The movie NH10 is about a DINK (Dual Income No Kids) couple in Gurgaon, Meera (Anushka Sharma) and Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam), who go on a road trip to a weekend getaway. En route, they witness an honor killing, which makes them lock horns with the killers. After Arjun is injured, Meera runs for her life, while being chased by the killers. Gradually, the fate of the couple is revealed as an insolent surprise.
Various twists and turns at the right places in the story line, grab the attention of the audience. Suspense, mixed with the detailed violence, gives a creepy feeling many a times. Nevertheless, as the movie progresses, the feeling of insecurity and uncertainty, dissolved in misery and hostility, gets as real as it is.
NH10 tries to illustrate the social constructs in the society by unfolding them into thrilling events. Whether it is the collective hatred of men towards women depicted in name-calling, or the shocking manifestations of honor killing, or the egalitarian configuration of gender in the urban space with equal levels of social success and social positioning, the movie has very well portrayed the very apparent social constructs on screen,without slipping away from the storyline.
Belonging to the thriller genre, the movie has a very gripping script which serves as its backbone. NH10 renders the contrasting and conflicting responses of a woman to different situations; her indifference to the sufferings of others as she neglects the pleas of another woman being chased by assailants, her protective instinct as she tries to guard her husband from hurt, her empathy with womanhood as she erases cuss words off a toilet wall, and her revengeful attitude while punishing the goons. It also tries to bring forward the reality of social cannibalism, as members of the same species (here, women) pose a threat to each other.
There are a few instances in the movie, which are not completely convincing. It is hard to envisage that every person the couple runs into is a part of the large nexus of honor killers. The fact that Arjun decides to chase the honor killers to avenge his hurt pride is also unconvincing, as nobody would take such a huge risk, especially while being accompanied by his wife. NH10 does bear a resemblance to the 2008 British thriller Eden Lake, only that the former is more realistic and less gruesome and is set in India. The movie is the odd one out of the Bollywood lot, as there are no songs in this 2 hours long thriller.
Director Navdeep Singh of the Manorma Six Feet Under fame has done a good job by binding the movie to its core. The movie is shot in a lifelike manner and the cinematographer seems to know his job. The duration of the film is justified and it doesn’t drag.Anushka Sharma has done fairly well, substantiating her debut production. Neil Bhoopalam delivers a tolerable performance, while Darshan Kumar lives the negative role after donning the sweet husband’s role in Mary Kom.Deepti Naval has shown her class in a cameo.
Overall, the movie offers a social memorandum, packed with suspense and thriller. Convincing performances by the actors and a tight script make this movie a must watch.