Over the top masala political thrillers is genre people like Shankar have successfully done in the past with films like Muthalvan. The young sensation of the Telugu industry Vijay Devarakonda opts one such ambitious political thriller for his Tamil debut in the Anand Shankar movie NOTA. Even though Devarakonda shines in his character, NOTA has this random feel in its script which diverts it from being that wholesome package.
Varun is the son of the chief minister of Tamil Nadu and he is this gaming obsessed party animal. Suddenly one day he is thrown into the political picture of Tamil Nadu and he gets sworn in as the CM as his father had to step down because of some allegations against him. The supposed to be 14 day CM job assigned to Varun becomes a bit more than that because of certain unprecedented events and the movie NOTA shows us the rise of Varun as this young CM who isn’t polluted by dirty politics.
There are too many things and subplots happening in this script. And the problem is that almost all of them feel a bit isolated from each other. After building things interestingly in the beginning, Anand Shankar sort of blows up all of it with a party song that disappointed me heavily. And after that, the political foul plays and personal equations are happening. Post interval a good half an hour is spent on showing Varun as a great team leader CM. And then again the crookedness in the political spectrum begins to carve the screenplay. There is a track involving a Swami in this movie that sort of ends in a less clear way. It felt like Anand Shankar and writer Shan Karuppusamy had the ingredients, but just couldn’t blend it to make it that spicy masala.
Vijay Devarakonda has total control over his character and you can see the fire in his eyes. From being angry to being sensitive the actor manages to add genuineness to his performance. Nasser plays the role of CM in an eccentric style without making it look odd or loud on screen. Satyaraj gets a good meaty role and manages to make it look subtle and graceful. Sanchana Natarajan was good as Kayal while Mehreen Pirzada had pretty much nothing to do in the movie. MS Bhasker as Bhai was also memorable.
The commercial success of Irumugan seems to have given Anand Shankar the courage to play with the sensibility of scenes. Because in one scene we see Varun becoming emotional and furious about the death of a small girl in a riot and in the very next scene he is jumping the fence of the CM’s house and going to party with Russian girls. Even when it has this smart incorporation of things that are happening in modern-day Tamilnadu politics, the typical exaggeration and unnecessary addition of certain subplots make the movie a compromised work for just commercial success. The background score is on the heavier side and achieves the desired result to an extent. The cinematography was fine while I found the prosthetic makeup on Nasser terrible.
NOTA is not at all a Muthalvan in the commercial sense. At one point there is a reference to the famous Muthalvan dialogue of how someone who hated politicians eventually became an opportunistic politician. But here the conflicts are multiple and the screenplay is struggling to blend all that properly. NOTA has its moments, but it isn’t culminating as that thrilling experience.
Here the conflicts are multiple and the screenplay is struggling to blend all that properly. NOTA has its moments, but it isn’t culminating as that thrilling experience.