Cast: Jeybala,Vijay Kumar, Iniya, Suresh, Preethi, Karthik,Ganja Karupu
With a cast of fresh faces and a debutant director at the helm, Nugam has a theme that is contemporary and relevant. It takes a stand on terrorism and conveys the need for peaceful coexistence and regard for human lives. It’s commendable that debutant director Jeffy has struck a note different from the routine formula style, and tried to make a meaningful film. But the various elements of suspense, thrill, romance and action, could have been balanced more judiciously.
The plot centres around two mercenaries Jai and Kathir (Jeybala, Vijay Kumar) who are hired by foreign agents to assassinate a powerful central minister during his visit to Chennai. The director maintains the suspense element in the opening scenes. For the cynical Jai, it’s angst against humanity in general. While for Kathir it’s the sheer ‘thrill’ and excitement of the act. But as events unfold, the equation between the duo change, their contrasting characters coming into play. Interesting are the scenes where the duo surmount difficulties like getting a suitable house without arousing suspicion. They strike a friendship with hotel supervisor Suresh (Suresh) and his friend Pandyan, the unsuspecting duo that is grateful for the liberal financial help doled out to them. These moments provide an insight into how terrorists use innocent locals in their scheme of things. The actors fit suitably in their roles. Debutant Jeybala essays the challenging role of the ruthless terrorist with conviction and cool precision. There is the romantic angle. While Kathir falls for a girl in the neighbourhood (Iniya), Suresh relentlessly pursues a girl. But much of the screen time and space is taken up by Suresh’s romantic escapades, and the song dance routine which distract the flow. There are a smattering of various languages specially French. The director gets over it by having subtitles (long ones), or by getting a conversation translated by another character. But Jai’s Tamil accent varies drastically from the hesitant accented Tamil, to a very fluent one, as the narration progresses. The lip sync in the earlier scenes too is missing.
The story shifts to different characters, making one wonder who or what the real focus is. The director regains his grip in the closing scenes. Jai’s challenge to Kathir that he would give up his plan of sabotage, if Kathir could find him three men of integrity and honesty, provides some interesting moments. Appreciable is the unpredictability of the events leading to the film’s finale.
The plot had the potential to turn into an absorbing experience. A clearer, more coherent screenplay, and a tighter grip on the narration, would have made for a rivetting experience.