NH10 movie review: Anushka Sharma movies is so horrifying that you can’t blink

NH10 movie review: It’s not that Anushka Sharma, who has also produced the film, is not trying hard. She is, and up to a point, she is in fine fettle.

Rating: 2 out of 5
Written by Shubhra Gupta | New Delhi | Updated: March 16, 2015 12:06 pm
NH10, NH10 review, NH10 movie review,  Anushka Sharma, Anushka Sharma NH 10, NH10 Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumaar, NH10 review: It’s not that Anushka Sharma, who has also produced the film, is not trying hard. She is, and up to a point, she is in fine fettle.

When you are faced with mortal danger, you can either fight or flee. NH 10 takes us on a journey in which both fleeing and fighting struggle for space, till the time comes to stop running.

When young, attractive, urban professional Meera (Anushka Sharma) urges her husband (Neil Bhoopalam) to run away from the men who are terrorising them, she is doing what instinctively comes to most of us. When she turns around to face the enemy, we want to cheer. Because this is a lone woman in a man’s world, the kind of world where women are killed before they are born, or dumped, after they draw their first breath, in rubbish bins. It is the land of the Khaps, where caste and gender determine whether you will live or die. Or, worse, how you will live and die.

The build-up in Navdeep Singh’s second feature is so tight, so tense, so horrifying that you can’t blink. NH 10 goes through Haryana, which is about as far as it can get from the upscale Gurgaon highrises people like Meera and Arjun occupy: as a character tells Meera, “jahaan aapke Gurgaon ka border khatam hota hai, wahan law khatam, maddam”.

A run-in with a bunch of violent men who are seen abducting a young couple begins a spiral in which Meera and Arjun sink deeper and deeper, with no reprieve in sight. Gunplay results in an accidental death, and the bunch, led by Satbir (Darshan Kumaar), turns upon the two with murderous intent.

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When the chase is under way, the two urbanistas running for their life, wounded and bleeding, you sit there with your heart racing and your hands clenched. Till this point the film is wholly believable, especially for those of us who have traversed the badlands of Haryana: these are roads where women are not safe, whether it is broad daylight or in the dark watches of the night.

Which is why Meera’s decision to turn upon the men with no other weapon than burning rage is too much of a stretch. Singh is clearly someone who knows his Jatland. His villages which dot the Haryana countryside are full of just-right sketches of grizzled taus sitting on khaats and being sardonic: that their jokes are misogynistic will never have occurred to them. The men are drawn with insider knowledge, and they are all scarily good, especially the always excellent Jhankaal, and Kumaar.

Some of Singh’s skills which he used to make Manorama Six Feet Under such a terrific film are in evidence here, in the recreation of the place where his lethal drama is playing out. The female sarpanch (Naval) who is the kind of woman who is the worst enemy of other women, rings true. So do the other women: both the one who survives and the other who doesn’t, paint an accurate portrait of a part of today’s India which lives, flagrantly flouting all rules, in medieval times.

But the suspension of disbelief is difficult when it comes to the leading lady, who, in her zeal to become a Killi Billi, throws the credibility switch. It’s not that Sharma, who has also produced the film, is not trying hard. She is, and up to a point, she is in fine fettle. But at the point when she turns from flee to fight, I stopped believing.

Leading ladies green-lighting films that can have them on top is wonderful, but to what end? Meera, dragging on her stolen-but-earned cigarette, deciding on a career path, being an equal partner, is a great sight; Meera, dragging a sharp bhala on the ground, with the soundtrack helpfully amplifying the sound, does not leave me cheering.

Star Cast: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumaar, Ravi Jhankal, Deepti Naval

Director : Navdeep Singh

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  1. K
    Kuldeep Patowary
    Jul 3, 2016 at 11:11 am
    Since when did Indian Express editors stop doing there work? A grammatical mistake in the le of the article itself? Really? And the review, was it written by a disgruntled 12 year old kid who thought the movie will be about zombies and disneyland? Pathetic review. Good movie.
    1. P
      Feb 13, 2016 at 6:42 am
      Unbelievable movie.... loved it! I cant understand how this can be any less than 5 stars.... the author of the article is too stupid to understand that when someone loses a person most dearest in life; it can turn from a fleeing to a fighting person. The movie overall is incredible - it shows beautifully how certain choices in life can shape our future actions which in turn can be life changing. In addition, our stereotyping of people can further contribute to those actions (like when AS, fresh from her Delhi freak ault, refuses to help the innocent girl who comes to ask for help; or the husband - because he wasnt there with her on that night at Delhi, makes the rash decision to chase the goons)... Awesome direction!!!
      1. P
        Preetika gounder
        Mar 22, 2015 at 8:34 pm
        I think this movie was oky at least we can see what's happening out there with girls who can not defend themselves and shame on the people who are doing these kind of things it's a good message so don't mess with women good luck
        1. S
          Mar 14, 2015 at 7:25 pm
          What cheers you..women get beaten up..it's high time they show women strong at least in the movies so that they can learn to fight in reality!
          1. A
            Mar 21, 2015 at 4:22 pm
            love u a lotttttttttttttttttt hka............ for such a gr8 movie,u are the est producer..
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