Naslen and Mathew shine in 'Neymar', but it's the canine star that steals the show

Neymar movie
Neymar movie poster. Photo: IMDb

Neymar, the debut film by Sudhi Maddison, featuring Naslen, Mathew and the canine star 'Neymar', is a thrilling entertainer. Despite moments of emotional intensity, it transcends the typical human-animal emotional drama to create a vibrant energy that keeps the audience engaged throughout.

The plot of the movie centres around the dynamic between two close friends, Kunjava (portrayed by Mathew) and Sinto (portrayed by Naslen), both ardent football fans, and how their lives take an unexpected turn when Neymar comes into their lives. While the plot of Neymar is straightforward and predictable, the film manages to captivate the audience with its unique execution. Neymar takes a unique approach compared to the usual heartwarming stories about the special bond between humans and their pets. Rather than focusing on the positive aspects, the movie delves into the consequences that arise when a dog causes trouble. However, the film does so in a humorous and lighthearted manner.

In the first half of the movie, the audience is introduced to Kunjava, Sinto, and their families, and how Neymar, the mischievous yet understanding dog, enters their lives, leaving an impact on each of them. The movie establishes the premise of their lives and the influence of Neymar. Director Sudhi Maddison's ability to capture Neymar's mannerisms is truly impressive. Throughout the movie, Neymar follows commands seamlessly, creating a natural and authentic on-screen presence. The result is a portrayal that is so convincing, it's as if the dog is unaware of the camera's presence.

The initial half of the movie concludes on an emotive climax, leaving a lingering question for the latter half. It's in the latter part that the film undergoes a remarkable transformation, presenting Neymar in an entirely different backdrop that is nothing short of captivating. Viewers are bound to root for Neymar ardently throughout the second half.

When it comes to performances, Mathew and Naslen deliver outstanding acting throughout the film. The audience will undoubtedly connect with Naslen's character, who is portrayed as a loyal and sincere friend to Mathew's character. Moreover, Vijayaraghavan and Shammi Thilakan's bittersweet relationship is another highlight of the film. Their scenes with Johny Antony are remarkable. Yog Japee's performance is decent, although his character doesn't offer anything particularly outstanding to the audience. However, it is Neymar who steals the show. The dog's performance in the movie is so effortless, capturing even the smallest nuances and details. Neymar's portrayal is so impressive that he becomes the sole focus of attention in almost all the scenes he appears in.

Despite the brilliant acting performances and nuanced shots, there are instances where certain scenes in Neymar may come across as overly dramatic, seemingly added solely for emotional value. This is particularly evident in some of the climax sequences. Additionally, towards the end, the movie may feel a bit prolonged, but this does not detract significantly from the overall viewing experience.  Sudhi Neymar strikes a perfect balance between feel-good and entertainment, thanks to Sudhi Maddison's commendable efforts.

The film is a testament to the fact that animal-based movies can be well-made and engaging. Maddison has expertly woven shots that leave the audience awestruck. While dog enthusiasts will undoubtedly appreciate this movie, it has something for everyone to relish. The film's blend of comedy, entertainment, and emotion makes it a must-watch for those seeking a cinematic experience that delivers it all.

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