Manmadhan Ambu

Worth for the pennies paid.

Reviews 23-Dec-2010 6:49 PM IST Top 10 Cinema Comments

Kamal Haasan sets a vast definition as a performer with his irresistible passion of taking up unique roles in every film. Spanning fans across various age groups, he has been acclaimed as versatile storyteller as well. If there could be one film that establishes him as a best screenwriter eclipsing his avatar as a performer, ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ can be the best illustration.

Certain things make you believe such of our verdicts upon Kamal Haasan. Yes, 20minutes into the film, you’re made clear about what the film is all about, the characters involved in it, including the biggest twist that rewinds up during intermission.

Such narrative structure hasn’t been attempted by any filmmakers in Tamil film industry before.

Hats off to Kamal Haasan for his spellbinding touch. May be for the first 20mins Kamal Haasan may not appear, but he strikes his show as a screenwriter from the first minute.

Ambujam aka Nisha (Trisha) is hard-pressed with her hectic film schedule and her problems with fiancé Madhana Gopal (Madhavan). She has no options other than European trip to spend few

days with her childhood friend Deepa (Sangeetha). Over-possessive Madhan calls upon Major Mannar (Kamal Haasan), a private detective and ex-Indian army to follow Nisha and keep him posted with her activities. Then begins a trip of fun, enjoyment, emotions with an unexpected twist during intermission that ends on a happy note sparkling audiences with smile…

There are few sequences in the film that boasts of Kamal Haasan’s spectacular factor as a screenwriter and an actor.

1. Watch out for his emotional gesture while speaking to Oorvasi over the road median in abroad.

2. A complete love story sprucely narrated in 5minutes of ‘Neela Vaanam’ song.

3. The sequence where Trisha breaks open her hidden past and his reciprocation is awesome.

If you’re about to watch the film in theatres, you’ll find the cinema halls spangled with applause. These sequences are its best and Kamal Haasan’s envisaging nature of such scenarios deserves special mention.

The actor’s choice of holding rehearsals has worked to a greater extent. Every character including the minimal ones like cab driver (appears in just 2 scenes) sways at the proficient levels.

Madhavan’s roles were often comprised of either action, serious or romantic ones. For the first time, he gets himself leaped into the league of comedy. Watch him behaving as a pie-eyed personality, it’s rib-tickling. The penultimate sequences involving his encounters with Sangeetha are laughter- riot. Don’t miss out the other scene where Maddy, Sriman and other person is found boozing together. Trisha can add this film to Top 3 Best in her entire career. Sangeetha showcases a matured performance while Ramesh Aravind proves his adeptness yet over again. Oorvasi is best as usual, but doesn’t get much scope to make you laugh, but soak eyes in tears. Oviya has been wasted.

The twist during intermission point is unpredictable as it dates back to the Alexandra González’ style of narration (21 Grams, Babel and Amros Perros). On the flip side, Kamal Haasan struggles to balance between the emotional and comedy attributes. With so many parallel stories pertaining to emotional drama happening around, Kamal Haasan overuses the influence of K.S. Ravikumar for a comical package. The post-flashback sequences in second half makes us wonder what’s really going on. There is no grip in few places that comes together for a finer ending narrated in clichéd style of KSR-Kamal Haasan.

When it comes down to dialogues, there are more lines that again deserve our appreciation.

1. Conversation between Madhavan (I will bring the World down your feet) and Trisha (Even beggar has the world under his feet).

2. Kamal Haasan (Honesty leads us to have ego as our fence).

3. Kamal Haasan (Honesty become too expensive and luxurious to afford).

4. The metaphorical comparison of Saffron dress with relevance to some real life religious controversies.

Most of the songs appear in background. The title song (excluded in the album tracks) is a pleasant one and DSP should have added it in CDs. ‘Daggudu Dattham’ has some finest dance by Kamal Haasan to the beats of DSP. ‘Oyyala’ offers a special surprise to audiences as Suriya appears in cameo and ‘Neela Vaanam’ scores 10/10 for its newfangled picturing and wonderful music.

The cinematography by newcomer Manush deserves special mention and so is the editing by Shaan. The luxurious MSC SPLENDIDA CRUISE offers a cool visual treat to the audiences.

On the whole, ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ has neatly worked formulas of a commercial cinema. It’s a best movie to watch for the season. With no contenders standing by its way for the next 3 weeks, ‘Manmadhan Ambu’ will be a sure winner in box office with Udhayanidhi Stalin’s effective promotions.

What works: Screenplay, Performance, Star-casts, Locations, Cinematography, Costume Designing

What doesn’t work: Nothing much other than few sluggish moments in second half

Verdict: Worth for the pennies paid.

Banner: Red Giant Movies

Production: Udhayanidhi Stalin

Direction: K.S. Ravikumar

Story, screenplay, dialogues: Kamal Haasan

Star-casts: Kamal Haasan, Trisha, Madhavan, Sangeetha, Ramesh Aravind, Oorvasi, Suriya (Cameo), ‘Kalavani’ Oviya, Usha Utap and others

Music: Devi Sri Prasad

Cinematography: Manush Nandan

Editing: Shaan Mohammad

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