Neru Review | An Emotional Courtroom Drama With Convenient Twists and Turns

If you look at this year’s Onam release RDX, we all know that the scene that showed the villains hurting that baby had a significant role in making the viewer root for the heroes. If you take out that scene from that movie, it would have been a huge task for the makers to keep the audience engaged in that film. I am talking about that emotional rooting factor in the review of Neru because even though it is an extremely filmy courtroom drama that sort of tackles its obstacles by introducing new characters and evidence, the fact that early on it manages to make us empathize with the victim helps Neru a lot in making the viewer take a side from the word go. With elevating moments placed sporadically in the screenplay, Neru from Jeethu Joseph is a watchable drama.

SPOILER ALERT! The movie revolves around a rape case where a blind girl, Sara, who is a sculptor, got raped by a stranger. Even though the police could find the culprit and she could identify the guy by touching his face, the police had great difficulty in proving the case in court as the only witness to this was blind. The efforts of special public prosecutor Vijayamohan, who hasn’t taken up any trials in a long time to provide justice to Sara, is what we see in Neru.

As Jeethu Joseph claimed in his interviews, the movie is not a suspense thriller where we are in search of the culprit. The challenge for the protagonist and the film is to tackle the legal procedure that looks only for evidence rather than emotions. While the movie, with those elevating background scores of Vishnu Shyam, succeeds in creating a peak whenever it decides to go for an emotional outburst, the legal side of the story felt a bit on the wobbly side. Santhy Mayadevi, who has co-written this movie along with Jeethu Joseph, is an advocate, and it was kind of weird that despite the writer being someone who knows how the court functions, the film was frequently in that cinematic courtroom space.

When I say the writing of the legal part wasn’t that great, I am not implying that there were a lot of loopholes or something. I am not a lawyer, and I just accept what the movie tells me about the law. My issue was with the way the script tackled the legal challenges thrown at the hero. Almost every win of Vijayamohan in that court came after the entry of a new character who was not at all there in the picture till that moment. The CCTV footage manipulation, how it evolves into something else and the other new digital evidence that helps Vijayamohan, are all getting a convenient entry to the script. I always have had issues with the stiff dialogue coming from the characters in Jeethu Joseph movies, and that issue was there in Neru as well. The cinematography by Satheesh Kurup uses mostly close-up shots to maintain the intensity, while the editing in certain areas was a bit clumsy with the movie lingering onto reaction shots and stuff for too long. Vishnu Shyam’s background score is thumping and it plays a crucial role in giving a high to the film’s finale which relies more on the emotional side of the justice.

As Vijayamohan, Mohanlal finally gets to play a role that sort of limits him in flexing the facial muscles. But the man internalizes the lack of confidence of the advocate through minimal body language and voice modulation, and you can see him giving confidence to the character as the story moves on. Anaswara Rajan, who plays the blind girl, was also pretty good at portraying the trauma and resilience of that character. Making the audience root for Sara was essential for the movie to work, and I think Anaswara was able to make that happen. The most impressive performance for me in the film came from Sidhique and if I had seen him right after the movie, I would have given him a slap. The level of insensitivity to win a case was portrayed brilliantly by him and at no point it felt unreal. Jagadish, Ganesh Kumar, Santhy Mayadevi, Sreedhanya, Priyamani, Sankar Indhuchoodan, Mathew Varghese (judge), etc. are the other significant names in the cast along with many names in smaller characters with minuscule screen time.

Even if you look at how the case finally gets a verdict, a part of your head won’t be able to accept that this kind of verdict can happen in a real court. In fact, the movie opts for a Jolly LLB kind of ending where there is instant gratification, but in the long run, the victim might fail to get justice in an evidence-oriented judicial system. Neru is an emotional courtroom drama that places twists and turns for the convenience of getting a pleasing climax rather than challenging itself.

Final Thoughts

Neru is an emotional courtroom drama that places twists and turns for the convenience of getting a pleasing climax rather than challenging itself.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.