NOTA review: Subtle but hard hitting & entertaining!
NOTA is an an immensely engaging movie with the right amount of twists and turns, and relies entirely on the solid performances of its ensemble cast
Friday 5 October 2018
Vijay Deverakonda, Mehreen, Sathyaraj
NOTA written and directed by Anand Shankar is a neatly packaged crisp political thriller set in Tamilnadu. It is an immensely engaging movie with the right amount of twists and turns, and relies entirely on the solid performances of its ensemble cast.
It is not easy to present a political thriller without including comedy, romance, duets or a single action scene and Anand Shankar's brave attempt is laudable.
Varun (Vijay Devarakonda) is the carefree son of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Vinothan (Nassar). Born with a silver spoon, Varun aspires to become a video game developer who is an avid gamer too. He likes to hang out with his friends and party hard.
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On his birthday night, cops chase Varun, only to inform him that he has been called by his dad Vinothan for an emergency meeting! As there is a case which is being heard in the court against him, Vinothan meets the press and says that his party has decided to appoint Varun as an interim CM.
Though Varun acts like a puppet in the beginning, his conscience wakes up when his party cadres set a bus on fire which kills an innocent kid. Varun takes a revolutionary step by issuing arrest order and he also asks his party cadres to protest inside their house which earns him huge respect. Slowly Varun becomes popular but this irks his power hungry dad who comes out of hospital after a bomb attack and decides to sack his son.
Varun is ably assisted by his journalist guru Mahendran (Sathyaraj), who becomes his advisor. Varun gets to know many discrepancies in the Government machinery and slowly learns how to play the game of politics. How Vinothan is back and Varun becomes his political enemy and a cat & mouse game between the father and son starts.
NOTA is held up by a string of credible performances. Nassar is terrific as Vinothan the cunning politician while Sathyaraj allows his expressions to do more talking than his words. Mehreeen looks uncomfortable in a half-baked role and Sanjana as opposition leader's daughter is convincing. Vijay Deverakonda as Varun shines. The actor plots silently and inconspicuously and is the face of calm even in the most tense moments. It’s that rare performance that is calculated and precise. His charisma and screen presence is unmatchable.
On the downside, the second half lags a bit and for people who were expecting drama in the climax had to be satisfied with a very normal realistic ending. For Tamil audiences who are used to hard hitting punchlines and preachy loud dialogues on how to change the system, NOTA is an eye opener. After all, we need to understand that excessive talk seldom makes for exciting viewing.
Technically, Santhana Krishnan provides authentic color tone for this political drama right from the first frame till the end. Though songs are not up to the mark, Sam takes the story forward with his brilliant background score. The run-time is also quite crisp for a political drama. There are no songs or action blocks to distract the viewer The film is highly topical and will connect with the audiences, as all the recent happenings in Chennai like floods, CM hospitalisation, MLA 's in resort are all included.
In the end, NOTA is thrilling and gripping. Its a film that we recommend for the superb acting, and for the exciting dramatic highs. Watch it to understand why Anand Shankar is one of the most exciting voices in Tamil cinema today.
NOTA review: Subtle but hard hitting & entertaining!
Reactions from Social Media:
Sreedhar Pillai @sri50
#NOTA is a gripping and racy political thriller from @anandshank. The film is highly topical and will connect with the audiences. U cant take your eyes off @TheDeverakonda, he is riveting as he turns from #DummyCM to #RowdyCM, #Nasser & #Sathyaraj r impressive.
Christopher Kanagaraj @Chrissuccess
#NOTA - ‘No’ da Even gud performers like VD, Satyaraj & Nasser couldnt save tis one. VD’s swag missing. Namesake heroine Mehren. Few scenes related to current politics r gud. Content s okay, but sloppy screenplay creates 0 impact & fail 2 connect. Worst songs. Disappointment!
sridevi sreedhar @sridevisreedhar
#NOTA A mass entertainer which will keep u engaged at a crisp running time of 146 mints. Kudos @anandshank for a neat screenplay & not making this political thriller into cliched commercial potboiler. @TheDeverakonda is perfect choice as the protagonist
Prashanth Rangaswamy @itisprashanth
#NOTA Interval - Commercial dark horse . @TheDeverakonda erangi adikuraapdi. This week is magic or what ?? . This movie will be a single screen delight. All tamilnadu political parties total damage. Lot of meme material inside.
Kaushik LM @LMKMovieManiac
#NOTA 2nd half - Has more topical episodes like the Chennai floods, MLAs 'lootti' in resort, a saamiyar's games etc.. These scenes connect well, and are quite sharp..
Overall, an authentic political genre drama without elements like romance and duet songs. Watchable
Rishi Rampalli @WonderRishi
Just finished watching #NOTA Premiere Show. An extraordinarily focused political thriller. Never loses its seriousness throughout, & has the perfect blend of political satire and emotions, without ever going overboard. Again @TheDeverakonda makes me proud to call myself his fan.
Ruthvik Rao @Ruthvik_Rao
Very Falt n Bad 2nd half, Overall A Bellow Avg Political Drama, Won’t Work At The BoxOffice, Will Be A Disaster In Telugu, Mostly Tamil Kuda Same Result Vastundi #NOTA