Good police dramas and investigations are always gripping; Nayattu adds layers to this by making three civil police officers the culprits in a case and also revealing their personal stories and the toll it takes on their lives.
Just as Praveen Michael (Kunchacko Boban) joins the police newly as a CPO, a local political goon, related to another CPO, Sunitha, played by Nimisha Sajayan, is summoned to the station. The goon is a trouble-maker, as a Dalit party worker, especially when the elections are on. Michael and temperamental senior policeman Maniyan get into a scuffle with the goon and throw him into the cell, when an irritated station CI, who threatened to keep the goon in the lock up for six months, receives a call from the SP asking to let him out.
The issue spins out of control however, when the three CPOs are caught in an accident and go on the run. The rest of the thriller deals with how the police track the trio, who desperately try to stay low till their innocence could be proven. We root for them even as we realise the losing position that they are in.
Watching Nayattu, we become aware that our political and police mechanisms are so twisted, that the drama is there for the making. The police are puppets in the hands of politicians who unscrupulously can't see anything beyond their seats, and lower-level CPOs are 'less than goons' as Maniyan tells new recruit Praveen.
Martin Prakkat delivers a fairly taut tale, filled with drama, tension and empathy, backed by an excellent technical team - Shyju Kahlid's cinematography and Mahesh Narayan's editing are perfectly complement the direction.
Shahi Kabir's screenplay is realistic and enjoyable, with a punch delivered in the election scene at the end, we don't know whether we should laugh or cry over the situation.
The actors are flawless. Joju George is in his usual form as an emotional cop. Kunchacko plays his role in a subdued manner and fits perfectly into the role of a junior policeman. It feels bittersweet to see late actor Anil Nedumangad in his final role.
Nayattu is well worth a watch for the whole family, with its mix of police story, personal drama and message on our politics.
CastJoju George, Kunchacko Boban, Nimisha Sajayan