Banner: Phantom Films & Clean Slate Films
Producer: Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Sunil Lulla, Krishika Lulla & Anushka Sharma
Director: Navdeep Singh
Cast: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Deepti Naval, Ravi Jhankal, Darshan Kumar et al
Music: Anirban Chakraborty, Sanjeev -Darshan, Ayush Shrestha, Savera Mehta & Samira Koppikar
Director Navdeep Singh, of ‘Manorama Six Feet Under’ fame, in his latest offering ‘NH10’ seems to have surpassed his own directorial skills. So ‘NH10’ is chilling, blood curdling, horrifying et al beyond imagination. It leaves you speechless & dumbfounded with its shocking twists & turns at every turn of events. Sometimes its scary, true to life, happenings makes you flinch and with a nail biting attitude you are left wondering what next? And the high point of ‘NH10’ is its shockingly spine chilling climax in the last half an hour’s duration of the film. If only Navdeep Singh had resisted the temptation of getting entangled in the inspirational web, of Hollywood films ‘Eden Lake’ and even the blatantly copied poster of another Hollywood film ‘Black Widow’ based on a similar theme.
The film’s title NH10 refers to the 403 km long National Highway 10 that starts from Delhi, passes through Haryana via Bahadurgarh, Rohtak, Hisar, Fatehabad, Sirsa and ends at the Pakistan border in Punjab. So ‘NH10’ unfolds the story of a young couple whose road trip gets upset after an encounter with a group of violent criminals. Meera (Anushka Sharma) & Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) are corporate professionals living in Gurgaon. When Meera walks out of a party late one night, she is attacked by a group of unknown men. Although she escapes by the skin of her teeth, the encounter leaves her extremely traumatized. Arjun, partly blaming himself for not being there that night, tries to make up for it by treating her to a luxurious desert holiday. As they stop on a Highway dhaba for dinner, they witness a young girl & a young boy being picked up by a bunch of hoodlums, a clear revengeful case of honor killing, when Arjun chooses to step in unmindful of the danger lying ahead. And that’s when Meera & Arjun’s pleasant & fun oriented romantic road trip goes completly & totally toppsy turvy. No I won’t be a spoiler by revealing the rest of the true to life, spine chilling & horrifyingly dangerous plot. It can happen to anyone on a darkened deserted highway. So “Beware”!!!
Director Navdeep Singh’s carefully assembled directorial treatment is 1st rate, simply outstanding. Hats off to the entire team of producers namely Vikramaditya Motwane, Anurag Kashyap, Vikas Bahl, Sunil Lulla, Krishika Lulla & above all actor Anushka Sharma for also donning a producer’s hat with an excellent film like ‘NH10’. And due credit of the crowning glory of ‘NH10’ also goes to the behind the scenes team members like Dipa De Motwane (Co – producer), Sudeep Sharma (Writer), Karan Gour (Background Score), Eka Lakhani (Costume Designers), Sanjeev – Darshan, Bann Chakraborty, Ayush Shrestha, Savera Mehta & Samira Koppikar (Music), Jabeen Merchant (Editor), Arvind Kannabiran (Cinematographer), Mustafa Stationwala (Production Designers), Armin Sauer & Abdul Salaam Ansari (Action), Subhash Sahu (Sound), Jogi (Casting Director), Ravi Padda & Binny Padda (Publicity Stills) & Raindrop Media (PRO).
Performance wise undoubtedly the scene stealer is Anushka Sharma, this simple Bangalorean girl, nay an actor perhaps whose potential talent was untapped till this date, but she has finally arrived and how? Her vendetta oriented flawless act doesn’t even give you a chance to bat your eyelids. If she continues in the same team in her subsequent films then there is no looking back for her. Even an extremely talented actor like Neil Bhoopalam is a few shades paler in comparison to Anushka Sharma. Darshan Kumar as Satbir is unbeliably remarkable. Deepti Naval leaves a strong impact. Finally Ravi Jhaankal along with the entire bunch of talented albeit unknown actors in the entire hoodlum’s gang deserves a special & a noteworthy mention.
Tailpiece: ‘NH10’s press preview was a hardcore, nay every critics delight and its theatrical shows will be a moviegoer’s ultimate, with no alternate, movie watching experience. And a cautionary advice: certainly & defintely not recommended for cinegoers with a weak heart.