The whole movie had a feel of a mash up between a sitcom and a musical which was very new to the audience. The never changing attitude of the pair (literally) plays the villain in this romantic story. In fact we shouldn’t blame the director for this because within 15 minutes of the movie, there is a dialogue by Samantha (Nithya) which goes like the core character of a person is fixed by the time he/she celebrates second birthday. So by that logic, the protagonists never change their attitude or their way of approach in mending their lost love. Though logical, it was excruciating for us to sit through the climax and watch them brood over their failed connect in the same manner again and again.
Santhanam plays a mellowed down, friend of protagonist role and he largely succeeds by his timing and body language. In fact he pushes the movie through scenes which would have been dampener without him.
The classic dilemma of a boy from middle class is well brought out by Jiiva (Varun) and it could have been portrayed much better, for his character is not well written as Samantha’s. The Director does go overboard with evoking nostalgia factor, and it makes us wonder if we are watching a Murali or Mohan movie of early 90s in select scenes. Though the songs were wonderful to hear, the placement of the songs in the second half tested our patience and it played spoilsport in understanding the intensity of the feel that was supposed to be created between the protagonists.
On the whole, NEP fares a bit low when compared to its nemesis VTV because of its shoddy character development and asynchronous writing. Climax aids its descent in audience satisfaction graph to a new low making them squirm in their seats. Instead of making the audience feel passionately about Varun and Nithya to reunite, the shoddy climax makes the audience go ballistic, for them to unite so that the movie would end.
Hence the conclusion is, though the expectations were all satisfied in various degrees; still the overall feel among moviegoers is bit damp for they were felt letdown by the director for his haphazard climax Yet the best part is the arrival of Samantha as an able actress to play a pivotal role in a movie and she deserves due appreciation for it.
NEP: A Tamil movie in a musical template exploring the modern on/off love in an urban setting. It still qualifies to be an Ideal Date movie, but take care to guard her ears from the verbal abuses in theatre, towards the end of the movie.
Actors: Jiiva as Varun Krishnan and Samantha as Nithya Vasudevan
Director: Gautham Vasudev Menon
Music Director: IilayaRaaja
DOP: M. S. Prabhu and Om Prakash
Editing: Antony Gonsalves
Production house: Photon Kathaas