Onto the next release of the week and I finished watching the new Tamil film Naane Varuvean streaming on Amazon Prime and starring Dhanush. And I had a close eye on its OTT release given that I had missed out on watching this film on the big screen. The reason for that was that the film had released on the same weekend as Vikram Vedha and PS1 before the Kantara wave took over. Since then I had my eyes on the film which finally premiered on Amazon Prime last night. Its trailer looked an absolute winner with the right amount of chills and thrills. What could possibly go wrong? So then is Naane Varuvean worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Naane Varuven follows the story of a man leading a normal life with his family until his young daughter begins to behave indifferently. The story almost unfolds like a folklore but it just doesn’t have enough layers to it. The screenplay standing at under 2 hours meant that you were in for a thrill ride from start to finish but alas, the screenplay is just vanilla which was something that I did not expect.
The drama has an interesting premise to it with the introduction of the twins with one of them being an evil one. But I would also like to add that there is no justification given for the weird behavior of one of the twins which kind of makes it hard to invest in the character who would be menacing in the second hour.
The entire first hour is spent in tactfully building up the tension which slowly begins to pile on. While the drama may not be too novel with a similar execution seen in films like The Conjuring, it has enough elements to keep you invested. The atmospherics is pretty good as opposed to a jump scare kind of execution that does well in generating a good amount of interest. I was almost anticipating to be blown away with a twist which I thought was lurking around the corner. But unfortunately, the twist just did not arrive.
The second hour just begins to crumble when the backstory begins and the reason for the possession is revealed. It did seem so generic and so half baked that I began to wonder on how this piece of writing was approved in the first place. This ought to have been layered with atleast a couple twists up its sleeve. I thought to myself, surely there is more to it, surely there is a twist in the tale somewhere, there have been films on twins that always do the unthinkable, stick on Farhad, stick on! But to my dismay, the drama keeps getting flatter by the minute only to nosedive in the final act.
The final act is probably the weakest that I have seen for a film that did promise a lot but delivered almost nothing. The entire setup was flawed and rushed with zero buildup. There surely should have been a proper buildup for the final face off, leave alone a twist, but it just flatters to deceive and how! So overall, the screenplay is a monumental disappointment more than even a lost opportunity.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate, nothing much to shout about. The BGM is excellent and keeps you on tenterhooks almost teasing you in a drama that most definitely flatters to deceive. The cinematography is pretty good too which means the technical department has done its job. So the spotlight was on the director and Selvaraghavan(who by the way was reuniting with Dhanush after a decade) just disappoints big time. The execution is off at so many places and it is almost shameful given the setting and the premise. The drama is as flat as a pancake and a part of the blame should go to the director.
The performances are quite good. Idhuja Ravichandran as Bhuvana does reasonably well in a role that gave her literally no scope to perform. Elli Avvram as Madhuri does manage to impress. Yogi Babu is restrained but has no real impact on the screenplay. Hiya Davey as Sathya does a commendable job. Dhanush in the dual roles is excellent in one of them and alright in the other. As Kathir he is menacing and often does send a chill down your spine with his brilliant act. But as Prabhu he is sedate and almost sleepwalks through his role. A part of me thought that perhaps it was the character of Kathir which may have excited Dhanush into signing this film as opposed to the story which was one dimensional.
Naane Varuvean is surprisingly average ending up as a monumental disappointment. Available on Amazon Prime.