It is absolutely refreshing to see an actor break the mould they have been set in for years. This once, it is Anushka Sharma. Sure, she is hits, kicks and punches like any of her other male contemporaries, but the context seems important here. NH10 does smell like a revenge drama. But it has an edge that you cannot ignore.
It does help that the film is from the director of Manorma Six Feet Under, a thriller that I had completely enjoyed. I just hope this is not another case of slickly edited trailer leading up to a film that is nothing like it.
- meeta, a part of the audience
You drive through a city, a city that looks like any other. A couple is driving to a party, engaging in the regular couple banter. You know danger is looming. You know because you have seen the trailer. Like the beginning of a typical Hindi horror film, the couple walks into the mouth of the lion that is going to gnaw it down. But, unlike the horror film, NH10 grips you by the collar and clenches at it through the two hours. When was the last time you could say that about a film? Even if you are uncomfortable through the length of the film.
And this is when you are prepared for the film. The trailer has ample warning, in fact over-preps you for the film's intensity. You go in expecting the worst things happening to the lead lady and even though they don't manifest, the discomfort is relentless.
From the word go, the writing hits upon taboo, gender divide, status of women in our society. Even before you get to the crux of the film, a scare is brought in. Much like newspaper headlines with shocking news day after day, tirelessly, the film hits you with one scary face of society and human being after another. So much so that you wonder if we are that any more - social or human.
Arjun (Neil Bhoopalam) and Mira (Anushka Sharma) are like two sides of you – scared and yet moved from the inside, enough to want to do something about the injustice that makes the world. There is no overt social message, but you are unsettled. Arjun and Mira, an urban couple, want to protect another couple which is being beaten up by their own family for dishonoring the family and caste.
But, NH10 is not only about honor killing or safety of women and so on. It is more a pointer at what human beings are capable of – when she is blinded by her beliefs or he wants to prove he's macho or they are blinded by a need for revenge. In any of these cases, they don't want or trust the system, they want control over their own matters.
Through this myriad of thoughts, the tension - through background music (or lack thereof), the camera work – stays just right. The chases, the situations are such that when you get respite from the build-up, you are ready for it. Despite your admiration for how real the situation is and constantly thinking about what you'd do if you were in their place, you welcome that relief in the form of a background song or an emotional scene or a cinematic liberty. Even though you know those wouldn't come to your rescue in real life.
Unfortunately, these same things takes away from the film. They remind you, you are only watching a film, after all. As much as you want to believe the ridiculous coincidences, they disconnect you from the characters and the situations who you were so close to, just a second ago.
Even so, it is a thriller indeed. A thriller so well-made that as I reach towards the end of what I want to say about the film, I haven't yet spoken about the most striking thing about the film - the performances. While you could call Neil Bhoopalam the hero(?) of the film, and he does his bit convincingly, your hatred toward Darshan Kumaar's Satbir takes up your emotional energy. And of course your worry for Mira.
Anushka Sharma has given it her all. You are watching Mira, a person you might see at a candle-light vigil, the woman who wants to make a place in this world of men (a world where an all men-committee decides how to sell a female hygiene product), a person who cares about a security guard doing his duty – a person like you and me. And even while, neither you nor I would like to be in the situation Mira finds herself in, we would all like to be like her when push comes to shove.
Especially, in the climax. But, for a film which attempts to keep things real, the climax is outlandish. The drama, a little over-stated. I guess, like the characters of the film, from the film-makers point of view too, it is a “you gotta do what you gotta do.”
What stays though is that despite the intentional laxity in the writing, your muscles stay taut. The mind stays worked up and alert thinking of what you would do in real life, despite the unreal coincidences. Most of all, the intensity doesn't leave you long after you've left the theater. How many thrillers can you say that about?
