NH10 marks the production debut of Anushka Sharma and the return of director Navdeep Singh who was well appreciated for his debut, Manorama Six Feet Under. Keeping the noise low, the team has managed to come up with an intense and racy thriller which will keep you engaged for its whole runtime.
Though NH10’s storyline seems to be inspired from the 2008 flick Eden Lake, it has its own moments and a share of nativity. The film dwells on a couple, whose road trip goes berserk after an encounter with a bunch of thugs. Without dragging around with unnecessary commercial infusions, the director keeps the narrative going with natural dialogue writing, interesting events and casual turns which might just be predictable for the thinking audience. At the baseline of the film lies a very commonly seen issue, with the factor being dealt neatly all the way.
Navdeep keeps the proceedings fluent with his screenplay which makes the film look like a video log of a couple’s holiday trip. The first half brims with wow moments throughout, as the story takes centrestage in a flash. There is no unwanted song, no crass comics, no needless ensemble cast or anything of that sort. All the characters walk into the frame and catch your attention before you even realize that they are a part of the big picture. The second half, although inferior to the first, is knitted on a clear-sailing note. Had the twists and reveals not been as convenient as they are, we would have been in for some serious pump-up.
Anushka Sharma is perhaps the best pick for the role, and carries off a terrific attitude as the rich, confident, young and smoking woman. It is not every day that you see such a character being penned down for an actress, letting alone the fact of the feminine folk being an integral part of the film. Thin, bold and brisk, Anushka impresses in a film which would have gone bonkers with a bad performance. Neil Bhoopalam fits the bill decently while Dharshan is aggressive as the villain. There is a notable supporting cast in the film, but most of the time, your eyes will be on Anushka who apparently grabs a lot of screen space too.
The cinematographer has done away with flashy frames, sticking to the basics to bring the eerie feel of the night. The editing is crisp, cutting down the film to just two hours. Music is a let-down though, as even the montage sequences lack excitement.
NH10 brings forward a variety of thoughts which remain at one corner of our society. It portrays a woman in a character stronger than her counterpart, and makes her do all the things that a man must be doing. At minuscule budget of a short film, it has enough and more to leave you happy. Give it a try!
Verdict: Gutsy drive.
3.5 / 5