Alby's cinematography and the dog's effort are probably the only positives in Sudhi Maddison's Neymar, apart from Vijayaraghavan
In order to get closer to a girl Akamsh likes, his friend Sinto suggests getting a dog. Little do they know that the dog named Neymar would turn their lives upside down, especially with the duo having to travel to Pondicherry to track him down and further assist him in winning a competition.
Be it Hachi: A Dog's Tale, Marley & Me, or 777 Charlie, it's hard for dog movies to not move a viewer in some way or the other. Director Sudhi Madison's debut film, Neymar, however, is one of those rare dog movies to not accomplish that heartfelt feat. The reason being the mishmash of genres and predictable tropes, made even more laborious by the lacklustre writing.
The movie, which is almost 2 hours and 40 minutes long, revolves around an indigenous dog named Neymar, who enters the lives of its protagonists, Akamsh (Mathew Thomas) and Sinto (Naslen), and wreaks havoc. So much so that Akamsh's father, Sahadevan (Shammi Thilakan), decides to ship the dog to Pondicherry. How the youngsters then track them down while also getting tangled into another unexpected problem form the plot of the film.
Credit is due to the makers for choosing an indigenous dog as the hero here, showcasing its intelligence through the various tasks that Neymar has to complete as part of a competition to help its new Tamil owner retrieve his old dog. But none of these tasks surprise the audience; in fact, they are too predictable and lack any engaging elements. Coupled with the first half, that follows the similar path, the movie doesn't offer anything new.
The jokes fall flat and the combination between Vijayaraghavan, Shammi Thilakan and Johnny Antony work better than that of Mathew and Naslen in this film. It's again because the duo have been seen in similar characters before, the former as the naive, soft-spoken one and Naslen as the street-smart of the two.
Alby's cinematography and the dog's effort are probably the only positives in Neymar, apart from Vijayaraghavan. Shaan Rahman's loud music also doesn't do the film any favours. If Neymar could have been trimmed down by a good 30 minutes, it would have been easier to sit through but still the script needed to have more heart in it. While the second half works better than the first, this film doesn't have any new tricks up its sleeve.
The lacklustre writing make director Sudhi Maddison's Neymar an insipid watch.