Naradan movie review: The creators of Naradan could vehemently say no, but there’s no denying that Aashiq Abu’s film is heavily inspired by a certain loud-mouthed anchor channel anchor at a news channel spouting propaganda. As if the red hues of CP’s (Tovino Thomas) studio sets weren’t revealing enough. Naradan features the rise of CP, a TV news anchor who launches his own channel where he manipulates the news to earn the top spot in the TRP race. Whether it’s slandering panel members or trying to be society’s moral guardian, CP has been the epitome of what’s been wrong with Indian media for… well, for some time. now. Naradan Movie Review: Tovino Thomas, Anna Ben’s Political Thriller Receives Positive Response From Twitterati.
Watching the film, you realize very well that Naradan, scripted by Unni R, was inspired by real events, including an infamous news anchor’s heckling on camera (which of course is the ‘inspiration’ here). The first half of Naradan shows the transition of CP from Chandra Prakash, once a top news anchor in a news channel called News Track. When we first meet Chandra Prakash, I want to believe he still has ethics, but he is quite disappointed with his bosses who interfere with his news cycle and constantly ask them for breaking news. It doesn’t help his ego when another pundit and relatively more honest journalist, Pradeep John (Sharafudheen) joins the same channel. Despite being friends, Chandra Prakash sees Pradeep as a threat and an affront to his tenure there, and resigns.
This begins the downfall of humanity in Chandra Prakash, as he forms his own news channel called Naradan News, gets a makeover and rebrands as CP and where his first breakup is a sting on a sex scandal of a minister. This whole piece will be easily identifiable by those who have worked in a news channel before or at least have followed the inglorious operation of these channels over the past few years. However, the film starts off on a slow note as it awkwardly sets up most of the main characters and the central character’s inner conflict. I felt the bar for the movie only get raised when CP starts its Naradan News and goes into its first breaking news.
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The media commentary is both scathing and incisive, especially the obsession with the TRP race and the inflatable egos of the news anchors, and the use of some real-life incidents only succeeds in making the film so relatable. CP’s turn to the dark side, from blackmailing its competitors to twisting the arms of its investors and politicians for its gains, makes it a fascinating watch.
The second half gets into courtroom drama territory. The abrupt shift from serious media satire to legal banter may seem shocking to some, but that’s the part I loved the most. Figures like Shaakira Mohammed, the virtuous lawyer and social activist of Anna Ben, and Judge Chothi of Indrans gain more prominence here. There are quite a few enjoyable mass moments; who would have once thought there would come an era where character artists like Indrans would get great slow motion scenes and punchlines, which were once a prerogative of superstars.
But besides, I understand why Aashiq Abu wanted to pass Naradanthe third act inside a court. He reminds us that when democratic pillars like the media fall into sycophancy, it is the justice system that must be the common man’s recourse to uplift them. Through Shaakira’s effective arguments, the film also reminds us of the diminishing respect for the right to privacy in newsrooms, where any innocent person can be crucified depending on the whims and moods of presenters, the media trial of Aryan Khan and Rhea Chakraborty being one. glaring concrete examples that come to mind. But with the dense air of negativity surrounding us, the film’s positive climax feels stranger than fiction.
There are subplots that don’t feel completely justified. I wasn’t a fan of how Sharafudeen’s character was written out of the movie, considering he had a major focus in the first half. There’s also the fact that only the CP chain has the full focal point of blame, which it doesn’t. Channels like Narada News, or its uh…real-life counterpoint, are the product of years of corporate-sponsored political machinery that took vicious turns these days that needed to be called out. Pada by Kunchako Boban, Naradan by Tovino Thomas, Veyil by Shane Nigam, here are the Malayalam films that will be broadcast on Amazon Prime Video!
The acting is also top notch. It’s quite fascinating to watch Tovino Thomas having fun playing flawed characters in his recent films. Be it Kala, Kaanekanne or Naradan, they’re not just anti-heroes and they couldn’t get away with anything they did. Found it a little weird when Tovino hammered him to be CP, that sudden change from being the angsty Chandraprakash to a smoothing know-it-all, but that’s the point. He’s a character he wants to project his massive ego onto, amid the incessant vaping, and that makes for a pretty charismatic and at the same time hateful portrayal.
Anna Ben has some of the best dialogue in the film, scoring well in the film’s third act and turning into Naradanis the de facto hero. And there’s Indrans who is simply living the best phase of his career, taking on roles with a certain taste that steals the stage. Sharafudeen, Joy Mathew, Balachandran Chullikkad, Kunchan, Rajesh Madhavan, Rafi, Vijayaraghavan, Fejo (as rapper Mudiyan) are amazing in their roles.
– Tovino, Anna Ben and Indrans
– Indian media commentary
– The Third Act
– A sluggish start
– A few key characters are harmed
While Naradan is good as a scathing take on yellow journalism run by TRP operating as media, it’s the legal drama where the film spins for the best. With powerful performances from Tovino Thomas, Anna Ben and Indrans, the film will leave you feeling hopeful and in these times, hope can’t be so bad even in a movie. Naradan is streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
(The story above first appeared on LatestLY on April 11, 2022 at 6:42 p.m. IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle , log in to our website latestly.com).