Jeethu Joseph delivers a gripping courtroom drama in “Neru,” where Anaswara Rajan steals the show with her stunning portrayal of Sara, a blind survivor of a heinous crime. The film revolves around Sara, who, despite being visually impaired, courageously stands against her rapist, Michael.
Sara’s traumatic experience unfolds as Michael, the son of a prominent businessman, assaults her in broad daylight. The police apprehend Michael, but the case becomes a formidable challenge due to the lack of concrete evidence and the sole witness being blind. Enter Vijayamohan (Mohanlal), a former lawyer who hasn’t set foot in a courtroom since his suspension. Sara and her parents persuade Vijayamohan to champion their cause.
A significant portion of the film transpires within the courtroom, providing a glimpse into the complexities of handling cases involving rape and sexual harassment. The narrative unveils victim shaming, character assassination, and the agonizing struggle of reliving a traumatic incident.
Anaswara Rajan’s Stellar Performance: The Heart and Strength of “Neru”
The film’s strength lies in its performances, dialogues, and staging, making the audience unequivocally support Sara’s quest for justice. Anaswara Rajan’s outstanding portrayal elicits empathy, showcasing strength, resilience, trauma, and skill with perfection. As a survivor, she becomes a beacon of inspiration.
“I might not succeed, but I want her to succeed.”Vijayamohan about Sara
The film stands out for being a story about Sara rather than solely focusing on Vijayamohan. This choice adds depth to the narrative and reinforces the film’s commitment to highlighting the survivor’s perspective.
Mohanlal’s restrained performance, as Vijayamohan, a man with lack of self-confidence but desperately want Sara to win, adds nuance to the character. While Siddique, portraying the defense lawyer, delivers an equally commendable performance.
“Neru” addresses essential themes, including consent and character assassination, through well-crafted dialogues. The courtroom dynamics between Mohanlal and Siddique, showcasing their battle of wits with evidence and counterarguments, keep the proceedings engrossing.
While the script excels in many aspects, a few elements did not resonate with me. The introduction of new characters whenever Vijayamohan faces setbacks felt somewhat forced, and some overly dramatic moments disrupted the flow. We’ve observed this before – the mediocre or overly dramatic performances of minor characters in a Jeethu Joseph film are not unfamiliar. This recurrence becomes repetitive and irritating once again. Nevertheless, the overall script succeeds, with Jeethu Joseph demonstrating sensitivity in portraying the case.
Mohanlal’s Nuanced Role: Elevating the Courtroom Dynamics in “Neru”
In conclusion, “Neru” is a compelling courtroom drama that tackles sensitive issues with finesse. Anaswara Rajan’s exceptional performance, coupled with Mohanlal’s nuanced portrayal, elevates the film. Despite minor drawbacks, the script effectively engages the audience, making “Neru” a commendable addition to Jeethu Joseph’s repertoire.
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Script Writer of Amutha (Tamil) and Pattaapakal (Malayalam). Filmmaker.