Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam Review – dreamlike, theatrical, slow and quite pretentious


There is a certain beauty in how the story slowly unfolds, but the slow theatrical settings make it difficult to follow or understand the message it is trying to convey.

We are reviewing the 2022 Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam movie no spoilers and was released on Netflix in February 2023.

Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam (English: Like an afternoon dream) is the highly acclaimed feature film by the Indian author Lijo Jose Pellisseryknown for 2021 Churuli. The film marks the first collaboration between Pelissery and the veteran actor Mammoth (who also acted as producer). After its premiere in Kerala International Film Festival In late 2022, the bilingual Malayalam-Tamil drama enjoyed a limited worldwide theatrical release in January before finally landing Netflix in February.

the slogan of the movie, “Death sinks into a deep slumber. Rebirth is awakening from sleep.” is borrowed from the Thirukuralan ancient text in Tamil. Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkams The inspiration for a true story was an old commercial in which a little boy wakes up from a nap on a bus and starts speaking a different language. Mammootty plays James, a man who awakens from a sleep into a trance-like state believing he is a different person.

Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam Review and Summary of the Plot

Mammootty’s character James is a middle-aged man on a pilgrimage with his wife Sally (Ramya Suvi), his little son, his father-in-law (T. Suresh Babu) and her friends. Group of Malaysian tourists visited Velankanni in Tamil Nadu area from Kerala. James is introduced as the de facto leader of the group. He is portrayed as a spoilsport who does not drink and enjoys bossing people around. Despite his weaknesses, he is also a kind husband and very generous to those around him, as it quickly becomes apparent that he is the one who paid for the entire pilgrimage.

Read: Best Tamil Movies of All Time

When the bus returns to Kerala, the group tries to pass the time singing. Killjoy James is immediately annoyed and orders everyone to be quiet. Soon all the passengers fall asleep, including James. When James wakes up, he asks the bus driver (Rajesh Sharma) to stop; He gets out and makes his way to a nearby village. At first, the other passengers think James is just following the call of nature. Instead, he goes straight to one of the houses, feeds the cow, pets the dog, and wakes up the lady of the house, Poovally (Ramya Pandan), with an inappropriate intimacy that leaves the poor woman stunned.

Little by little, as the narrative unfolds, we find out that Poovally’s husband, Sundaram, disappeared less than two years ago, and somehow James pretends to be the returned man. He runs errands, drinks with his friends and speaks his Tamil language perfectly. Things James normally dislikes, like Tamil cuisine and the usual sugary tea, he now loves. Though no one recognizes him, James continues to move through the village as if he has lived there all his life.

James and Sundaram’s wives are heartbroken and confused. The other group members try to work things out with the village elders and Sundaram’s father. Only one person recognizes her son in James and that is Sundaram’s blind mother.

The plot is secondary in Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam. Pellissery uses mostly static long shots to tell his story, which can be distracting and even cause headaches. Using television sounds as a narrative element would have been more effective had they not been a constant part of the runtime.

There is a certain beauty to the way the story unfolds, but the slow theatrical settings make it difficult to follow or understand the message it is trying to convey.

Is Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam movie good?

If you like slow-moving art-house cinema, you’ll probably like it Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam. Some will love this feature, while others will find it a pretentious snooze party.

What did you think of the 2022 movie Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam? Comment below.

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