Cast: Surya, Rakul Preet Singh, Sai Pallavi, Nizhalgal Ravi, Uma Padmanabhan, Ilavarasu, Ponvannan, Vela Ramamoorthy, Thalaivasal Vijay, Devaraj and others
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Sivakumar Vijayan
Editor: Praveen K L
Selvaraghavan is undoubtedly one of Tamil cinema’s boldest directors. The reason why he is considered bold is because he has never ever compromised on truth when it comes to narrating a story. Be it a romantic thriller, a political drama or a psycho tragedy, Selvaraghavan has never ever held back or altered his scripts to please audiences. He has, until now, been looked upon as a director who will only look to be truthful to the soul of the story and nothing else. In fact, that is also one of the reasons why his films have always managed to win the hearts of his audiences, irrespective of their performances at the box office.
However, sadly, this time around, Selvaraghavan seems to have departed from that practice. His NGK seems to have been created more to please audiences rather than being truthful to its soul. In fact, the film is so superficial that one is left wondering if it even has a soul.
The film begins with Nantha Gopalan Kumaran better known as NGK(Suriya) happily working in his field on a rainy day. We get to know that this organic farmer was at one point an IT professional and that he had quit his job to return to farming. Now, after turning an organic farmer, the altruist, who readily lends a helping hand to anyone and everyone around him, leads a content life.
Soon, trouble arises in NGK’s life when a group, comprising of farmers (who use non organic methods to cultivate crops), traders of chemical fertilizers, and goons claiming to have the backing of politicians, threaten him and others he has convinced to take up organic farming from continuing the practice.
Initial threats turn into ugly incidents and NGK is forced to seek the help of a politician to end the problem. And that is where he invariably finds himself being drawn into a quagmire. What happens next is what the film is all about.
The film’s plot is hazy right from the word go and the manner in which the characters have been etched out are far from convincing. In fact, they all look artificial. To his credit, Suriya as Nantha Gopalan Kumaran is the only one who manages to recover as the film progresses. It takes a while but Kumaran certainly loses his artificiality as the film’s story progresses. Sadly, the same cannot be said of Sai Pallavi’s performance who plays Geetha, Kumaran’s wife. Her performance can best be described as looking really awkward in certain portions and looking exaggerated in certain others.
Rakul Preet Singh is the only saving grace when it comes to acting performances. From start to finish, Rakul as Vanathi, a political strategist, looks every bit the part. Terse while handling political elements whose motives and potential she gauges with admirable pace and accuracy, Vanathi comes across as a proper professional. The sudden change in her attitude from being dismissive to becoming cautiously respectful when she senses a person’s potential is one of the highlights of the film.
On the technical front, Selvaraghavan gets more than ample support from his brilliant music director Yuvan Shankar Raja. Had it not been for Yuvan’s splendid background score, the film could have been even more dreadful.
Sivakumar Vijayan’s work is eye-catching and Praveen has kept the film nice and tight. However, there isn’t much that they can do if the film’s story isn’t engaging enough.
In short, NGK is disappointing to say the least.