Director- Navdeep Singh, Producer- Anushka Sharma
Cast- Anushka Sharma, Neel Bhopalam, Darshan Kumar, Deepti Naval (in cameo)
Plot- A well off, working professional couple, Meera(Anushka) and Arjun (Neel Bhoopalam), stay in Gurgaon. Often known as the concrete jungle, it offers dream jobs with high pay packages, lavish lifestyle with dark naked truth underlying in its wraps. A good lifestyle may not mean secure roads. That’s what happens one night, when Meera is attacked in her car by unknown goons as she drives to office from a friend's party. She manages to flee from the spot in nick of time, but the incident leaves her shattered. Scared and scarred, Arjun applies for licensed gun for her safety. Soon, he plans a short vacation in a forest resort, close to Gurgaon for Meera's birthday. The road trip goes awry as they witness a couple being beaten at a road side dhaba. When nobody approaches for help, Arjun intervenes, only to be slapped by the gang leader Satbir (Darshan Kumar).
An insulted and upset Arjun, spots the SUV of the goons on the way and detours to follow them with the gun. Meera’s plea to stop him, fall on his deaf ears. He watches horrifying “honor killing” of the same couple. The girl was the goon’s sister. As Arjun prepares to run away from the crime scene, he bumps into a mentally challenged lad, a bother of one of the gang members. The gang catches hold of the Arjun & Meera, hit Arjun and plan to kill both of them. In an attempt to escape, Arjun accidentally shoots the mentally challenged lad.
|A still from NH10|
The couple are chased throughout the night by bloodthirsty gang members, for whom law & order don’t exist. Arjun is brutally hit again. Meera, the protagonist puts up a tough fight to save injured Arjun. She secures Arjun under a railway line bridge, promising to return with help. She runs from pillar to post in the murky no man’s land asking for help. Scared but determined, Meera does not give up in spite of being hurt, exhausted and alone. She gets hunted several times, is pelted with stones, takes shelter in a labor’s hut, kills a corrupt cop, meets with an accident and lands into the village sarpanch's home. This is where the climax again takes a spine chilling turn.
Characters- After playing a kind, good, supportive husband in Mary Kom, Darshan Kumar plays the rustic, dominating Harayani man, who has no qualms in killing his sister for his family honor. Tough, untamed and raw, he carries off the uncanny role really well. Kudos to the director and the scriptwriter who created the thrilling frames.
Anushka does a brilliant job with her memorable performance. Her acting skills would be etched in the audience's mind for a long time. Watch out for her body language and eye expression as she lights up a smoke and patiently waits for Satbir to rise up with his fractured leg. Deepti Naval as the village sarpanch impresses in a cameo. All characters essay strong roles which give that edge to the film.
Background score adds excellence to the film. The entire movie keeps you glued to your seat without letting you blink an eye.Cinematography deserves big applause. Filmed with realistic angles and backdrop, NH10 has the power to scare you in spite of not being in the horror genre. Navdeep has an eye for detail which is very apparent from the reality touch he has given. The audience get to view Gurgaon's shimmery lights and tall buildings through a car window, where the couple is heard chatting. It is the usual private conversation between a husband and wife which instantly hooks audience. The forest areas, half constructed buildings, sandy hills, scattered houses in village, barely maintained police chowki, all add real touch. Even the villagers, who reluctantly and sarcastically tell direction to Arjun for forest resort, would make you nod heads in agreement and anger.
NH10 does not suggest measures to the social evils portrayed. What it does is reveal the horrid truth that sobs silently beneath the glittering city lights. It lashes out to the patriarchal society for its gender bias and an apocalypse world who confines women in houses and stab them if they get married in the same gotra. When Meera lodges a police complaint against the attack on her, the cop asks her not to venture out alone at night. He also warns sarcastically that law & order remains confined to the visibility of malls. The former vanishes when malls disappear. Sad but true.
Several things leave the audience seething as the film shows the harsh reality, which are- When Meera asks for helps from the cop at police station, he instructs her to complaint at the thana where the incident took place. Jurisdiction depends on location; else FIR would not be registered. Happens often, yeah? No education can change the mind sets of people who kill in the name of family honor. In this case, it’s a woman who initiates and supports the evil. Cops join hands with criminals by covering the social evil. What could be more disgusting that this? A woman trapped in such a family tries her best to save Meera by lying, but gets slapped. How many times have we noticed or heard such incidents in these shady villages? Shamefully, countless times. That is why Meera picked up the iron rod to teach the bad guys a lesson, jabbed a ball point pen into the evil cop's eye, crushed her attackers under the wheels and shouts at the sleeping society. She ends with 'Jo karna tha so karna tha' leaving a message for the disgraced world who refer to women with derogatory words on toilet doors or walls of public property.
I admit I was disturbed and scared after watching the movie. I was not able to sleep well at night, as the movie thronged my thoughts. A must watch of this season is NH10. Go for it!