Nazriya, the little girl who came to showbiz with television shows and later became a child actor in movies, is now one of the leading women actors of Malayalam and Tamil cinema. On Sunday, as she celebrates her birthday, let’s take a look at six of her popular films, available online with English subtitles.
Ohm Shanthi Oshaana (available on Disney+Hotstar): Released six and a half years ago, this is still one of the most cherished performances of Nazriya, all of the film centered on her character Pooja Mathew. Nazriya appeared to comfortably fit into the shoes of a tomboy humming a song out of tune, making life plans at the drop of a hat and then erasing them, until she falls in love with a man in her town, played by Nivin Pauly. The whole movie, told wittily and endearingly from Pooja’s perspective, is a quest for her one true love, even as her professional life is not compromised. The film won Nazriya the state award for best female actor in 2015.
Bangalore Days (available on Amazon Prime): The 2014 movie saw one of the best performances of Nazriya. The movie narrates the story of three cousins who share a special bond of love unlike their families. Divya, the character played by Nazriya, is a 20-year-old woman who reaches Bengaluru after her wedding to Sivadas (Fahadh Faasil). The movie, full of wit and emotion, portrays Divya beautifully as she takes control of life after it seems to shatter.
Koode (available on Disney+Hotstar): In this 2018 movie, Nazriya plays the character of a 20-year-old woman called Jennifer Maria. Jennifer, who has congenital heart disease, is a pleasant character full of positive thoughts. The movie talks about how she influences her brother Joshua (Prithviraj) to look at his life with more positivity.
Vaayai Moodi Pesavum (available on Netflix): Made in Tamil and Malayalam, this was a novel movie, where a whole town is given a ban on speaking to prevent the spread of a ‘mute flu’. It would not seem too far-fetched these days with the coronavirus forcing the whole world to stay indoors for several months. Nazriya played a trainee doctor called Anjali in the movie, who has issues with her boyfriend and her stepmother. She falls in love with a sales rep played by Dulquer Salmaan, and both of them give endearing performances considering a lot of it has to be done without any dialogue at all.
Neram (available on Amazon Prime): This 2013 bilingual film that was released in both Tamil and Malayalam was Nazriya’s second in a lead role. This was also the debut movie of Premam filmmaker Alphonse Puthren. In the experimental film, Nazriya plays the role of Jeena (Malayalam)/Veni (Tamil), the girlfriend of Nivin Pauly’s character Mathew (Malayalam)/Vetri (Tamil). Their lives take a flip as her family pushes for another alliance and at the same time Mathew gets marked by a loan shark for not repaying his debt. As a threat, Jeena gets kidnapped and the climax of the film is about Mathew’s search for her. Narrated in an unconventional style, the film grips one to seat till the end, with its tense and humorous moments.
Trance (available on Amazon Prime): It is one of the last Malayalam films to release in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and forced the cinemas shut. In the Anwar Rasheed film, Nazriya plays an interesting character, opposite Fahadh Fasil’s powerful ‘pastor’. The movie reveals how some spiritual retreat centres are in fact multi crore business centres. Nazriya plays the character of a vibrant, charming Esther, who is deployed to keep an eye on Joshua Carlton, the stylish pastor who was earlier a motivational speaker. Though her appearance is limited to the second half of the film, Nazriya creates an impact.