||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (April 2013)|
|Directed by||Gautham Vasudev Menon|
|Produced by||Elred Kumar
|Written by||Gautham Vasudev Menon|
|Narrated by||Veera Bahu|
|Editing by||Anthony Gonsalves|
R. S. Infotainment
|Distributed by||Two95 Entertainment|
|Running time||110 minutes|
|Budget||3.5 crore (US$560,000)|
Nadunisi Naaygal (Midnight Dogs; Tamil: நடுநிசி நாய்கள்) is a 2011 Tamil psychological thriller film written and directed by Gautham Menon that stars Sameera Reddy, Veera Bahu and Deva in lead roles, with Swapna Abraham, Ashwin Kakumanu and Samantha Ruth Prabhu in other pivotal roles. The film notably does not feature any kind of film score, but only sounds designed by Renganaath Ravee. Produced by Photon Kathaas Productions and R. S. Infotainment, Nadunissi Naaygal released to mixed reviews on 18 February 2011, while being simultaneously dubbed and released in Telugu as Erra Gulabilu. The title Nadunisi Naaygal is taken from the title of one of the poems of Sundara Ramasamy. The film received mixed reviews from both audience and critics.
Samar (Veera Bahu), an eight-year-old motherless boy lives with his father in Mumbai who leads a colourful life indulging in orgy. Samar gets subjected to sexual abuse by his father and is rescued by his neighbour, a middle aged single woman Meenakshi Amma (Swapna Abraham) who names him Veera, takes him under her wings and protects him. Daunted and chased by the ghosts of his painful past, Veera forcefully has sex with Meenakshi Amma. She, though reluctant at first, indulges in the act. After coming back to her senses the next morning, she refuses Veera's apology and decides to marry her colleague. After the marriage, on the same night, when Meenakshi and her husband are in bed, Veera stabs him brutally and sets him and the room on fire. Accidentally, Meenakshi Amma also gets injured in the fire. After treatment, he brings back the scar-faced, burn inflicted Meenakshi Amma to his bungalow in ECR. After a couple of weeks, Veera meets a girl named Priya (Priya) on the net. They meet up and finally fall for each other. He invites her home and they grow intimate, suddenly to be interrupted by a loud scream from Priya, because Meenakshi Amma stabs her brutally, similar to Veera's exploit. She orders him to cut her hair as she wants it.
In the following years, Veera kidnaps women, rapes them and finally kills them in cold-blood. As the murders continue, Veera stumbles upon Sukanya (Sameera Reddy), a girl whom he has been in love with since 10th grade. He meets her at a theatre with her boyfriend Arjun (Ashwin Kakumanu) and lies to her that he had gone with another girl and offers her a ride home. An upset Sukanya agrees but does not know that Veera had been stalking her for a few weeks. Veera suddenly slaps her, making her unconscious and kisses her. Disgusted and terrified, Sukanya then finds Arjun in a pool of blood, in the backseat of the car. Sukanya tries to escape, engages in a fist fight with Veera but is stabbed in the abdomen. In sometime, Police surround the car and take Sukanya to a hospital.
A bystander who had sensed something fishy with Veera's car follows him to his bungalow and informs the Assistant Commissioner Vijay (Deva). Veera takes Sukanya to his bungalow and informs Meenakshi Amma that he loves this girl truly and is going to live the rest of his life with her. Meanwhile, Sukanya tries to escape but was captured by Veera. Veera says to Sukanya that Sameer is responsible for all this events and murdered all the victims and even Meenakshi Amma. He says Meenakshi Amma is actually dead but Samar still thinks she is alive. In a few moments, Vijay arrives at the residence and is confronted by four Rottweilers ready to pounce on him. Alarmed by this, Veera tries to fend him off. After sometime, he returns to take Sukanya into a secret hidden basement, where another two girls are tied to, with their heads half-tonsured. He locks her up in the basement and gets into a fight with Vijay. Sukanya, meanwhile, finds a way into the bungalow, takes a gun and shoots at Veera. He is shocked as he thinks it was Meenakshi Amma who shot at him. All this is recorded on tape as Veera narrates it to the Assistant Commissioner. Finally he is taken to a mental asylum where another patient (Samantha Ruth Prabhu) is also shown as a psychopath, victimised due to child sexual abuse and the end credits roll.
