Production : Thirrupathi Brothers, Sargunam Cinemaz
Direction : Naveen Raghavan
Music : N. R. Raghunanthan
Starring : Vimal, Lakshmi Menon, Rajkiran
Editing : Deva
Tamizh (Vimal), an orphan by birth is raised by his dotting grandfather (Raj Kiran). Reigning as the most prominent professional at his work place, he is assigned for US job in next three months. To ensure that his grandfather is made happy for the pending days in Chennai, Tamizh invites him to stay in his apartment and rest of the story revolves around the grandpa's encounter with the residents and the close circle of Tamizh including his girlfriend Karthika (Lakshmi Menon).
While Tamil cinema seems to be transcending towards a different route with unexplored genres, director Naveen Raghavan picks up a very much familar theme of family drama laced with emotions. The plot is so simple and the director doesn't get into complicated zone anywhere. Everything proceeds smooth in places right from the beginning. To make it more precise, Raj Kiran stands out as the main protagonist and overshadows the rest in cast. In spite of Vimal and Lakshmi Menon contributing from their part, the veteran actor becomes the absolute showstopper. Be the hilarious scenes during the first hour, the congenial gesture towards the residents at his grandson's apartment and the eye-moistening performance in the climax, Raj Kiran showcases the brilliance.
The crisp writing and the inclusion of entertaining elements adds up more intensity to this script. There are some sluggish moments in the second half that deserves to be trimmed, but they get diminished by the gripping climax.
The background score by N.R. Raghunathan is a major asset and couple of songs including 'Paathu Paathu' are commendably best. Cinematography with blue tints in many places by Masani is a special delight.
Poignance and commercial elements have their shares of emphasis in right proportions. Simple and convincing writing, characters and groovy technicians make Manja Pai a worth watching film.
What works - Raj Kiran, screenplay, casting and humour
What doesn't work - Nothing in particular
Verdict: Emotional drama crafted with elegance
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