***************** SPOILER ALERT *****************
Truth be said I went to this movie expecting to be disappointed by yet another movie with lots of pre-release hype and no actual substance. I am glad to have found myself wrong in this instance.
Touted as the first biker movie from Malayalam cinema, NPCB is more a road movie than purely a biker one. While the thump of the Bullets set the heartbeat of the movie, its prime focus is on the experiences the two blokes have on their journey. The creed, ethos and brotherhood of bikers is portrayed quite correctly in the movie. The scene where the two are overpowered by robbers and rescued in the nick of time by arrival of another pack of riders was too blood chilling for me. In fact it is a movie that bikers like me can quite relate to, the rope at night across the road, the puncture of the tires in the middle of nowhere, the unruly travellers on the road, all eerily relatable. The dialogue by one of the riders to Dulquer and Sunny, “This road is very dangerous, lots of robbers, naxalites, policemen” was one of my favorite, and I am sure again quite relatable to many bikers.
Though the basic theme of the movie is love and pursuit of it, through the process of the journey across the length and breadth of India quite many serious social issues are also tackled. The exploitive campus politics with its dirty nature along with its long term consequences are explored along with the tribal issues due to mining politics. The genocide scenes shown were particularly gruesome, but that is yet another issue our society often tries to brush under the carpet. India’s own East – West divide is also explored in a sensitive and poignant manner with the parentage of the heroine and its consequences on her. To the generally ethically insensitive population of Kerala I hope it makes them consider our North Eastern countrymen with a bit more understanding.
Speaking of actors themselves Dulquer Salman does a fairly decent job superbly supported by Sunny Wayne. Surja Bala who played the heroine “Assi” also did a good job, however truth be told she paled next to the Paloma Monnappa, who played a surfer “Ishita” who develops interest in the hero. A face that has been familiar to us through years in ads, her avatar in this movie was stunning!! I doubt whether any other actress from India could have pulled off that swimsuit/bikini look any better! The momentary parts played by other protagonists, highway side puncture repair guy to the village elder has all done justice to their characters, giving more substance to the story without taking anything from the overall plotline. The story write must be commended for fleshing out all these characters without getting the audience confused or derailing the plot.
Another interesting aspect of the movie is that despite being a Malayalam movie, most of its dialogues are either in Hindi or English which makes for a pan national appeal. The Malayalam dialogues are of course present in the crucial flash back scenes but if you have a Malayalee friend alongside you it would not be a hassle to enjoy this movie. Take your Malayalee friend out to see this movie as repayment for all those Bollywood movies they have accompanied you.
If you are still stumped by the language, I would still recommend you to watch this movie for its stunning camera work. The roads have been beautifully portrayed. And of course the sounds. Just the orgasmic sounds of the Bullets that set the tone for the movie is enough to make a biker like me pay value money for it.