“Yeh shahar toh badhta bachcha hai. Kood toh lega hi.“- An impenitent inspector, pointing at a lawless Gurgaon in Haryana.
No elaborate dancing sequence, no sliver of hope, no relief; five minutes into the movie, and you are consumed! NH 10 is grim, compelling and fantastically troubling, a movie that you, certainly, cannot dismiss as cliché. As the title of the movie suggests, it revolves around a highway in an overpopulated country. The plot is set in Gurgaon, a city that is infamous for its violent lawlessness and blatant misogyny.
With her lip-job in place, Anushka Sharma steals the show with her aplomb. In an industry where women are portrayed as dolls, she has taken a leap of faith, getting on the road to play it dirty! With no sequins laden dresses, her wardrobe is subtle; her make-up is not smudge proof and her acting is as real as it could get. Throughout NH10, Anushka Sharma holds the steering wheel, driving forward, both literally and metaphorically.
Bordering on the noir topography of film-making, Navdeep Singh’s NH10 is many parts Eden Lake mixed with some I Spit In Your Grave. Mira (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) is a young couple, on the verge of being estranged. Her eyes display disappointment whenever they are set upon him and he seems distressed, seeking escape from the entanglements of a relationship. Within the four walls of their bedroom, they are seen perched on their huge bed with their laptops, sending on-screen messages to each other. Clearly, things aren’t going too good, and thus, for Mira’s birthday, Arjun decides to take her on a holiday. As they hit the NH10, their lives change, for the worse!
Working on stereotypes, Mira and Arjun are the upper-class city slickers who transgress into the rural space, only to confront the Haryanvi-speaking bad guys and their brutish sense. Sudip Sharma’s script is a bit of a bummer, as there are parts in the movie that refuse to make total sense. However, Jabeen Merchant’s brilliant editing saves the grace; lending the movie with inexorable pace that has you squirming on your seats.
Last word: Watch NH10. It is a movie that will have you widen your eyes in incredulity. The thrill, horror and that dangerous streak of revenge engulf you as the movie lunches forward, however, beware! You might just bite your nails too hard!
Image Source: The Viewspaper