Cast: Dulquer Salmaan Suresh Krishna Saiju Kurup Anumol Muthumani Harish Perady
Production: Gold Coin Motion Pictures
When coming up with his new film ‘Njan’, director Ranjith was in all awe about offering Dulqar is first very serious role in a period drama. Based on ‘K T N -Kottur Ezhuthum Jeevithavum’, written by T P Rajeevan, the movie but drowns in its own weight and fails to involve its viewers as it tells a unconventional, stretched drama about a man who lived an uncelebrated life in the early 1930’s and was soon forgotten.
Dulqar is cast as Ravi Chandrasekharan, an occasional blogger whose sharp blog writings in the name ‘Kottur’ has become the talk of the town already. When Police summons Ravi to ask about this mysterious name, he clears it as the name of one humanitarian whom he is also a big fan. Ravi, who has some friends in the theatre field is offered a chance to pen a drama about Koyilath Thazhe Narayanan Nair, alias K T N Kottur, a man who was a radical thinker during independence period.
A poet and a revolutionary who lived a life questioning the things that he found unreasonable, K T N got mysteriously missing on the very day of Indian independence. As he starts to enquire more about K T N Kottur, Ravi finds that the information about the radical thinker was minimum and so he travels to the Kottur village and to his ancestral home to fill the missing links about his hero.
The director may be applauded for selecting this unconventional theme, but the movie moves on in a sluggish pace and is over lengthy at 159 minutes. It discusses the mood of being a congressman before and after Indian independence, the emergence of communists in Kerala, and the reaction of people towards the party and the fate of those who tried to remain in the humanitarian track without taking political sides. The main track, which focus on the lead man most of the times, appear a bit unintentionally funny whenever it cuts to the drama made out of the theme. The dialogues are occasionally over dramatic and scenes that make big impact are less. In the attempt to tell more satirical observations about current politics, the movie has sequences that looks loaded but due to the old fashioned treatment remains far from effective.
The cameraman Manoj Pillai and the art director Santhosh Raman but works over time to give the necessary feel of the pre-independence period. The songs by Bijipal are differently tuned and posted. The highlight of the movie is that Dulqar is for the first time clad in a serious role, as a man who lived a real but perplexed life and chose to go exile in his thirties. A man who was at the same time misunderstood as a communist and a racist and occasionally as a feudalist landlord, who treated ladies in their home in the anti-feminist mode, K T N is almost safe in the hands of Dulqar. The young star does not but strives hard for a different makeover or performance style but try to render the role in his characteristic style. And so he is good as Ravi Chandrasekharan and is fine in the second half as more matured K T N.
The rest of the cast including Suresh Krishna, Sajitha Madathil, Muthumani, Ranji Panikkar, Joy Mathew, Mydhili, Jyothi Krishna, Anumol and others are good in their double roles, one of which find existence even in the past. Overall, with a theme that most of the viewers may find irrelevant now a days and with a listless pace in the later half, ‘Njan’ can be prescribed only for the lovers of unconventional movies and plots. Definitely a multi-layered film, it may be more savoured by those who likes to peel off layers to look into the innerself.