An engrossing movie, Njandukalude Nattil Oridavela is the best bet to watch in these days of Onam festivals. It has all in it to laugh, cheer, and feel-good even though it had in its central character a cancer patient and her fight to weed out the disease. The response of her closed ones in her fight against it makes the drama a bit humongously funny.
At a point, the viewers would generally think of whether the excessive use of comedy to bring a vast amount of lightness to a topic that needs seriousness and erudition is fair. But the characteristic lightness comes not at the cost of the film and has, in fact, gives some knowledge of the post-cancer days of a patient and their family. It is not always as pleasurable what we see in the movie in adjusting with the disease but it shows there is also a positive way of approaching it.
The movie is an adaptation of the book written by famous Malayalam writer Chandramathi teacher. She is also a cancer survivor. Her grit and courage in fighting out the crab made the book.
Actor turned debutant director Althaf Salim (Premam, Sakhavu) has done it neatly and straight face. He has done along with George Kora to scribble some of the best dialogues in the movie and it is not easy to bring situational comedy with such ease.
It was ‘Sukrutham’; the movie directed by Harikumar and written by MT Vasudevan Nair with Mammootty as the lead that dealt in detail with the disease and its survival. In fact, Shanthi Krishna who plays the lady lead in NNO has also played a significant role in that film as well.
The NNO opens to a voice-over of an oncology doctor played by Saiju (Saiju Kurup) and he narrates about the incidents that are to be unfolded around Chacko and his family. Chacko (Lal) has been for half of his adult-life in Kuwait and returned only a few years to settle with his family. He is now a real estate dealer. His wife Sheela Chacko (Shanthikrishna) is a professor and they have three children; Mary (Srinda), Kurian (Nivin Pauly) and Ahana (Sarah). The family has a grandfather (KL Antony) who is fighting his old-age with memory loss. The tone of an affluent family premise was set and the life of each of them was progressing in their own terms.
Sheela one day traces a lump in her chest. It is quick for her to set her suspicion of cancer on the lump. She, though, disappointed at first amasses strength in revealing this to his husband. (However, a personal experience of mine is that a woman took 14 years to tell her husband about such a growth and few years she survived even though she has been exposed medical care lately. Many hush up the crab inside them especially women for the sake of their loved ones.)
Chacko is not that strong as a man is his physique as in his heart. He trembles at the danger. Sheela wants his children to be known about the disease and wants his son to come home from London. She yearns for their support. Weak-hearted Chacko but fails in it where Sheela herself chips in to tell them that she is having a stage 2 breast cancer-not so serious but curable.
Though educated and serious adults, the family of Sheela falters. They find hard to bring in terms with their reality with their mother’s. However, the treatment of this post-Cancer revelation of the movie is inundated with too much humour joints. It is devoid of any emotional drama but a general connect with the family to the situation fails to please the audience. However, these are all small demerits that have been compensated with the much brilliant performance of Shanthi Krishna.
Lal has done a fair amount of justification to the role so as Nivin Pauly. The absence of Siju Wilson and Ahana Krishnakumar would have done some good to the whole set of the film. Mukesh Muralidharan has done neatly with the camera so as the music by Justin Varghese.