After a spectacular Baahubali and the commercial Maari, we go in for NPNIO with no expectations and it works. Yes, this one is like the lime soda you drink to wash down a hearty meal, fitting perfectly between two biggies as a comic escapade.
The film’s title is pretty much the storyline; it is about what transpires between four policemen and a village that was once an idle living space. The first half sets in leisurely as they show how ideal the village really is (get this, even mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws don’t fight here!). The sequence before the interval is particularly funny and had most of the audience in splits. The film then moves on to show how the small antics of the policemen change the village (for worse). Pretty much working like chaos theory, every action of theirs spirals into one huge pitfall.
Casting is near perfect, Arulnidhi delivers in both romance and comedy. However, it is the support cast that steals the show. The antics of the other three policemen Singampuli, Bagavathi Perumal and Rajkumar are adorable for most parts. All three have scored an opportunity of lifetime and they have made perfect use of it. Singampuli especially looks like the unofficial hero (credits to Arulnidhi for letting the script take over star value) in both comical as well as emotional sequences. With the police station at the crux of the story, the director had a huge scope for some masala fights but the film maker steps away from it and does what he wants to deliver – a clean comedy. The only duet in the movie doesn’t help the proceedings; in fact, the entire love track with Remya could be chopped and it wouldn’t have made a difference to the end product.
Yogi Babu takes over the second half and delivers as the funny con guy for most parts. There are no slo-mo hero walks, no item songs, no punch dialogues, no sexist humour and that’s precisely why we want this underdog to win. The climax too is quite surprising, not in a big bang way but with its own small town charm. And yes, Arulnidhi deserves a round of applause for his choice of films – they have been distinctly different from each other and with each film, he has grown to become a natural performer. Sometimes, the film tries too hard (post interval) to make us laugh and it irks but that shouldn’t stop you from watching this one at the theatres.