Review of the Tamil movie Nitham Oru Vanam by Ra Karthik

Review of the Tamil movie Nitham Oru Vanam by Ra Karthik

The movie's storyline is very straight forward: How travel can change one's outlook about life. Of late, in Kollywood cinema, this pattern can be seen where there is a depressed person(men, mostly) who would climb on their Royal Enfield bike and then set off to the Himalayan mountains; when they return, they become a refined soul. So, is this movie any different from the stereotypical portrayal?! Ah, you can't get to the verdict right in the first paragraph :D

This movie has Ashok Selvan in the lead and there are 3 main female characters played by Ritu Varma, Aparna Balamurali and Shivathmika Rajasekhar(her debut Tamil movie). Ashok has this Obsessive Complusive Disorder (OCD) and people around him including his parents mock at his behaviour. His marriage gets called off for no fault of his and he is pushed to a depressing situation, feeling that his life has come to a grinding halt and he consults his doctor, played by Abhirami. 

Abhirami, as his well wisher, does something that will set him on a long journey, which is not quite his nature. To give you an example about his mentality, Ashok was of the view that he would want his honeymoon in a local resort near home so that he can come back and sleep in his bed in the night!! As he starts his journey, due to an unforseen break in the journey, he meet Subhadra aka Subha(Ritu Varma). She forces him to keep her engaged and Ashok with no option left narrates the story behind his journey. He reveals that he is on a quest to meet 2 real life pairs whom he came across in the stories written by his doctor. Ashok also has got this imagination which would run in his mind when he reads any story, where he assumes himself to be the character that he reads and that's where he imagines Shivathmika and Aparna to be his pairs in the stories shared by Abhirami. While Shivathimka is beautiful and fulfils the otherwise missing romantic element to the movie, Aparna is the show stealer as she rocks with her presence. She is like a miniature version of Nithya Menon, who is a 1000 wala cracker and does any role perfectly, making her presence felt. 

So piqued by this strange adventure that Ashok has commenced, Subha who is a travel lover, joins him and together they discover the joy of traveling and meeting the mystery characters that appeared in the stories that he read. Ashok, a drained and depressed soul, is shocked and at the same time surprised to see how the lives of people can fall apart and turn around, despite one's best efforts to keep things intact. Also, he realises that it is equally important to rise from the failure or the depressing situation, dust yourself off and not stay stuck like a fly in a glue, brooding over what has happened. He finally understands that accepting the reality and moving ahead is the only way forward. 

Like I said earlier this story isn't something new that we haven't heard of but the way it has been written is what adds a dose of freshness to this beaten down storyline. All the lead actors have done a great job and Ashok leads them, donning different hats for different characters ranging from college gang head to a subtle professional. On the flip side, the story is bit of a drag and is not very tight in some places, making one look at their watches. Songs weren't that impactful but BGM was good and synced well with the situations. 

On the whole, the movie has lived up to its title 'Nitham oru Vaanam', which roughly means that life presents new opportunities every day and one should treat it afresh with no past baggage. So this is a good movie with a simple but important message on accepting failures and reality as life presents it to us and moving on with one's life cheerfully. Go watch this with your family in theaters!


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