- 2 hr 4 min
Nizhal is a 2021 Indian Malayalam-language psychological thriller film directed by Appu N. Bhattathiri and written by S. Sanjeev. The film stars Nayanthara, Kunchacko Boban and Saiju Kurup in lead roles. It tells the story of John Baby (played by Kunchacko Boban), a renowned lawyer who moves to Kochi with his family for a new case. However, he gets involved in a mysterious incident that compels him to face his traumatic past.
The movie opens with John Baby's life before he moved to Kochi. He lost his wife and daughter in an accident five years ago and has been grappling with the psychological trauma since then. In order to leave behind the memories and to start afresh, he moves to Kochi to take up a new case. Soon after he moves into his new house, he starts receiving strange phone calls from a girl named Julie, who claims to be his daughter. At first, John Baby dismisses the phone calls as a prank, but the calls continue to persist and they start to affect him. He begins to see hallucinations of his dead daughter and gets paranoid. He confides in his friend and colleague, Thomas (played by Saiju Kurup), who helps him deal with the situation.
Meanwhile, John Baby takes up the case of a young boy who is accused of killing his own father. The boy, Mathews (played by Izin Hash), is from a dysfunctional family and has a history of mental health issues. John Baby tries to defend Mathews in court but faces a lot of roadblocks due to the lack of evidence and witnesses. As he delves deeper into the case, he realizes that there is a lot more to it than what meets the eye.
Nizhal is a slow-burning thriller that keeps the audience engaged throughout the movie. The director has done a great job in building up the tension and suspense as the story progresses. Nayanthara's portrayal of a psychologist, who is an important character in the movie, is noteworthy. Though she has limited screen time, she makes a lasting impact with her performance. Kunchacko Boban's character arc is the heart of the movie and he has done justice to the role. His emotions are palpable and the viewers can feel his pain and trauma.
The cinematography by Deepak D. Menon is one of the highlights of the movie. The use of light and shadows, especially in the scenes where John Baby is trying to unravel the mystery behind the phone calls, creates a haunting atmosphere. The background score by Sooraj S. Kurup is also notable for its eerie and ominous notes.
In conclusion, Nizhal is a must-watch for anyone who loves psychological thrillers. It is an engaging movie with a good storyline, great performances and brilliant technical work. Appu N. Bhattathiri has done a commendable job with his directorial debut and is definitely a talent to watch out for in the future.
Nizhal is a 2021 thriller with a runtime of 2 hours and 4 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3.