Nasir from Arun Karthick is one impressive political film that doesn’t have the obvious nature of most of the political films we see. The life of our hero in this movie is not at all remarkable. Nasir is that financially struggling salesman in a textile shop who is only concerned about his family. After carefully detailing the character through a lot of scenes, Arun manages to give you that shock which works really well as he had successfully made us root for that character.
Nasir, our title protagonist is a Muslim who lives with his family. He loves his wife and he takes care of his ailing mother and his mentally challenged son. It is difficult to say what the movie is about in a conventional way. In this story that happens over a day’s time, Arun Karthick is showing us how equally deserving Nasir is in this world.
Communal riots and the right-wing brutality are what giving structure to this movie. If you look at it, we are shown almost every detail in one man’s daily routine. He wakes up really early and after doing his prayers, he is helping his wife in getting the water. Then he is taking her to the bus stand and then he goes to his workplace. In his workplace also he is assigned to do multiple jobs and this guy is doing all that without showing any sort of discomfort. The movie is only one hour and twenty minutes long, but Arun takes all that time to painstakingly detail the normal life of a man who remains positive even after facing several forms of rejections happening in a day.
Arun is showing us how a man who was least bothered about the communal tension became a victim of that. Nasir is going to work and coming back without giving much attention to the hate speech that is happening in the backdrop. His concerns are more personal than political. He is worried about his mother who is struggling with cancer and he never wanted his wife to go for that family function where she will be treated as a domestic aid. The screenplay slowly makes us think about this man who loves poetry and is looking at life and the world in a more profound way. Throwing him into a scenario that he never really anticipated gives us the same shock the character also goes through. The imagery we get to see in this movie is brilliant. You get to feel the loneliness our protagonist feels in almost every frame created by Saumyananda Sahi and the movie uses the visual language to communicate a lot of things that contribute to the character-building process.
Valavane Koumarane’s portrayal of Nasir is an extremely affecting one. Nasir is not a man who is extremely expressive. There is that sincerity in his acting that makes us empathize with that character and in that sequence where he waits patiently for one student to buy the blazers while everyone else ditches him saying random excuses, one could feel the noncomplaining optimism in that man.
In terms of the making style, I was reminded of the 2013 Malayalam film Cr. No. 89 when I finished watching Nasir. There is a patience-testing effort in both films to establish the characters through minimal detailing so that once the climax happens, we can backtrack and reread the politics of the movie. Nasir had a special preview at We Are One Global Film Festival. Give it a shot when it releases in any of the streaming platforms.
The movie is only one hour and twenty minutes long, but Arun takes all that time to painstakingly detail the normal life of a man who remains positive even after facing several forms of rejections.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended