Sometimes, small is big. With Night Drive, Vysakh seems to have operated on this mantra as he delivers a tight thriller filled with performances grounded in reality, unlike his last few outings.
With a simple story, complex screenplay, and no big names to snatch the limelight away from the plot, Night Drive makes for an absolutely engrossing watch from the moment go.
Georgy (Roshan Mathew) and Riya (Anna Ben) are dating each other. They decide to go for a peaceful night drive on Riya's birthday when things go haywire, changing the tone of the night and the movie. The harrowing moments the characters go through make up the plot of Night Drive.
The movie opens with Georgy, who is an Uber driver, and takes a comic route giving little clues on what's in store.
Vysakh then gradually shifts gears and raises the tension, turning the air into 'full-thriller mode' right at the interval, and leaving the audience glued to their seat.
The second half is all about delivering on the tagline of Night Drive, which is, “The hunted become the hunters”. The crew has done a fabulous job of ensuring the audience feel the tension till the last minute.
The chemistry between Roshan and Anna deserves a special mention, besides their thoroughly convincing individual performances. Indrajith, who plays a police officer, proves yet again that he is grossly underrated in the industry.
Kalabhavan Shajon also delivers a satisfying performance. Siddique, who has been on the lookout for flashy roles recently, catches our attention as the minister who talks in a unique style.
The remaining cast, which includes Renji Panicker, Muthumani, Prasanth Alexander and Santhosh Keezhattoor, have done their bit decently.
Abhilash Pillai, who wrote the screenplay, deserves a pat on the back for presenting the story in a nerve-racking manner.
Shaji Kumar, who is the director of photography, has done a beautiful job capturing the night's eeriness and calmness with his frames. That, coupled with Ranjin Raj's background score, and you have a quality thriller on your hands.
Vysakh, though known for his larger-than-life movies (Pokkiriraja, Pulimurugan), is a director who can experiment with genres of any scale. Movies like Vishudhan and Night Drive are an example of this.
If you're still looking for a hero in Night Drive, it's the story. Making a thriller that resonated with the audience is by no means easy. By successfully establishing a connect with the audience, Vysakh has yet another winner in Night Drive.