Post the smashing success of Drishyam (2013), there has been much anticipation whenever actor Mohanlal and director Jeethu Joseph have come together for a film. Though the sequel Drishyam 2 (2021) and 12th Man (2022) did not match up to the standards set by Drishyam, the duo had once again raised hopes of the fans when Neru was announced.
The film revolves around a tragedy that befalls a young, blind sculptor Sara (Anaswara Rajan) and her journey to seek justice. Vijaymohan (Mohanlal), a lawyer who has not been practising for several years, takes up her case.
While courtroom dramas are not a unique concept in recent years, the film keeps the audience engaged for most part. The first half might feel slow but as the film progresses, you will understand why it was necessary. The process of convincing Vijaymohan to take up the case felt repetitive and stretched out. The second half is the saving grace, as it keeps the audience guessing as the two sides engage in an interesting game of one-upmanship.
The climax, however, is predictable, as it plays to the galleries. The film ensures that there’s a sense of dread and anticipation throughout, and the viewer will feel a strong sense of anger and hatred towards the perpetrator and the lawyers defending him.
As exciting as the courtroom scenes are, a lot of the evidence produced feels dramatised. One questions the credibility of the claims and how practical would it be in a real case hearing, a feeling so similar to my reaction to Drishyam and its sequel. “It’s cinema after all”, as its protagonist Georgekutty says!
Mohanlal and Siddique, being veterans, pull off their roles with ease. But it’s Anaswara Rajan who steals the show.
Vishnu Shyam’s music elevates the scenes, and captures the emotions beautifully.
Jeethu Joseph’s touch is evident throughout the film, reminding me of Drishyam and its sequel.
Neru is a story of courage, resilience, and justice, and an engaging watch.
Director: Jeethu Joseph
Cast: Mohanlal, Anaswara Rajan, Siddique, Priyamani, Santhi Mayadevi, Jagadish and more