Direction : I. Ahmed
Production : Red Giant Movies
Starring : Udhayanidhi Stalin, Hansika Motwani, Prakash Raj, Vivek
Music : Santhosh Narayanan
Cinematography : R. Madhi
Editing : J. V. Manikanda Balaji
An ordinary underdog lawyer from small town taking against the powerful bigwig forms the basic plot of Manithan, a remake of super hit Hindi film ‘Jolly LLB’ that starred Boman Hirani and Arshad Warsi in lead roles. Although the original version was based on a real life shocking incident of a careless billionaire running over 6 innocent daily workers who were sleeping over platform, which could be linked with the same incident that happened in Chennai before few years… Coincidentally, such an appalling event occurred in our very own Chennai and ‘Manithan’ has some correlation with the basic core.
The film is directed by Endrendrum Punnagai fame Ahmad and is produced by Udhayanidhi Stalin under the banner of Red Giant Movies. Hansika Motwani, Prakash Raj, Radharavi, Vivek, Aishwarya Rajesh and few more actors are seen in prominent roles.
The film revolves around an underdog (Udhayanidhi Stalin), who has aspired to steal the show as a lawyer, but has never been able to make it. Then comes the most powerful herculean (Prakash Raj), who can even make the judges bow down for his supremacy over argumentations. A hit and run over case that has been closed is opened up again and these contrastive characters bounce upon each other for a game of twists and turns.
The basic plot of this film itself is the biggest strength and sketching the protagonist with a hilarious touch and later with emotional punch adds up more substantiality. Yes, the original version had a stark plot of conflicting between honesty and corruption where the innocence is the sufferer. The makers of original version had clearly played with the title itself – Jolly LLB, which has a hilarious touch and in contrast, ‘Manithan’ it is something more emotional than being a comedy, especially with something linked with Superstar Rajnikanth’s yesteryear hit film. Although the first half has some lively moments, the establishment of characters itself takes a hour and we are tested with patience by point of intermission. However, the second half has some engrossing moments. A Court Room drama is supposed to have raciness overloaded, though not with fists, but with screenplay and dialogues. But here, we find everything in slow motion and too many songs, though in montage play havoc. One particular scene, where Udhayanidhi Stalin easily abuses Prakash Raj is something out of box thinking and the entire theatre breaks into laughter. The climax portion could have been a better version and what’s the point of protagonist and antagonist bringing out emotional arguments. Especially Udhayanidhi Stalin’s statement of platform dwellers looks like an intentional reflection of speaking about those welfare issues.
Udhayanidhi Stalin has been trying with all his best efforts to experiment with newfangled genres and roles. In fact his previous film ‘Gethu’ was one such illustration, which was a much different one from his erstwhile comedy capers. But in many sequences, he could have scored much more than what he has done now. Slow motions and background score are always included to empower his heroism on emotional ground, but he could have made it even without them. Hansika Motwani lives up to the expectations, but her portions add the sluggishness to the script and she repeatedly seen consoling Udhayanidhi turns us more restless after a certain extent. Prakash Raj is awe inspiring and he is as same as the one who kept us high on laughter as a baddie in Vasool Raja MBBS. Radharavi simply proves his wizardry again with his neat and extraordinary performance as a judge. His characterization is shown as a much casual and unpredictable dimension till the end. Vivekh adds up the humorous quotients and gets away with good applause. The best of all appreciative humorous portions is the one that involves the clash between Prakash Raj and Udhayanidhi Stalin in second hour. Aishwarya Rajesh looks too artificial for the role of a journalist and she moreover looks like model with makeup all the time.
Prakash Raj and Radharavi
What doesn’t work?
Overall, Manithan holds a substantial plot and if it was presented with a much crisp and racy mode, it would have been more special for the audiences than what it is now as a middling show.
Verdict : Humorous and Emotional in places, but too lengthy
Rating : 4.5/10
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