The reason this book (originally titled Sivappu Kal Mookuthi) piqued my interest was it was hailed as the first contemporary graphic novel in Tamil. Add to it the fact that it’s written by filmmaker Nandhini JS, who gave us a likable romantic comedy in Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru. I read the English version of the book, titled Girl With A Red Nose Ring, and was clearly surprised to discover such a great horror-cum-superhero story in the most unexpected of places. I had received a PDF version of the book, and since I’m not too huge a fan of the digital medium (I know I need to keep up with the times), I delayed reading this for over a week. Just going through a few pages hooked me in, and almost an hour later, I was just glad that I did not miss reading it.
For a first of its kind, and considering that two 2D animators who’ve never worked on any comic series ever have rendered art for this project, I’ll say the artwork is pretty great. There are a few panels every now and then which are just enthralling. The story introduces us to Varun and Chandru, a kind of Matt Murdock – Foggy Nelson pair, as two construction dealers. Varun’s parents secretly arrange for his marriage. He’s reluctant to accept owing to a past episode, but Maya, the girl his parents have chosen, turns out to be a good friend and eventually they get married. Post marriage Maya joins Varun and Chandru in their business trip to Gudalur, where they’ve to oversee the sale of a huge property. Here a series of events unfold that just leads to Varun and Chandru doubt the caretakers. Does the site owner know what the caretakers are up to? Is he too involved in all this? Is there more to the “horror” than meets the eye?
The story’s uncomplicated and follows a pretty linear narrative. Artists Magesh and Sainath have managed to capture well Nandhini’s vision on paper, and the effort shows. I loved their interpretation of the outlandish creature Zor, and a complete new superhero series can be birthed from that character and his world.
Overall, Girl With a Red Nose Ring is an enjoyable affair and has that particular Tamil movie “crazy” to it. Would love to read the follow ups on it should they ever come.
Overall rating: 4/5
Watch the trailer here-