Naane Varuven movie review: Dhanush owns the screen in Selvaraghavan's best work in recent times
Naane Varuven movie review: Dhanush and Selvaraghavan’s reunion bears fruit in the form of a well-told, even if slightly predictable, supernatural thriller.
Selvaraghavan’s Naane Varuven, which marks his reunion with Dhanush after a decade, works purely because it was under promoted. The fact that the team didn’t even release a trailer actually helped the film leave the desired impact and surprise the audiences to a large extent. This is Selvaraghavan’s best work in recent years and in a refreshing departure from the kind of cinema he’s been making, we get a commendable thriller. The film tries to blend together multiple genres and it succeeds in making that concoction click, despite a slightly predictable second half. Also read: Naane Varuven teaser: Dhanush faces off against himself in intriguing thriller
The story revolves around twin brothers Prabhu and Kathir (both played by Dhanush). After a series of incidents, Prabhu and Kathir get separated and go on to live separate lives on their own terms. Many years later, Prabhu is happily married and his life revolves around his daughter, Sathya. He rejects the idea of having another child because he doesn’t want the love he has for his daughter to be shared. One day, he begins experiencing some paranormal activities in his house and it affects his daughter. Convinced that she’s possessed, he reaches out to a psychiatrist who is also a spiritual guru. He hires a team of young ghost-busters to help him save his daughter but little does he know that the attempt will actually make him learn who’s behind the possession. The revelation forces him to cross paths with his long-lost twin brother and what follows forms the crux of the story.
The entire first half is terrifically built, and full credit to Selvaraghavan for taking the paranormal route devoid of the tropes usually associated with such stories. There are enough chilling moments in the first half to make someone appreciate why Selvaraghavan is a master storyteller, especially when he’s making stories in his zone.
However, the film feels largely predictable when it reaches the second half and there’s a certain urgency in completing the story without even making one invest in the conflict between the brothers. If only the second half was able to create the same impact as the first, Naane Varuven would’ve worked even more effectively.
As usual, Dhanush owns both the roles and even though as the bad guy Kathir, he gets to play to the gallery; it’s as Prabhu that he is far more believable. In Selvaraghavan’s world, you can find many Kathirs but it’s rare to come across a Prabhu and Dhanush own him so well.
There’s not much scope for other actors as the story is largely based on Dhanush’s dual roles and the child actors who get some meaty parts which they handle maturely. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s score plays a key role in amplifying the mood of the film.
Cast: Dhanush, Indhuja, Elli Avrram, Prabhu and Yogi Babu