NGK - A political drama that derails midway!
An idealistic hero in a corrupt political system is a plotline that has been serving mainstream cinema for decades. While Mudhalvan would glorify its hero and ensure he turns saviour for the masses, a film like Aayutha Ezhuthu sort of had the hero bring about a small change and being hopeful of the future. Selvaraghavan's titular character in NGK is more like Michael from Aayutha Ezhuthu meeting Ammavasai from Amaithipadai. He has the intentions of the former but can also be as scheming as the latter if needed. Isn't this a mouth watering premise? Moreso with the coming together of a maverick filmmaker and a popular star.
NGK is pretty much about how a commoner with a helping tendency decides to take a plunge into politics and learns the game quickly. Not sure what was the original idea of Selvaraghavan but what appears finally on screen is a very confused film with an abrupt ending. That is disheartening because there are moments in the film that remind you on what this film could have actually been. The everlasting confusion of whether to cater to the star or make your type of film with the star seems to be the undoing of NGK and it ends up being neither.
Much like Selvaraghavan's previous protagonists, NGK too cannot be painted black or white. But since we have a star here, the grey shades of the hero are either unexplored or aren't explicitly defined. There is a simmering tension in the film between Sai Pallavi (Surya's wife) and Rakul Preeth Singh. The relationship between Surya and Rakul is left for us to decipher. You understand that there is an angle of extramarital affair to the proceedings but Selva refrains from going full throttle. You can atleast relate to this dilemma because of the star's image but what is with that one particular attrocious song placement in the second half. The entire second half in fact looks like a hurried effort to put together disjointed footage to try and get a closure.
The performance of the cast is the major highlight of NGK ( despite some inconsistencies) . There is a streak of eccentricity in most of the characters. Surya does well but again we fail to get a wrap around the actual character of NGK. How does he actually achieve the things that he does? You can buy them in a hero glorifying vehicle but over here you demand justifications. His father is a retired army person and you get a reveal that as a kid he used to visit the army camp with his father. But these are mere exercises in trying to create an aura around the character. At the end of the day we should be rooting for him and that is what matters.
Beyond like or dislike, the biggest issue with NGK is that it looks like a product from a filmmaker who was either confused about his priorities or lost interest midway. . .