NH10 is a gritty revenge drama not meant for the faint-hearted; it is realistic and keeps you glued to your seats. The captain of the ship, Navdeep Singh (who earlier directed Manorama Six Feet Under) takes us through the miserable situation an urban couple goes through in a regressive rural-set up, in a matter of 24 hours.
Story of NH10
Meera (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam), are just another hard-working couple working for a multinational company. In the course of a party in the evening, a bored Meera (Anushka Sharma) gets a work-related call. She takes leave off her husband and drives alone, along the highway. Soon enough, she is attacked by a few hoodlums, leaving her shaken. When the couple reports the matter to the police, they advise her to keep a gun for security.
Meera and Arjun go on a road-trip for a weekend getaway. They stop over at a dhaba to grab a bite when they see a group of guys thrashing a girl black and blue. When Arjun intervenes, a guy (Darshaan Kumar) who seems to be the leader of the group thrashes him and tells him to back off, as the girl is his sister. Upset and humiliated, Arjun decides to confront the situation, much to the disagreement of Meera. He follows the group and to his shock, is witness to honor-killing in a deserted area. Meera who goes searching for her husband gets trapped along with him, as the men round them up as the next duo to go. However, Arjun and Meera manage to escape, losing their car and their gun in the process. In a foreign hinterland, Anushka Sharma has to battle many things – save her badly injured husband, cope up with her receding energy, look for help and escape from the hell they’ve put themselves in.
What works for NH10
Navdeep Singh is in the top of the game in the film, there is never a dull moment in the film. By the end of the film, you are left with a lump in the throat, as you put yourself in the shoes of Meera and Arjun, and question their choices. Sudip Sharma, the writer has written a water-tight story with not many loose-ends. Thankfully, he got a director who did complete justice to the story. Another high point of the film is the crisp editing by Jabeen Merchant, who makes sure that there are not many loo-breaks in the film. Arvind Kannabiran’s cinematography is commendable as he has shot the film in difficult lighting conditions, pitching up a telling landscape of treacherous terrains and overwhelming mountainous areas. And finally, the performances, Anushka Sharma puts up a ballistic performance for her maiden production. The rest of the cast are equally effective.
What does not work for NH10
The actions of Neil’s characters are questionable, why could he not just inform the police instead of going after the goons, knowing that they are bloody dangerous? But people do silly things in a head-rush, so we can accept this humanly action. From an entertainment perspective, the climax was rushed and could have been better played out.
Performances in NH10
Anushka Sharma is superb in her portrayal of Meera Sharma who grows from strength to strength with tough conditions shaping her mental tenacity to seek revenge. Neil Bhoopalam is fantastic in his role, even though he does not have much to do in the second half. A surprisingly pleasant revelation is Darshaan Kumar who does a 360 degree turn from his calm and supporting husband’s role in Mary Kom. Deepti Naval impresses in a short cameo.
To sum up
NH10 is a revenge drama which can leave you with a lump in a throat. It is gritty and painfully violent but at the same time, deeply realistic.