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Naresh Kumar Deoshi, Apun Ka Choice : ...In a nutshell, 'NH10' is a disturbing, infuriating, blood-curdling indictment of a sordid side of our society. It’s an unpleasant reality, but the one we should learn to look dead in the eye. ‘NH10’ gives us that unvarnished, unsettling glimpse. Go for it... full review
Thumbs up, by Prateeksha Khot, Bolly Spice : ...NH10 makes an impact on you because the movie stays away from outlandish Bollywood drama – most of the times – and puts forth a day gone wrong situation which could happen to anyone. If you caught yourself looking over your shoulder more than once on the way back home you know this movie made an impact on you.... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...NH10 is a wonderfully made film with an outstanding performance by Anushka Sharma. It will be well appreciatedby an intelligent audience that's gunning for women safety and empowerment. The sound cinematic credentials and gripping narrative is the high point of the film. But, as mentioned earlier, the glorification of violence isn't easy to stomach. You need to be really motivated to absorb it. This National Highway has its shares of potholes, but, it is a must visit. Do go the NH10 way!... full review
Thumbs up, by Subramanian Harikumar, Bollywood Life : ...It is very rare to find an action film, which is so believable and which will leave you dumbfounded. Anushka’s NH10 is the brave kind of cinema which I look forward from Bollywood, which is not afraid to entertain by telling disturbing truths of our society. I give two thumbs up for NH10. Watch it for hard hitting action, and Anushka’s praiseworthy performance... full review
Thumbs up, Daily Bhaskar : ...At the end, Anushka Sharma stands as a winner. A) For acting brilliantly in this demanding film that must have left her drained of energy. B) For taking the risk of making her production debut with such a challenging film.... full review
Thumbs up, by Mihir Fadnavis, FirstPost : ...But those are all trifles in the grander scheme of this gripping and entertaining thriller, with a terrific performance from Sharma. After years of giving in to the easy commercial roles, it’s good to see her venture out of her comfort zone and deliver so well. Kudos.... full review
Thumbs up, by Nupur Barua, fullhyd.com : ...NH10 is about violence, and the disdain that people have for the law. What we lay stress on in developed urban areas, as far as our rights are concerned, makes us believe that we are immune to injustice. In the rustic lands of Haryana, the laws do not apply, and people have their own system of justice. We read it in the papers all the time, so watching a movie about it is not going to shock you. Which is why you must watch it - to understand how disparate the different parts of the nation are.... full review
Thumbs up, by Martin D'Souza, Glamsham.com : ...What you take home from the movie is this: Is it worth fuelling your ego? The horrific fact of honour killings. Jungle law on the outskirts of Delhi, ''where democracy ends,'' as one cop succinctly puts it and woman power of unrefined proportions. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, IBN Live : ...The part of Meera is a terrific opportunity for Anushka Sharma, who sinks her teeth into the character, an educated professional thrown into a violent world, and called upon to respond with both physical and emotional courage. Watch her eyes and her body language in a scene where she lights a smoke and watches dispassionately as her offender struggles to get on his feet. Her performance powers the film. Kudos to the actress also for putting her strength behind the film as a producer, and for backing Singh's bold vision all the way.... full review
Thumbs up, by Anubhav Parsheera , india today : ...Driving, much like smoking is often seen as a masculine activity. Murdering the bad guys is also something that the man does, often in order to avenge some sort of threat to female 'honor', which he believes is closely linked to his. Anushka Sharma does all three in NH10, and to devastating effect... full review
Thumbs up, by Surabhi Redkar, koimoi : ...I strongly believe that films are meant to create an impact if they hit the right nerve and NH10 does that. Navdeep Singh takes up an issue which is simmering and as society is contemplating over it, they are fed with some harsh realities of life. His last film Manorama Six Feet Under was a little too mature for its time but NH10 is bang on. He keeps the audience hooked with a great plot and does not play much with the music thankfully.... full review
Thumbs up, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...All that’s left to do is praise the cast: Bhoopalam as Arjun; Darshan Kumaar as the leader of the thugs; Deepti Naval, playing against type in a cameo; and most of all Sharma, who holds everything together even as she threatens to fall apart.... full review