- Veera Bahu as Veera (Samar)
- Sameera Reddy as Sukanya
- Deva as Vijay
- Ashwin Kakumanu as Arjun
- Swapna Abraham as Meenakshi
- Samantha as a patient in the asylum
Menon claimed that the film was inspired by a true event from the USA, while also claiming that a novel also helped form the story of the film. During the making, he explicitly revealed that the film was for "the multiplex audience" and would face a limited release, citing that "it will not cater to all sections of the audience".
The film opened to mixed reviews. A Sify critic rated the film as "above average", citing that "Don’t go expecting a typical Gautham romantic film laced with peppy songs, be prepared to try out something new and experimental." Further he cites that the film "is definitely not for the family audiences", while criticising that "there are too many loopholes in the story, raising doubts about logic". Another reviewer from Sify gave the film 2.5 out of 5, while describing the film as an "unimpressive show by star director Menon, as it is neither convincing nor appealing, despite having some engrossing moments". Rediff's Pavithra Srinivasan, too, gave the film 2.5 out of 5, citing that the film "has a serious premise and is pretty realistic. But if you've watched any kind of Hollywood thriller at all, then the appeal is lost". Times of India in its review wrote that "in his earlier movies [...] Gautham Menon had pushed the envelope when it came to presentation and themes, but in Nadunisi Naaygal he takes it a bit too far. Best, let the sleeping dogs lie", giving it 2 out of 5. Aravindan DI of Nowrunning.com gave the film a score of 2.5 on 5 deeming it as "An unimpressive show, as it is neither convincing nor appealing." Siddhartha of Silentcritics.com in his review wrote that it was not worth the money and time.
The film also went through harsh criticism for the intimate controversial scene between Veera and Swapna Abraham. Protests were staged in front of Menon's residence, who clarified that the scene is shown in an aesthetic manner and it is a sensitive story about a psychopath. When asked whether the scene would be removed from the film, Menon, as candid as ever, said the film would be removed soon from theatres as it was not doing good business.
In contrast, Behindwoods gave it a positive review, giving it 3.5 out of 5. The reviewer labelled the film as a "differently made psychological thriller", adding that the film is "engaging right through and the desire of wanting to know 'what next' propels it in a uniform pace." Further praise was addressed to the director who "should also be applauded for not bowing down to any cinematic syntax", congratulating him "for the brave attempt to drive home a socially relevant point in a dignified manner". Rohit Ramachandran of Nowrunning.com put it at No. 4 in his 'Best of 2011' list.
- "The new darlings of Kollywood". Retrieved 5 July 2011.
- Gautham Menon – Tamil Movie News – Gautham chooses Midnight Dogs – Gautham Menon | Sameera Reddy | Veera | Midnight Dogs – Behindwoods.com
- Gautham Menon – Tamil Movie News – Gautham Menon announces 2 films – Gautham Menon | Ajith | Nadunisi Naigal | Sameera Reddy | Veppam – Behindwoods.com
- Erra Gulabeelu Review | Erra Gulabeelu Movie Review | Telugu Movie Reviews
- கவுதம் வாசுதேவ் மேனனின் நடுநிசி நாய்கள்!
- "Between Reviews: Shooting from the Lip « Baradwaj Rangan". Baradwajrangan.wordpress.com. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Movie Review:Nadunisi Naaygal
- 'Nadunisi Naaygal' an unimpressive show by star director Menon (Tamil Movie Review)
- Review: Nadunisi Naigal lacks thrills – Rediff.com Movies
- "Nadunisi Naaygal – The Times of India". The Times of India.
- 'Nadunisi Naaygal' an unimpressive show by star director Menon
- 'Nadunisi Naygal' Movie review
- "Protests For Nadunisi Naaygal – Nadunisi Naaygal – Gautham Vasudev Menon – Tamil Movie News". Behindwoods.com. 28 February 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2012.
- Nadunisi Naaygal Review – Nadunisi Naaygal Movie Review
- "Best of 2011 – Tamil Films". Nowrunning.com. 10 January 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2012.