Writer: P.S. Rafeeq
DOP: Manoj Paramahamsa
Cast: Indrajith, Thilakan, Siddique, Jagathy
The film revolves around a Kathakali artist, Varadanunni (Indrajith), who joins the underworld to take revenge on those who killed his family.
Malayalam cinema is going through a new wave movement right now and there can be a debate about which film's release can be considered as its starting point. Many cite Rajesh Pillai's 'Traffic' as it and its commercial success could be the reason for it. It is a film which I didn't particularly like but was a decent attempt nevertheless. If you look bit more back in history, Lijo Jose Pellissery's debut feature, Nayakan is a more valid candidate as the striking characteristic of this new wave is a more visual way of storytelling and Lijo is the best exponent of it. Traffic was one which relied too much on speech as a very obvious exposition tool and that was its main drawback.
Nayakan is more of a technical achievement, which is a given in LJP films, than being an interesting story with interesting characters. Like his recent film Angamaly Diaries, which is also his best one yet, it is told in a quite non-linear fashion. The characters in it are quite campy and some of the performances and getups quite amateurish, including the one from the director. Siddique character in it seems to be a reference to Gary Oldman from Leon. Both LJP and Prashanth Pillai have grown tremendously well in their craft but Nayakan still is a very worthy effort as a debut one. It kind of becomes quite non- interesting by around the midpoint of the film but the glorious climax action sequence helps the audience to leave on a high-note.