Nathicharami review: Good attempt but falls short

Nathicharami review: Good attempt but falls short

A still from Nathicharami


Kannada (A)

Cast: Sruthi Hariharan, Sanchari Vijay, Sharanya, Balaji Manohar 

Director: Mansore

Rating: 3.5/5


Perhaps, Nathicharami is the first Kannada movie to use silence effectively to convey a solution in the climax. It aptly uses imagery to show freedom from the past, the dead and the illusion towards a new beginning.

Throughout the movie, state award-winning director Mansore proves to be a craftsman in the use of imagery for a cinematic experience.

A dog, tree branch, chair, frying food on a pan, flower and a smile transcend their objectives justifying the need to satisfy one's sexual desires ignoring customary beliefs. 

Nathicharami tells the tale of a convoluted journey of a sexually awakened widow, Gowri (Sruthi Hariharan), who is unable to separate her emotions from sex. The inability to experience erotic pleasure sans emotions lands her in a psychological crisis. Finally, it is in Suresh's (Sanchari Vijay) demise of illusions that Gowri's rebirth lies.

Suresh and Gowri are two extremes, but are lost in each others' arms to find a way out of their traumatic life. Their union enables Suresh to reunite with his wife, besides ensuring Gowri's salvation from her dead husband's memories.

The plot permits Mansore to create a classic, but he does not seize his chance. Nathicharami ends up being the story of a young woman's successful attempt at satisfying her physical needs ignoring its impact on a married man and his wife. It fails to be a feminist classic, by not taking a deeper look into a woman's desire and society's response to it.

The film's psychological and physical explorations remain incomplete. It is reduced to the status of an adult art movie. The lack of a background score in many scenes affects the cinematic experience.

Sruthi has attempted to do justice to the role. While she excels in expressing frustration that is born out of her sexual urge, she fails to convince as a lonely woman suffering from insomnia and survivor’s guilt. She also falters during the intimate sequences, hardly expressing the emotions of a woman who is unable to control the raging desire for the touch of a man.

Sharanya steals the show as a woman brought up in rural environs. Vijay and Balaji Manohar (as psychiatrist Carvalho) have also done justice to their roles.

The dialogues are insightful and elevate the characters. The background score supports the theme, and so do the lyrics. 

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