Nayattu Movie Review
The Hunt (Nayattu) is a 2021 Indian political survival thriller film directed and co-produced by Martin Prakkat and written by Shahi Kabir. Kunchako Boban, Joju George, and Nimisha Sajayan play the key parts, with Jaffar Idukki, Anil Nedumangad, and Hakkim Shajahan appearing in supporting roles. The film is edited by Mahesh Narayanan and Rajesh Rajenndrran, and the cinematography is handled by Shyju Khalid. The original music and background score were written by Vishnu Vijay. The film was produced by Gold Coin Motion Picture Company in collaboration with Martin Prakkat Films and directed by Ranjith and P. M. Sasidharan.
The film was released on April 8, 2021, to tremendous critical acclaim for its direction and performances by the cast. In October, it was named to India's shortlist for Best International Film at the 94th Film Festival.
Following Midhun Manuel Thomas's footsteps, Nayattu discovers another filmmaker moving away from lighthearted entertainment and towards something more grounded, sarcastic, and cruel. Martin Prakkat has paired up with Shahi Kabir, the screenwriter whose debut effort, Joseph, was a major hit, following the success of Charlie. This time, Shahi has conjured up something more unsettling. Nayattu is a soul-stirring film whose ending will leave you unsettled.
Martin and Shahi don't waste time getting things started; when they do, they do an excellent job. The major conflict surrounds the death of a young Dalit guy, which is made more problematic by the circumstances leading up to it.
Three police officers, Maniyan (Joju George), Praveen Michael (Kunchacko Boban), and Sunitha (Nimisha Sajayan), are trapped in a position that causes them to flee. The hunters are transformed into the hunted.
Nayattu is about the butterfly effect caused by the abuse of power at all levels. Everyone in the movie is a walking pressure cooker. The pressure is delivered from the highest levels of power, slowly trickling down to each layer and wreaking devastation. When they eventually let it all out, the wrong people take the brunt of it. It is also fairly brazen in presenting some of its statements, such as how bothersome individuals of a minority group can get away with things due to their caste in certain settings.
Some will find these sections objectionable, but one cannot dismiss the argument completely. The fact that Maniyan and Sunitha are from the same community adds weight to the story. In the midst of all of this is Praveen, who comes into the job full of hope but must embrace the hard reality that hope has no place in a system looking for more individuals to corrupt. If it is unable to accomplish this, it just chews and spits them out, inflicting them with psychological anguish for the rest of their lives.
Kunchacko, Joju, and Nimisha all perform admirably as characters with a lot of emotional baggage.
Though the males set the events of Nayattu in motion, it is the women who left the most indelible effects. In various instances, we see female characters under varying degrees of stress.
Arundathi (an amazing Yama Gilgamesh) is a senior female officer who takes a stealth smoke break before providing directions to her troops. Sunitha has a nervous breakdown after witnessing two men fight. Sunitha's mother, on the other hand, must assist cops in their pursuit of the three, and the school-age daughter of a male cop must live the rest of her life with a tragic story. The most revealing image in the film, though, is of a visually handicapped woman voting.
There is also pressure, but it is of a different nature. We need to find out who she wanted to vote for or if her son pressed the right button. The scenario comes at the proper time and says a lot.
Nayattu's intense cynicism reminded me of the films of Italian filmmaker Francesco Rosi, who made similarly dark political thrillers during his period. In its last minutes, Nayattu achieves a similar effect by conveying the futility of resisting injustice and darkness in the world. Although the image of powerless characters is not pleasant, it makes for strong cinema.