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Nungambakkam Movie Review: An easily forgettable snooze fest- Cinema express

Nungambakkam Movie Review: An easily forgettable snooze fest

The controversy-stricken film, based on the infamous Nungambakkam Swathi murder case, is a tedious watch with lackadaisical storytelling

Published: 23rd November 2020

Nungambakkam hit the screens after four years of struggle, several legal battles, and multiple controversies. But the film is so underwhelming and poorly written that one wonders how this screenplay landed these many legal battles in the first place.

The film is based on the infamous Swathi murder case of 2016, where a 24-year-old woman was murdered in broad daylight at the Nungambakkam Railway Station in Chennai. Major public scrutiny and social media outrage preceded the arrest of Ramkumar, whose alleged suicide at the Puzhal prison resulted in further controversy.

Director: SD Ramesh Selvan

Cast: Ajmal Ameer, Mano, Aayira, A. Venkatesh

The film right away gets into the investigation of the murder, but adds hardly anything new to what is already known about the case. In fact, it makes us wonder if claims about the narrative being fictionalised are even true. This is partly due to the poor characterisations of the leads, especially the cop investigating the murder (played by Ajmal Ameer). He does little apart from pacing here and there, seemingly deep in his thoughts, and hoping for a clue that might move the plot forward. 

Although Ajmal really tries his best to make up for the slow pace, the film offers no ‘high moments’ nor builds any of the characters for the actors to shine. Even the reveals are so obvious that it makes you wonder if this could have just been a simple documentary.

More than the poor writing, it is the careless post-production that is unforgivable. There’s a complete lack of lipsync in the film. The sound design is terrible, and the film is ridden with poor editing decisions. From random repetitions of dialogues that were clearly intended to be placed in some other scene to the audio quality randomly changing smack in the middle of scenes, Nungambakkam is ridden with technical issues.

Nungambakkam ends with an open-ended question about Rajkumar’s death, mirroring the state of the mystery in real life. However, instead of inspiring any discussions about this, all we are left with is a sense of relief that the film is finally over. 

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