Move over Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn—here comes our new action ‘hero’ in the face of the quintessential Bollywood diva—Anushka Sharma. The actress has packed a punch quite hard in ‘NH10’, something we wish all girls could learn one day.
‘Manorama Six Feet under’ fame Navdeep Singh’s work speaks for himself in the movie. The direction is bang on, and he has given a snapshot of how well he can unfold any story on screen. The movie starts with an interesting conversation between a young, urban couple—Anushka (Meera) and Neil Bhoopalam (Arjun) in a car.
We are never really shown their faces in the beginning, but the beautiful landscape of Gurgaon keeps the viewers busy. The regular chit-chat between any young and happily married couple juxtaposed with the bright, tall, glittering buildings of the city is unique.
The ‘happy phase’ is shaken in a moment Meera gets an emergency call from office—she decides to leave midway from a party that the couple was attending. Here comes the first jolt. A woman driving an SUV, that too in midnight. What do you expect? Local goons on bike try and get to her. The fierce Meera doesn’t give up and manages to runaway.
This incident leaves a mark on her—but only to start a new journey, which is way more bumpy than this one. As usual, the cop asks the couple to apply for a gun, and rather lectures the husband about how he shouldn’t have allowed his wife to move out alone in the night (haven’t we heard this a tad too many times in reality?). The classic one liner from the cop: “Gurgaon ek badhta bacha hain, kud toh lagaega he”.
With this one incident, the film moves ahead to a much bigger and unexpected road journey which doesn’t glorify the ‘Mall Culture’ or the cool cyber hub which Gurgaon is famous for. But, it skims through the dark reality of honour killings in the name of pride and how it eats up everyone towards the end.
An upper middle-class couple’s life changes in one day, as they decide to go out for holiday to celebrate Meera’s birthday. What they witness at a stop-over ‘dhaba’ is the beginning of a dead-end road for them. With Darshan Singh (Satbir) along with his gang in a beastly manner grabs his sister and her husband in front of everyone and pulls them inside the car. As expected, no one comes forward to help. However, Arjun steps in only to be slapped hard by the ‘bhai’.
This triggers an ego trip in Arjun who decides to teach these people a lesson with his gun. Despite Meera’s insistence in not taking this too far, he takes a U-turn and follows the gang, but what he sees there, scares the wits out of him.
Both Meera and Arjun run for their lives once Satbir and the gang notice them. In this run-and-chase story—the problem of honour killing has been focussed on. The makers have tried to show what happens when even the torchbearers are hand-in-gloves with the culprits. Actor Neil has made the most of his screen space opposite Anushka and he has done a decent job as Arjun.
Anushka Sharma, the actress has come out for the first time ever on screen with such an impact and power. Her spirit of not giving up and trying to find a way until her spirit breaks is something which shall stay with the viewer. Her personality may be seen as fragile, girl-next-door but this time she transforms completely into a tall, fierce and tough girl—who has the power of hitting hard even without a gun.
A special mention to the camera work by Arvind Kannabiran, for bringing out the essence of each scene with smooth flow. The music by Anirban Chakraborty, Sanjeev-Darshan, Ayush Shrestha, Savera Mehta, Samira Koppikar is noteworthy as it has been used as a background number rather than the leads lip syncing to it (thanks for not doing it).
What happens to their journey? Do they reach where they had set out for? These are some questions which only will be best answered when you book you tickets. Get ready for a new sojourn, only to feel the thrill while ‘NH10’ takes you to an unseen destination.