Neru Movie Review

After a series of gripping thrillers, acclaimed director Jeethu Joseph takes a refreshing detour into poignant emotional storytelling with Neru. The movie marks yet another powerful collaboration between Jeethu and legendary superstar Mohanlal after blockbuster hits like Drishyam.

Neru presents a hard-hitting narrative centered around relationships, morality and perceptions of justice within legal frameworks and societal constructs. It investigates how bias can breed misconceptions even amid the quest for truth.

Neru Movie Cast Details

DetailDescription
NameNeru
Release DateDecember 21, 2023
DirectorJeethu Joseph
WriterJeethu Joseph
CastMohanlal, Priyamani, Anaswara Rajan
ProducerAntony Perumbavoor
Production HouseAashirvad Cinemas
LanguageMalayalam
Runtime158 minutes
CategoryDrama, Law/Courtroom

Premise: Beyond Right and Wrong

Unlike Jeethu Joseph’s signature crime thrillers, Neru explores moral dilemmas through an emotional lens sans sensational hooks.

The narrative follows Rajan Matthews (Mohanlal), an architect confined to a wheelchair after an accident. When his visiting associate Sunny (Sharafudheen) gets mysteriously murdered at Rajan’s house, he finds himself accused of the death due to circumstantial evidence.

What follows is an engrossing courtroom inquiry trying to decipher the reality beyond questionable clues and scandalous accusations. Priyamani plays Advocate Jyothy Krishna fighting Rajan’s legal battle while dealing with personal trauma regarding perceptions of justice.

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Rajan’s daughter Elsa’s (Anaswara Rajan) experiences at college also highlight how individual biases shape societal views. Neru investigates commonly held perceptual narrowness amidst the pursuit of truth and justice.

First Half – The Setup

The first half quickly establishes Rajan’s everyday lifestyle and endearing relationships, particularly with daughter Elsa, before tragedy strikes. When Sunny gets brutally killed at Rajan’s residence mysteriously, the finger of suspicion instantly points to the handicapped Rajan.

As circumstantial evidence mounts coupled with Rajan’s inability to elucidate his actions convincingly, the case gains media notoriety. With sensations trumping rationale, Rajan soon finds himself ostracized by neighbors and hounded by reporters amidst the brewing scandal.

But Advocate Jyothy agrees to take up Rajan’s case. Even though societal chatter convicts Rajan already, Jyothy strives to uphold ethical jurisprudence minus bias. Mohanlal portrays Rajan’s initial helplessness and confusion with incredible emotional depth sans melodrama.

Thus unfolds a taut first half establishing intrigue across multiple tracks beyond just the murder mystery/court case.

Second Half – Demystifying Perceptions

Post-interval, the narrative amps up the legal face-off dramatically as the court trial seeking justice officially begins. Jyothy channels her legal prowess to counter the mass hysteria against Rajan fuelled by misconceptions.

Layer by layer, she tries unraveling the hazy events across Rajan’s statements, medical records, eyewitness accounts etc. to reconstruct the fateful day.

But the further Jyothy tries to demystify preconceived notions, more shocking revelations unfurl that blur moral lines. Neru asks disconcerting questions about situational interpretations, optics and mental wiring that enable quick judgments.

Unlike other social commentaries, Neru insightfully roots bias exploration in empathetic human connections forged earlier through top-notch writing and acting. Thereby the messaging cuts sharply beyond just sensational hooks.

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Climax & Ending: Beyond Black and White

In the final courtroom faceoff, Jeethu Joseph rustles up his masterful direction to deliver an emotional gut-punch framed exquisitely by Girish Gangadharan’s lenswork. Themes of human fallibility and trauma resonate strongly but minus affectations.

Unlike cliched endings, the climax leaves questions about legal technicalities taking a backseat to our core recognition of relationships and humility. Neru triumphs presenting an ending where personal loss outweighs larger questions, staying true to its core.

Why Neru shouldn’t be missed

Mohanlal Delivers Career-Best Performance

In Rajan Matthews, Mohanlal taps into incredible emotional depth to deliver his career’s most layered performance till date. The external physical restraint required from the wheelchair-bound character contrasts delightfully with his vulnerable emotional canvas that Mohanlal portrays through micro-expressions.

Unlike recent outings, there’s no visible effort or stylistic niche visible. Mohanlal becomes Rajan organically with gravitas and silences speaking loudly. For mainstream fans, his subtlety shows evolution while for critics, Neru cements his credentials beyond stardom.

Priyamani’s Career High

Post acclaimed roles down South, Priyamani continues her golden run with Neru’s beautifully authored Advocate Jyothy Krishna. She navigates her legal prowess and principles with her own traumatic baggage seamlessly, hitting emotive highs in courtroom arguments with Mohanlal.

Priyamani masterfully handles both nervousness and conviction to deliver a career-best performance in sync with Jeethu Joseph’s vision. Her trajectory and rapport with Mohanlal leave a strong mark.

Realistic Production Designs

Neru remains aesthetically grounded courtesy of Rajat Poddar’s extensively realistic production designs across locations – be it Rajan’s house or Jyothy’s office or court proceedings.

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The authenticity allows seamless immersion into the narrative while the brilliant camerawork heightens frames. Neru delivers superior production finesse that deservedly earned critical appreciation.

Jeethu Joseph’s Masterful Direction

Marking a shift from his regular genre, Jeethu Joseph displays exemplary writing and direction finesse with Neru sans relying on usual hooks like mysteries or suspense. He intricately crafts an instantly engaging narrative balanced between multiple pivotal characters and their ideological clashes.

Unlike mainstream dramas, he eschews sensational court speeches, black-and-white worldviews and righteous glorification. Instead he subverts expectations by instilling ambiguity and prioritizing insightfulness around societal conditioning. Thereby Neru earns widespread critical appreciation.

5 More Winning Aspects

Beyond critical analysis, Neru emerges as an immersive cinematic experience connecting with the heart rather than just the mind.

1. Layered Relationships

Unlike regular courtroom dramas, Neru deeply etches out familial ties and friendships organically through first half situational moments before the legal face-offs. Thereby, the emotional anchors transcend cinematic appeal.

2. Realistic Performances

Mohanlal and Priyamani deliver stunningly realistic and author-backed turns sans visible razzmatazz. The supporting cast also complements them well to create an organic narrative bubble beyond the acting prowess visible.

3. Subversion of Typical Clichés

Unlike mainstream dramas, Neru crisply subverts expected tropes and moral absolutes pitting heroism against villainy egregiously. Moral conundrums get maximum exploration spotlight.

4. Technical Brilliance

From Girish Gangadharan’s natural frames to editor Ayoob Khan’s seamless trimming to Anil Johnson’s evocative background score, Neru displays technical brilliance sans extravagance.

5. Cinematic Highs

Despite delving into heavy subjects, Neru delivers its emotional gut-punches sans pretension or judgement. Unlike issue-based films, it displays humility and wisdom in balanced writing.

Opening Weekend Prospects

Despite limited promotional avenues, Neru has generated strong pre-release buzz given Jeethu Joseph and Mohanlal’s stellar reputations. Rave critical reception increases prospects further.

Simultaneous competition from high-profile films may limit extended business potential. But being a controlled-budget venture, Neru will easily emerge a critical and commercial success, further championing Malayalam cinema’s storytelling ingenuity.

Verdict

Neru serves up a unique, poignant cinematic experience beyond thrills with Mohanlal steering impressively. It deserves both critical and audience attention for its masterful direction, layered writing and powerful performances.

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