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Review Tamil

NGK review: An uneven political thriller that never really takes off

Release Date: 31 May 2019 / Rated: U / 02hr 28min

Cinestaan Rating

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

Suriya-starrer NGK, which has been directed by Selvaraghavan, is one of those great ideas that falls short of becoming something to celebrate.

It’s the season of political thrillers in Tamil cinema and Selvaraghavan is the latest filmmaker to jump on the bandwagon with Suriya’s NGK, which hit the screens today after a long delay.

The film, which features Suriya in a complicated but strong role, traces the journey of a man from the grassroots level in politics and how it turns his life upside down.

NGK, which boasts of a great idea but is let down by the execution, is an incomplete film because it neither clicks as a Selvaraghavan effort nor manages to entertain as a Suriya-starrer. It wants to be a dark political tale of a do-gooder’s rise against the odds, but at the same time it wants to be a family-friendly film.

NGK and Selvaraghavan’s widely acclaimed Pudhupettai (2006) have so much in common. If Pudhupettai was about a regular young man’s rise to become a dreaded gangster, NGK is about an educated young man who wants his country to be clean. Both films see politics playing a pivotal role in the lives of the protagonists. The only difference is the purpose behind their decision to enter politics.

Unlike Dhanush’s Kokki Kumar in Pudhupettai, Suriya plays Nandha Gopala Kumaran in NGK who gives up a plush multinational job to take up organic farming. An incident makes Kumaran realize that the real harvest needs to be done in the political system. And so he gets into politics.

But NGK loses steam after Kumaran gets into politics. Coming from Selvaraghavan, known for making dark and edgy films, NGK should have been darker, but it plays out like a film that wants to appeal to the family audience.

As a political thriller, the film lacks cohesiveness and Selva’s writing must take the blame for that. For a film featuring a star of Suriya’s stature, there is not a single rousing moment. Even the film’s best moments come in the form of a couple of action scenes. For a political thriller, NGK has just a few good moments which don’t really make the film stand out.

Suriya is earnest in his performance and a treat to watch in some intense scenes. However, he plays a character that is slightly eccentric, and whenever he brings out the eccentricities of his character, his performance goes overboard.

Sai Pallavi is wasted in a one-dimensional role. She plays Kumaran’s wife and supports him blindly in his decisions. But when she comes to learn something about him that puts her off, she brings out a very aggressive personality, which is annoying after a point.

Rakul Preet Singh shines early on as a political strategist but has very little to offer in the second half.

NGK is one of those great ideas that fall short of turning into something to be celebrated. It could have been a riveting political thriller but ends up an underwhelming film with just a few good moments.


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