Njan Prakashan (2018) Malayalam Movie Review – Veeyen


‘Njan Prakashan’ does not break any new ground when it comes to the tale that it narrates. And yet, it is a film that needs to be watched for the performer that Fahadh Faasil is, and as much corny as it might sound to state that the actor in him has surpassed the ruts and dips in the script yet again, it couldn’t be any closer to actual fact.


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There is a fabulous scene in the latter half of Sathyan Anthikkad’s ‘Njan Prakashan’ that is a reminder. A visual aide memoir rather, of what the Sathyan – Sreenivasan combo is truly capable of; films that are grounded in contemporary realism and teeming with characters that we are acquainted with like the back our palms.

Prakashan (Fahadh Faasil) caught in a quagmire of financial liabilities agrees to his lender Gopalji (Sreenivasan) to join a group of immigrant labourers at work and thereby pay his debts off.  Landing on a paddy field to plant saplings at the break of dawn, Prakashan is taken aback by the streaks of a North Indian choral tune that stream across and on quizzing Gopalji, is told that it’s been a while since the regional refrains have been swapped for songs and languages that had once seemed so far away.

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‘Njan Prakashan’ is a leap forward for the much adored director, in that it’s a breezy watch unlike many of his recent cinematic outings. It does restore at least in parts, the faith that we have had in an Anthikkadan film, and displays flashes of that radiance that had gifted us with many a magical movie experience in the past.

Sreenivasan’s recent attempts at screenwriting have been obsessed with select social issues, and it’s here that Sathyan Anthikkad intervenes, and in ‘Njan Prakashan’ the writing is intermittently reined and positively so. But there is nothing much that can be done about the conventional groove that the film eventually finds itself stuck in, which robs it of its overall charm.

Prakashan has rechristened himself into P R Akash, like one of Sreenivasan’s former well recognized characters,  and despite having a degree in nursing loiters around, exploring the prospects of turning prosperous overnight. When he learns that his junior at college Salomi (Nikhila Vimal) is all set to move to Germany, Prakashan convinces her of his love for her, hoping to immigrate to the foreign country on a spouse visa.

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The former half of the film is buttered with light moments throughout, and though there is nothing earth shattering happening around when it comes to the plot, it has plenty of good-naturedness in store, despite its protagonist being far from an agreeable chap. The first lesson in life is served to Prakashan on a platter by Salomi herself, and post-interval, ‘Njan Prakashan’ brings about a turn in the events that would deliver the man, Lesson Two.

It’s after the midway point that ‘Njan Prakashan’ starts to slog, and entrusted with the care of an ailing teenager Tina (Devika Sanjay), Prakashan decides to turn over a new leaf. He also runs into Sruthi (Anju Kurien), the self-sustaining, spine strong girl exclusively found in several of Sreenivasan’s screenplays, who is into burger making when she’s not busy with her vegetable farm.

Thereon, ‘Njan Prakashan’ runs a pre-determined course, before the man discovers life and what makes it tick. Despite all the predictability, and all the truisms that lie along the way, Fahadh strikes yet again and makes you watch him with an earnestness that not every other actor accomplishes with such ease.

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‘Njan Prakashan’ also has an array of staunch performers  who hold their own despite the towering presence of Fahadh, and all the three girls – Nikhila Vimal, Devika Sanjay and Anju Kurien – are downright remarkable. There are veterans as Sreenivasan and  KPAC Lalitha who leave a mark and an absolutely stunner of a performance from Remya Suresh,  as Salomi’s mom.

When Prakashan eagerly asks Tina as to which is the most beautiful place that she has ever been too, she replies without batting an eyelid that nothing can ever replace the stellar landscape that God’s own country has. As if in confirmation of what has been said, cinematographer S Kumar crafts the most picturesque of frames for the film, capturing Kerala in all its green glory.

‘Njan Prakashan’ does not break any new ground when it comes to the tale that it narrates. And yet, it is a film that needs to be watched for the performer that Fahadh Faasil is, and as much corny as it might sound to state that the actor in him has surpassed the ruts and dips in the script yet again, it couldn’t be any closer to actual fact.


Verdict: Watch it for a fab Fahadh!


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