Neena is an acronym of the names of two women characters in the film. ‘ne’ from neena (Deepti Sati) and the ‘na’ from nalini (Ann Augustine). it is the story of a man, Vinay Pannickar (Vijay Babu) who is pulled into a confusion of emotions and relations with two women. Although the film is named Neena, Ann Augustine has very little role to play although she plays a pertinent role in the film.
The film brings to the forefront what I’ve always felt confused about. It is a statement from a married man or woman/or somebody with a partner, especially when at a crossroad in their relationship. They would reply, “I am married, therefore I can only be a friend.” To me, the line reaks of hypocrisy. There in that line lies the lie.. it is as many would say not an outright no nor a yes but more of a compulsion to stay within a marital relation/partnership when his/her emotions lies elsewhere or is effected by somebody else. Why can’t they just muster some courage and leave rather than manufacture lies to be in the best of both worlds!
The film partially revolves around this answer, its reasons and consequences. It tells the story of a man, a very gentlemanly man who is torn between his affection for two women. A woman enters into the life of this seemingly happily married man and he is unable to let go, but pulled into it. He has a wife who understands the intention of the other woman and the tinglings in her man. It is actually no fault of hers, and thankfully, the unfaithful man as in a usual extra marital relationship does not blame the faithful wife!
The question that then pops out is was he really happy or acting happy all this while! the emotional trauma that ensues is showed beautifully.
The character of Nalini is required for the film, Ann has played her part well, especially her part when she indulges in anxiety eating, that scene with a tub of strawberry ice cream is too well done. And the woman looked stunning in her saris and earrings but why was she draped in the traditional Kerala two piece sari at home! In addition, what the character of Nalini, the wife, cannot express out loud is given an utterance in the words of their house help who seeks to be going through a similar situation – there is a subtle element of class!
The ending director Lal Jose brings about I feel falls short of taking a gamble with the given topic at hand. There could have been two more viable endings, and those would have been a cherries on this neena cake. But then the audience may not have had the love for the character of Neena then by the end of the film which the current ending now ensures!
Deepti Sati does justice to her role, although the dubbing was painfully slow and stretched! Vijay Babu is brillaint as the man in an emotional confusion, Lena as the doctor is gracefully poised, Vinu Mohan’s cameo hits the bulls eye.
Go into the theatre with an awareness that it is a serious film and not a breezy romance or rom com!
Plus, look out for the new music director and his songs – Nikhil Menon. Well he was the reason I was interested in this film in the first place 🙂