Thumbs up, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...If one has to point out drawbacks, some of the twists in the story seem too convenient and the second half dips a wee bit in energy as compared to the first half. But, overall, the choice of locations, the performances and the brutally honest take on a story that needed to be told, makes this film a hell of a scary ride but absolutely worth it. Don't miss it. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Joginder Tuteja, Movie Talkies : ...It is this suffocation that is the strength and the USP of the film, but then may also be a little too tough to digest for some viewers. For those who aren't scared to encounter a world on screen which is not quite feel-good, NH10 makes for a gritty, gruesome, disturbing and haunting movie watching affair, as director Navdeep Singh (Manorama-Six Feet Under) makes good use of technology at his disposal (background score, sound design, cinematography, editing) to ensure effective storytelling. - See more at: http://www.movietalkies.com/movies/reviews/21236/nh10#sthash.W72g12jY.dpuf... full review
Thumbs up, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...The film, however, holds its path right down to the shocking final moments. NH10 is an adventurous Bollywood film that breaks the shackles of convention and is none the worse for it. Eminently watchable. ... full review
Thumbs up, by Raja Sen, Rediff : ...The frame before the crash shows her fleeting, well-earned smile turn into a wide-eyed and helpless “whoops” -- another excellent Sharma moment -- and that whoops is the best metaphor for NH10: it tells us we’re on the edge and that one misstep could flip our lives around in an instant.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Director Navdeep Singh who made the delightful Manorama Six Feet Under, whips up a film that's unrepentantly dark, gritty and gruesome. And you still watch with rapt attention, as the story that is unfolding is so deliciously intense and the performance by the leading lady so earnest and untethered. This is a jolt-filled ride you don't want to miss!... full review
Thumbs up, by Somdatta Sen, Star Blockbuster : ...You don’t know how strong you are unless being strong is the only option you have. Bravo Anushka for backing this one. This ride of the highway is a must.... full review
Thumbs up, by SUDHISH KAMATH, The Hindu : ...While the situation on road hasn’t changed one bit (from the days the media named her Nirbhaya to the recent past when BBC called her India’s Daughter), it is so gratifying to see a dark cathartic violent fantasy play out at least on screen.... full review
Thumbs up, by Ritika Handoo, Zee News : ...t happens to their journey? Do they reach where they had set out for? These are some questions which only will be best answered when you book you tickets. Get ready for a new sojourn, only to feel the thrill while 'NH10' takes you to an unseen destination.... full review
So-So, by Baradwaj Rangann, Blogical Conclusion, The New Sunday Express : ...But The Brave One was a disaster. I wrote in my review: “[The film] can’t decide whether to condone vigilantism, explore its consequences, or celebrate it. And as long as we’re talking tripartite confusion, neither can the film decide whether to aspire to the violence-is-inside-every-one-of-us thesis of Straw Dogs, the psychological and moral dimensions of the avenging angel in Taxi Driver, or simply the audience-pleasing revenge-fantasia elements of Death Wish.”... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...NH10 as the latest Friday release, for many it might be a much relevant film talking about ‘women empowerment’. But for me it was another of those technically appreciable as well as inspired (well-performed) attempts with a routine second half that fails to deliver the required punch.... full review
So-So, by Aneela Zeb Babar, Desi Martini : ...You will hear the term 'gritty' a lot in the coming days.Also 'dark'.If I hadnt witnessed Haryana giggling in the back row hum bhi ye likhte... full review
So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...Performances by Neil Bhoopalam, Darshan Kumar and Deepti Naval are credible. None of them falter, not even a bit in convincing you about their characters. As for the film itself, it does not offer the same conviction. It has the trappings to sway the average Hindi movie buff, some might even see a great leveller in it. But to the Hollywood regular this one's just another release.... full review
So-So, by Johnson Thomas, Free Press Journal : ...The night-time cinematography is creditable, and the performances are pretty much adequate. Anushka. Neil and Darshan Kumar as the villain dig in well but it’s a feisty Deepti Naval, who makes her all-too-brief cameo a memorable one. In fact her entry point is when the film picks up speed. Otherwise, Navdeep Singh’s film is a mere genre pusher.... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Are men the protectors? Can women protect themselves? Are men the enemy? Are women the enemy? Will we ever get past caste, creed and gender? Are cities worse or villages? Is India too convoluted? Is anyone safe? NH10 doesn’t provide easy answers. ... full review
_prithwish_: Simply brilliant @AnushkaSharma is a rockstar in #NH10 what a film!!!! Go see it now!!!!
