Manithan; Movie Review
In our world of dog eat dog attitude and criminals enjoying freedom while the innocent crumble, it is rare to have a lawyer, who are by definition crooks who will do a turn if the money is right, who is straightforward and virtuous. Manithan, the official Tamil remake of the Bollywood movie Jolly LLB touches on the subject with humour and a punch in your face.
A feel good satire, Manithan follows Sakthi, a self righteous lawyer who dreams big and acts accordingly to get things done in his own way. He migrates from Pollachi to Chennai to become a litigator, who is known for honesty. But fate has other plans for him, which brings him embroiled in a hit and run case, which is a cross section of the utmost injustice we see in our judicial system, where evidences are tampered with, star witnesses go missing and a whole case of gulped down to save a wealthy culprit. How Sakhti finds a way to overcome the pressure and performs the right thing is what we get to see, while the movie unfurls.
Udhayanidhi Stalin is never accused of over action, ever in his career, and this is not any different. At times you get impatient with his underplaying of the character, enough to shout ‘get on with it man’. This should be one of the top performance of his, who, thankfully didn’t emulate Arshad Warsi, who did the character in the original. Hansika as his girl friend who had been his backbone and prop throughout while pursuing the right path, has come up with a believable performance, sans the glamour and skimpy clothes, proving that she is more than a pretty face. Prakash Raj, as the defense lawyer breaths fire in his typical way; at times going overboard with his wild expression and loud dialogue delivery.
I Ahmed had the sensibility to change the hue of the movie to suit the Kollywood viewers with subtle changes in the flow. To the point dialogues by Ajayan Bala, beautiful cinematography by Madhie and appropriate music by Santhosh Narayanan enhances the movie not in a small way.
Were the song and dance sequences necessary? The predictability of the movie was er… predictable, with even some scenes right out of other movies. The theme is made too easy for the comprehension of the audience, where the scenarist made a mistake of judging them.
If you haven’t watched the Bollywood franchise, this will be fresh for you and would even make you feel patriotic and pumped up.