Naam is almost like watching Happy Days, but in 2x speed. Director Joshy Thomas Pallickal is trying to capitalize on the nostalgia factor of the campus days here based on a real life incident. The nostalgia and campus memories work to an extent. But post that it’s usual and a little too ambitious. The idea here is genuine, but the packaging is a bit abstract.
So it is narrated as a flash back story about a batch of students. We get to see how they reached that particular college, how they became friends and how that relationship grew and got evolved. The focus of the movie is ultimately about what these friends did when one of them, a music lover who is an ardent fan of A R Rahman met with a really unfortunate situation in life.
Joshy Thomas Pallickal has definitely managed to grab the eyeballs by including cameos from people like Tovino Thomas, Vineeth Sreenivasan and Gautham Menon. His narrative here is the usual one with students coming in from various parts to a college, getting ragged, building friendship, bonding with the seniors and college authorities etc are happening in the background. The vibe of the characters is likeable and at the same time the predictability and usualness of the story is disappointing. Joshy is trying to make us feel the warmth of almost three years within 137 minutes and that makes the movie a bit clumsy. They have tried to accommodate everything, but it still wasn’t completely convincing.
Coming to the cast, you can’t pin point a particular actor as the screen time is shared among almost everyone. I kind of have a feeling that may be Nobi has got more screen time compared to everyone else and he was fun to watch with his usual style comedy. Rahul Madhav gets a character that is like the leader of the gang and was fine in it. Saiju Kurup was good as Masthan. Shabareesh Varma, Abhishek Raveendran, Tony Luke, Niranj Suresh etc played the roles of the other members in the gang. The girls Adithi Ravi, Mareena and Gayathri doesn’t have much to do here rather than being a part of the gang to add fun to the whole picture. Ajay Mathew looked convincing to play the role of Shyam. Renji Panicker, Nandu, Pradeep Kottayam, Dinesh Prabhakar (Catch Pari was hilarious), Ponnamma Babu etc. are also there in the star cast.
Joshy Thomas Pallickal is not showing any great craft here to impress us. His idea is to show a story of friendship with selflessness and togetherness. And to achieve that, he uses the used out methods. Some of them work in favor of the movie and some aren’t that surprising. The chemistry of the actors also helps the film that has a very flat and straight narrative. The cinematography f the movie was okay. The haywire edits seemed like an attempt to contain too many events. The music and the background score were good.
At the end there are moments of fun and sentiments that occasionally works in favor of Naam. It is definitely not a boring movie. But you can’t call it a fresh film as we have seen similar attempts prior to this one.
Naam is definitely not a boring movie. But you can’t call it a fresh film as we have seen similar attempts prior to this one.