_Arnav_Khushi_: NH10 looks quite interesting.
YashwanthL: #NH10 starring @AnushkaSharma is a must watch!! This feministic character was absolutely stunning & bold!
Waziiir: #NH10 is top class! Riveting!
vipulnogja1992: Superb movie #NH10
vickyanand99: NH10 is realy fantastic movie . thank u for maiking this movie @AnushkaSharma
TusharChawla10: NH10 is a great movie. Anushka's best performance till date.
TM2197: NH10 Powerful. Gripping. Intense. Perfect Thriller. Hats off to @AnushkaSharma
thisisaby: So I went to see a #Bollywood flick after a looong while, and @NH10themovie didn't disappoint. Terrifying, thrilling--great watch. #NH10
The_Bad_CA: NH10.... So far so good till interval...
TheSolutionBaba: #NH10 is inspired by Eden Lake but oh boy they done full justice... very very well done.. brilliant editing and direction. Acting too.
thegoatboi: #NH10 Wow. Just wow.
TheCantonaChip: Movies like NH10 restore my faith in Bollywood.
TheAn1sh: Went for 2nd time to watch #NH10 . really must watch for everyone. Beautifully directed and @AnushkaSharma really have to admire ur talent♡♡
tarun_0707: 4 stars for #NH10 wow....
SusruthS: #NH10 - a good crime thriller based against caste discrimination. A worthful watch.
SUNILSHARMASTS: today watched one of the best thriller movie , NH10 , good story, good acting
srkiany_blood: NH10 is awesome #KnowYourKnights
souryadash: #NH10 is brutally scary; dont miss it @AnushkaSharma in her best role till date. What a film Navdeep Singh. Go watch it .
sideveryoung: NH10 Awesome Thriller! Hats Off Anushka #SuperbSkills @AnushkaSharma
siddharthbagul9: What an idiotic review of a fantastic movie. Also he really needs to stop saying shit. #nh10 #krknonsense @AnushkaSharma - you rock :D
Sharanyashettyy: #Nh10 - a roadtrip gone wrong.. a thriller with pits in its stride is surely a valiant attempt.. @AnushkaSharma
Sanginamby: Stark and stunning. #NH10
sandy00014: NH10 - #iLike Warning: It's a dark and disturbing route.
RujutaDiwekar: Peoples big thumbs up to NH10! It's chilling, gripping and amazing!!
rkf_rumana: NH10 is such a good movie. And @AnushkaSharma is brilliant. We don't need male actors to fight and save women anymore. She's the hero.
ranbirvinita: Guys plz watch #NH10 in ur nearby cinemas
rajendra2z: Watched NH10 movie. No comedy, not funny but still Good.It prove how inter cast marriage is not easy in rural India specially HR. #NH10
rajeev5694: #NH10 awesome movie and anushaka has really performed well... Must watch movie
PWNeha: NH10 left me...drained. The tension is palpable. It is a well made thriller. Terrifying and disturbing. Anushka is terrific.
pulkitganotra: Oh my god Wat a Mvie it was Just fabulous Storyline , direction Acting music Everything was just superb #NH10 #anushkasharma #movie
pulkit113: Awesome movie #NH10 and superb acting by @AnushkaSharma loved it.
PratyayLFC: Bollywood is back on track with one after another good and crispy thrillers. #rahasya #baby #Badlapur and now #NH10 . Lost interest is back
prash52hant: #NH10 is engaging and equally disturbing !!!! Kickass performance by @AnushkaSharma ... @NH10themovie
pkorules: 4.5/5 stars for #NH10 Disturbing & realistic,the film will be remembered bcuz of @AnushkaSharma & the brilliant camera work. A Must Watch!
Piyushk68563101: Must watch NH10 awesom picture
NurjahaJasani: Worth a watch.. must go for it #NH10
nitindhanuka: Watched @AnushkaSharma NH10 .. She is simply brilliant in it .. Good edge of the seat thriller .. Enjoyed it ! Well done girl .. !!
