right here is the bigger equipment. It is a system through which, as Maniyan says, cops who do their job truthfully at all times find yourself getting in hassle. In any case, this can be a movie value watching and arguing about.
You possibly can watch Nayattu on Netflix India.