Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Manithan (2016)

Udhayanidhi Stalin, Prakash Raj
Hansika Motwani, Vivek, Radha Ravi, Aiswarya Rajesh
I Ahmed
R. Madhi
J. V. Manikanda Balaji
Santhosh Narayanan
Red Giant Movies
Release Date
April 29, 2016
2 Hours & 24 Minutes

My Thoughts
I. Ahmed’s second directorial venture (first being Jeeva and Trisha starrer Endrendrum Punnagai) Manithan is the official remake of Subhash Kapoor’s Hindi film Jolly LLB which was inspired by real life hit-and-run case by Sanjeev Nanda’s in 1999.  The movie is all about Shakthivel, a law college graduate who is infamous for callous way of fighting petty cases in the court. He files a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against Rahul Dewan who kills some people sleeping on a platform in a drunken state. Manithan is a story where justice triumphs and reemphasizes that everyone is same in the eyes of law.

The story is very relevant considering the fact that rich get away from punishment and poor always suffer. The recent hearing of Salman Khan’s hit and run case and the remarks of his lawyer makes this story more relatable and poignant. The screenplay is power packed and hold a lot of surprises. It tries its best to be free from heroism and succeeds in showing a common man who follows his conscience would win. The editing is often crisp and makes the movie interesting in spite its length (two and half hours!). The cinematographer has infused liveliness while showing hero’s love life; a grave tone while showing the plight of the poor or dilemma of the protagonist. Santosh Narayanan’s background music is a strength to the movie and the way Aval song is shot would bring a smile in your face. The movie surely wins owing to the fact that it doesn’t break into a song when as an audience we pray that it shouldn’t (there are two such instances).

Udhayanidhi Stalin as Shakthi, the unambitious lawyer makes the character believable. He is at his ease and at its best. He comes across as a common man who has a family, loves a woman. He initially struggles to make it big only to please them (not due to noble deeds). Eventually, however, he detangles himself from the selfishness and fights for a higher cause. This transformation is not forced. Being gradual, we empathize with him. It was refreshing to see him in such a role; a welcome change from the other characters he has essayed – aimless, jobless and helplessly in love with some unusually beautiful girl whom he chases tirelessly.

Hansika Motwani as Priya looks slimmer and younger. Her costumes are wearable. She plays a matured character who is already in relationship with Shakthi. She doesn’t have a lot of screen time. Yet, her character is well-established.

Prakash Raj as Adhisheshan is money minded and cannot accept failure. He is a leading criminal lawyer with a mind of criminal. In his introduction scene where would be arguing in the court defines the character as well as caliber of Aadhisheshan; showcases why Parakash Raj is a great actor.

The movie’s strength is not only the screenplay, dialogs, music or the lead actors but also the supporting actors also. That constable who is assigned as the body guard for Shakthi… The eye-witness Kamala Kannan… Vijay Nair… The no nonsense reporter (played by Aiswarya Rajesh)… Shakthi’s uncle (played by Vivek - a talent not used at his best in the film)… Radharavi as the uncorrupt judge and so on!

In short, the movie is well-executed. It celebrates the victory of humanity and morality and would surely strike a chord with you!
Go for it with the family.