NeotenicNeuron: First inspired to do Manorama Six Feet; he has now after much inspiration come with #NH10 : thank you, Chinatown and Eden Lake. Fuck ethics.
naushad1002: NH10 is the movie where Couples will sit and watch the full movie instead of making Love.
nandkishormanav: Ladies see the amazing avatars of yourself in #NH10. You are brave @AnushkaSharma. Salute :)
nagu3: #NH10 - A violent thriller that will scar a part of you and make it more paranoid. Don't miss it.
movie_gist: NH10 Movie Review: No Turning Back For Anushka Sharma After This
MisterMandeep: #nh10 Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant! Takes a bow...
manishtamancha: Dis years amazing.. it's only 3 months n already seen sme best movies-> #BABY #Badlapur #DumLagaKeHaisha #NH10
Manchali_Purba: Watched NH10 yesterday...what a power packed performance by Anushka Sharma. Highway to Hell, this movie is a must watch!
mallickaditi: #NH10 reinforces what we already knw abt Del & Haryana. Very realistic, blood curdling scenes. A lil slow but well done @AnushkaSharma!
kushdedhia: Give that national award to @AnushkaSharma for her brilliance in #NH10 #WomenPower #Class
KunalHendre: Hats off @AnushkaSharma for a bang on performance, killed it to a next level! Simply amazing! #NH10
kumawat0411: Good think #NH10
kptrambadia13: Just watched NH10 .... What a performance by @AnushkaSharma . Just nailed it !!! In love with meera <3
kavi_tweeting: #NH10 - a true ,gruesome and compelling movie!
kaveriie: how AMAZING IS #nh10
JustinPuri: NH-10. Take a bow.
jayeshughade: #NH10 is gripping, gore, audaciously in your face.Damsel in distress dne right. Anushka is Terrific & brilliantly executed by Navdeep Singh.
isalimoo7: Present a New story of NH10 is really good Work of anuuuuu is really good
irrevocable_guy: Watched NH10, very gore, dark and violent. It takes a lot of courage to make this kind of film in India.
iNeeraj_Mishra: NH10 must watch
iamN7: Just watched #NH10. Nice acting by Anushka but the story bit stretched. Def a good watch! 6/10
iamataullah: Go for #NH10..... Must watch movie for #WOMEN.....
hereisom: Leave whatever you're doing and go and watch NH10 now. Right Now.
HarshalPatel_: #NH10 awesome movie
GouthiVinay: NH10 , amazing thriller and a true story of inside Haryana state. One should go and watch this movie once.
gnanodayam: #NH10 go watch it. Nice movie 3.5/5
GhodaGaadi: Brilliant editing in #NH10 just brilliant. Editors of the world take note. Movie so good. Can ruin your day.
farra_10: Just watched NH-10 have to say it was a good movie!
editorsuresh: #NH10 - A good crime thriller based against caste discrimination! @AnushkaSharma nailed it! Brilliant sound design! Cinema lovers go for it!
dikshamehra999: More than amazing movie #NH10 and more than superb performance @AnushkaSharma ...... Hatsoffff....
devsphotography: #NH10, Perfect movie ...
Devanayagam: #NH10 A hard-hitting tale of revenge..strong film-making & a path-breaking performance by @AnushkaSharma ..WOW! Best of the year so far! :)
deekshachugh5: Yeh.. watched #NH10 .. WHAT A CLASSIC MOVIE.. u nailed it @AnushkaSharma .. what a role, what an acting.. seems dat u were living dat
criselle4: NH10 - Dragged a bit but still a good one time watch for sure.
choksiFalak: Saw #NH10 yesterday. I sat still throughout the film. It got under my skin. Take a bow team! Words are not enough to describe the feeling.
chi_chabell: #NH10 is terrifiying !! This is one of fab thriller from bollywood, @AnushkaSharma is fantastic actress !! U go girl !! go watch this movie
bsbarve: NH10.. Watch it for the brutal reality it presents...
bollyspeak: Loved #NH10 with @AnushkaSharma brilliant movie, performance everything! Must watch!
