When films that are hyped in “beast” like proportion flatter to deceive these days, here’s a low profile film that’s a beauty. Night Drive, a Malayalam film that has recently dropped on Netflix without much brouhaha is a pleasant surprise all the way.
The film starts out as a normal, matter of fact film with the initial scenes involving an Uber driver played by the very talented Roshan Mathew, doing a trip while engaging in routine conversations with the customer. The focus then shifts to a TV news reader portrayed by the even more talented Anna Ben, who is shown to be in a relationship with the Roshan character. They decide to go on a long Night drive being her birthday and soon the film morphs into an interesting thriller. There is a similar predicament that Anna Ben character faces just as in Jalsa. Any more detailing of the story will be letting out spoilers.
The whole film happens in that one night and in terms of a plot may not be so novel. But the screen play with a few interesting twists and turns keep us engaged throughout. The writing by Abhilash Pillai is intelligent. There are incidents and scenes in the initial parts of the film that develop a meaning during the course of the film. The male protagonist is shown as some sort of a loser in the beginning and we get it later that it’s a deliberate ploy. On the other hand, the characterisation of the female protagonist is exactly the opposite. And how and why these two are a couple is also part of the revelations in the end.
Like in other movies, Anna Ben’s character is not innocence personified which is what her forte is. Yet, she just sleepwalks her part effortlessly. Roshan Mathews is good but I have an axe to grind with the writer and Director Vysakh who try to elevate his role to a mass hero type towards the end, needlessly. So there are slo-mo shots, heavy BGM and even a short stunt sequence at the end just to arouse a few whistles. Indrajith Sukumaran as a Circle Inspector is competent and so is Siddique who plays the villainous politician character.
The film is sleekly made and with a run time of less than 2 hours is cut well. Apart from just one pleasing song (Music by Ranjin Raj) right at the beginning, there are no distractions later. I found the BGM good initially but too dramatic, loud and started getting massy towards the end.
Night Drive is a police procedural film that is intelligently made where the gaps in logic do not hit us while we watch the film. It is streaming now on Netflix and I would recommend it as a Good watch.