Film review: NH10

NH 10 is a blood-soaked tale of survival and revenge set in the suburbs of Delhi.

NH10

Directed by: Navedeep Singh

Starring: Anushka Sharma, Neil Bhoopalam, Deepti Naval, Darshan Kumaar

Three stars

NH10 is a blood-soaked tale of survival and revenge set in the suburbs of Delhi. Its fast-paced screenplay keeps the audience on the edge of their seats as bodies slowly pile up.

The suspense thriller tells the story of Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) and Meera (Anushka Sharma) who while travelling on National Highway 10 (NH10) happen to witness a murder committed by a gang led by Satbir (Darshan Kumaar). Thus ensues a cat-and-mouse chase for Arjun and Meera as the killers begin to close in on them after they mistake the newly married couple for prying journalists.

All the action takes place in a 24-hour window, and throughout the film the lead actors superbly convey the fear and helplessness of a couple who face certain death unless they stay ahead of their pursuers.

Sharma, who also makes her debut as a producer with NH10, portrays Meera with great finesse, especially in the second half, when she transforms from a fear-stricken woman on the run into a vengeful lead.

The veteran actress Deepti ­Naval, cast as a ­village matriarch, has a small but memorable role, and stands out for her calm but calculated performance, epitomising a society that’s cruel to its women and unforgiving to those who dare to revolt.

Navedeep Singh, returning to the director's chair for the first time since 2007's critically acclaimed Manorama Six Feet Under, paints a grim and unapologetic picture of the realities of rural northern India where caste divides run thick – especially heart-wrenching is the juxtaposition of the lives of people in the big city and those in the village.

NH10 is a rare Bollywood film that's simple and remains true to the plot, saving the audiences from any unnecessary melodrama. It's refreshing to see characters who are practical and believable, making for an entertaining watch – but it's definitely not one for the faint-hearted.

artslife@thenational.ae

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