What can good casting, attention to the smallest detail, brilliant acting and natural background score do? It can produce a wonderful film like Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam (2023). The lead actors starting with Mammootty, Ramya Pandian and Ramya Suvi were outstanding. The film gets a ripe rating.
In the first fifteen minutes, we are transported to the holy town of the Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Health Vailankanni. The camera of the cinematographer Theni Eswar doesn’t miss anything in the market or the corridors of the lodge there or the eatery during a road trip. The story is about what happens when the leader of a group of devotees on a pilgrimage from Kerala goes awry. Mammotty is the leader and what happens to him during the long road journey from Vailankanni in Tamil Nadu to Kerala is the story.
There are no exaggerations or cinematic narrations anywhere in the film. The dual-language film gives equal attention to both Tamil and Malayalam in its dialogues. For most of the second half of the film, the background score is just dialogues from old Tamil movies playing on a small tv in the village household heard (not watched) by an old lady.
From the director Lijo Jose Pellissery who gave us Jallikattu (2019), NNM is another first-class film. Don’t miss this one, which will be streaming on Netflix.