Tovino Thomas-starrer 'Nadikar' only exudes a whiff of charm | Movie Review

Tovino Thomas plays David Padikkal in 'Nadikar'. Photo | Facebook

After films like 'Honey Bee' and 'Driving Licence', Jean Paul Lal is back with 'Nadikar', which revolves around a superstar whose success is on the wane. Going by the title 'Nadikar', one would expect it to be glamorous, lofty, and set in a fantasy world. But Jean Paul's 'Nadikar' only exudes a whiff of charm as it resorts to a lacklustre storyline, contrary to what 'Nadikar' could have been. It's a good thing that the movie makers agreed to rename the movie to 'Nadikar' from 'Nadikar Thilakam'.
David Padikkal played by Tovino Thomas is a superstar who is struggling to stay relevant after a string of flops. The opening shots of the film highlight his superstardom with a focus on David's previous movies with his lover and co-star Ann, played by Bhavana. This is reminiscent of the opening scenes in 'Driving License', a film written by Sachy and helmed by Lal Jr.
'Nadikar' portrays David's superstardom and success with some cliche scenes filled with free-flowing booze, money, and women. Though nothing much is given about David's past, we get to know that he attained his stardom after three successive hits. However, the newfound stardom gets to his head and David soon stumbles.

Lal Jr employs some of the tropes that were part of his earlier works. In 'Honey Bee', Baburaj's character Fernando d'Silva often jabbers in Manglish (Malayalam and English) for comic effect. In 'Nadikar' too, Suresh Krishna has this tendency to speak similarly whenever he gets excited. Suresh Krishna, as David Padikkal's manager Paily and Balu Varghese who plays his friend Lenin, offer some comic relief in the movie, though some of the jokes fall flat. It is refreshing to see Bhavana on screen after a while, and you wish she had more screen space in the movie. However, it is Salim Kumar's son Chandu who truly steals the show with his performance as a hardcore fan of David Padikkal. You get to see traces of Salimkumar, especially in his dialogue delivery, which was not as obvious in the recently hit film 'Manjummel Boys'.

Some of the scenes in 'Nadikar' are thought-provoking though and give us an insight into how stardom can lead to destruction if one is not disciplined enough. It also highlights the need for personal-reflection on a frequent basis. Tovino as David Padikkal pulls off his character with elan, especially in the emotional scenes.
The music by Neha Nair and Yakzan Gary Pareira is refreshing, though there are very few tracks in the movie, which could have benefited from more songs.

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