First Class Judicial Magistrate John Baby suffers from post-traumatic stress. One day, a friend tells him about a boy who narrates murder stories that carry real-life elements. Curious, John decides to meet the boy.
Review: Award-winning film editor Appu N Bhattathiri's debut directorial Nizhal, starring Kunchacko Boban and Nayanthara, begins with an accident involving John Baby, who is a First Class Judicial Magistrate. The incident instils post-traumatic stress in him, which follows him like a shadow. Later, during a conversation with his clinical psychologist friend Shalini (Divya Prabha), he learns about a little boy named Nitin (Izin) who narrates strange murder stories. When John meets Nidhin, he realises that his stories are not a figment of imagination, and their struggles are connected in some way. Inspired, John goes after his stories.
Appu has done a good as a debut director through this investigative thriller, whose storyline touches upon complexities of the conscious and subconscious mind. They are told subtly, making one curious, at the same time, a little fearful. S. Sanjeev's less dramatic script attempts to be innovative. The way it uses a natural force as a metaphor to explain the lead character's mental state is an example. It succeeds in keeping the audience hooked till the mid of the second half. And, the occasional comedy works. However, the way the script tries to connect the dots seems a bit peripheral.
Kunchako Boban gives an effortless performance as John Baby, a magistrate who struggles with his traumatic phase. His masked get-up in the first half evokes an eerie feeling and perfectly matches his character's dilemma. Nayanathara, who appears as Sharmila, an IT professional, is an apt choice for the role. She gives a stylish and impressive performance. The one who steals the show is little Izin who plays the role of Nitin, a vivacious boy who is mature for his age. The combination scenes of John and Nitin are quite charming. Divya Prabha, Rony David and Saiju Kurup also appear in significant roles.
The background score by Sooraj S Kurup is an interesting aspect of this movie. It is fresh and innovative and blends well with the core of the movie. One instance where he uses the boy's words as background score lifts the entire atmosphere. The well-edited movie has some delightful shots by cinematographer Deepak D Menon. Go for it if you are a fan of stories involving mind-games.
DirectorAppu N Bhattathiri
CastKunchako Boban, Nayan Thara, Vivya Prakash