BollyHollyTelly: NH 10 Review- Road to Reality
bilalakbar2344: Last night watched NH10 movie in cinema which is just fantastic
BhavikaKateja: #NH10 is an absolute 10 on 10. You're truly unrivalled @AnushkaSharma. #girlpower
bhaktikmehta: Without typical bollywood melodrama & dialogue-baazi #NH10 killed it! It's hardcore and hard hitting. @AnushkaSharma is fab! Must watch
bhagatvishal9: sach a nice movie. great work guys #NH10
bedikaprakash: Hats off to Anushka Sharma and Navdeep Singh for NH10. By far the best movie of 2015
awildermess: #nh10 was quite gripping. @AnushkaSharma superb acting..
Ashwinibhat02: Hats off #anushkasharma for #NH10 . What a movie! one of best in India's cinematic history for its rawness and courage. Take a bow, girl
arunbais: NH10 With all its (microbial) plot holes, was that #longtimesepending edge of the seat thriller absolute must watch.
AmbitionLS: Yes it was slow ... Yes it was intense ... But what a movie ... Anushka U were awesome #NH10
AfiaASKhan: Saw NH10 and i must say "Wow!!" film made me so engrossed in it and @AnushkaSharma You are truely the hero of the film! What a film! Awesome
adstwi: मूवी रिव्यू: बहुत अच्छी है फिल्म NH10 http://insurance.wp.xdomain.jp/?p=53803&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
7_kholiya: Gd mng frds . aaj ke daur me bhi kabhi-2 koi intelligent film banti hai aisi hi film hai nh-10. U can't miss.
21_amit: Still can't get the last few scenes of NH10 out of my mind
scarysouthpaw: NH10 was an Indianised version of the "Final Girl" genre. Anushka Sharma was good. Not great. But the ending does leave you sated.
mynkec: #NH10 admirable pernfce @AnushkaSharma,Bt @imVkohli are in full Form.Mt wtch for violent rlty lovers.too dark for people like @mansijani2
KamathGurudutt: NH10: 3/5 fairly brain-dead, violent, film. Extremely boring and hollow. Action is senseless. Avoid.
Iam_PrinceVij: Go if you wants to watch a scary thriller with a message. Don't go with huge expectations. It may disappoints you. 2.5 Stars (rating) #NH10
cinemaausher: #NH10 is engaging in parts,but it would have been more fun it it had stuck to it's core like a good genre film.
1mKabir: #NH10 2.5 stars
TheSanaAzam: While the film was utter nonsense, @AnushkaSharma was freaking bad ass in #NH10!
SharmaVineets: NH 10 - 3 out of 10
rakeshcnlu: Forced script. Don't Watch! #nh10
psarjun: My disappointment with NH10 is not because it is very average but because it could have been a great film with the same team and plot.
prashantpatil21: #NH10 easily forgettable movie except the saving grace @AnushkaSharma !
Official_Srkian: saw NH10 yesterday night. matlab complete chutiyapa and waste of time. Ghanta women empowerment!
NusbandiSpecial: Disappointed with the acting in #NH10. Amateurs!
Mmansinghka: If you are about to get on #NH10, take a U-Turn. #pathetic
KharoBangdo: "NH10" don't waste your time. First half an hour is gripping. And then there is nothing. 1/5
kapoormahima87: #NH10 A good story but very bad screenplay! dissappointed!
imanuragupta: Don't take @NH10themovie this weekend, not worth a ride! #MovieReview #NH10
harikane_: Watched NH10 . What could have been a brilliant movie , marred by Anushka sharma's pathetic acting
GuttuG: But there isn't much content in first half of #NH10 It's just beating, screaming and violence. It lacks story.
BeingAlBalushi: #NH10 except last 20 minutes where Anushka take revenge n shows that women r not weak n could fight whn they decide. Rest didn't like it.
Want to Watch, by guddu : NH10
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Anuj
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Dattaprasad Godbole
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Fan
Yay! Thumbs Up, by IdeaSmith : A hate saga from women to the men of this country. Strangely palatable, despite that.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by kapil : One of the best Hindi thrillers.
Yay! Thumbs Up, by Sunit Khot : A Hitchcockian beginning. A Polanskian build-up. A Scorcesian climax.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.