In the interviews before the film Night Drive’s release, director Vysakh said that a movie like Pokkiri Raja won’t work today as the audience has evolved. In the film, writer Abhilash Pillai and Vysakh repeatedly mention how the new kids are and how some tactics are too old and cliched. But when you watch the movie, it feels like the writer and director don’t have any plan to update their presentation of the story. With a formulaic script that just wants to have a shape, Night Drive would have been an okay film if it had been released a decade ago.
Georgy is an Uber driver who has plans to go to the middle east for a better life. His girlfriend Riya is a hotshot journalist working in Manorama News. On Riya’s birthday, the couple decides to go for a night drive, and they bump into CI Benni Mooppan, who was doing a routine check. Benni’s attitude towards Riya created a scene, and he had to apologize publically. How this incident results in major trouble for the couple when their car gets involved in an accident the same night is what we witness in Night Drive.
The radio drama-style dialogues are the first thing you hear in the movie. Riya has caused major issues for Minister Rajan Kurup. We get to know that because Riya’s makeup man reminds her about what she did. Then they have to show that Riya is a very ethical journalist, and for that, they have the channel head giving her a speech about TRP ratings. This kind of verbal elaboration for almost all types of scenes is there in the movie, and it just makes the filmmaking look outdated. The humor in the first half just doesn’t feel relevant to the movie, and I am saying that about a film that is less than two hours long in terms of runtime.
Roshan had said that this movie had cracked a middle ground between the kind of films he did and the kind of films Vysakh had already made. But when I saw the film, it felt like Roshan Mathew was dragged into a typical Vysakh movie, and there were times his less dramatic acting style felt like a misfit for the movie. In the case of Anna Ben, too, there was no real challenge other than being this fearless woman on screen. For Indrajith Sukumaran, this one is a forgettable police character that will remind you of his stock mannerisms. Actor Sidhique as Rajan Kurup, was seen struggling to get the slang right. Kalabhavan Shajon also gets a negative shade character.
Only the story’s backdrop looks very different from the other films made by Vysakh. The treatment has the same old, outdated feel. In the second half of the film, writer Abhilash Pillai is trying to deviate the movie to a possible different track. But somewhere, there is this familiarity in all the twists in the last quarter of the film. With certain revelations placed at the end, Vysakh is trying to make this one-night thriller a typical hero-centric Vysakh film. But the unexciting narrative till that point pretty much closes all the opportunities for the film to bounce back. The music by Ranjin Raj felt ordinary.
Night Drive’s script has lines praising the updated young generation. Unfortunately, the same script forgot to update itself. The hunted becoming the hunters is indeed a theme that has scope to create a good thriller. But with pointless comedy, songs, and stuff, Vysakh and writer Abhilash Pillai are struggling to develop something interesting out of this idea. The dated treatment one gets to see in the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the film clearly indicates the lack of creative juice.
The dated treatment one gets to see in the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the film clearly indicates the lack of creative juice.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended