Critic - No.109

Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Casts: Sri, Sundeep Kishan, Regina Cassandra
Music: Javed Riaz
Language: Tamil
Genre: Thriller

Plot:  Four diverse people get entangled in extraordinary situations that are interlinked with on another.

During the starting scene of the film of an interview, one might have thought that this is going to be a city bashing film where the complex situations and struggles of an individual is being forced on the shoulders of the city, Chennai. However, it detours and conveys that actions are basically the core reasons for any catastrophe, than the setting.

The film travels in a break neck speed with sprinkles of hard hitting dialogues about the self-aware but neglecting society. The beauty of the film is that it points down to each character’s flaw to convey its message. The intensity lies on the turbulence and how it layers back to back into turmoil to evoke a reaction from a common man. 

The pattern of the narrative might look a little contrived but the coincidences happen in a gripping way soaked with tasteful suspense and heart wrenching drama.  Somehow it reminds us of Mani Ratnam’s modern classic, ‘Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004)’ at times but one without the grandeur political angle.

Sundeep and Sri are two pillars of the film with such convincing performances. Sundeep builds a strong love hate relationship among the audience as a hasty, irresponsible young man with a good hearted. Sri transfers us his anxiety and restlessness as a helpless young man who gets entangled into the mess by mere chance. It won’t be a surprise if these two young actors evolve into the big league in a few years.

Other casts like Ramdoss as usual impresses with his naïve nature while veteran actor Charlie stamps his experience with a brilliant performance. Unfortunately, the female lead, Regina has a very little scope in the film, despite being the catalyst.

The film doesn’t shy away from stamping its message when needed or making a few social commentaries that might evoke political unrest. As a debutant, director Lokesh Kanagaraj’s courage is commendable.

My personal favourite dialogue was, “Naama ketrukoma Sir? Nama kettathaan, namakku yaaravathu ketpaanga”. It summarizes the entire theme of societal negligence that the makers wanted to convey.

'Maanagaram' is an engaging hyperlink thriller that effectively weaves its complex situations and vulnerable characters into a seamlessly flowing screenplay.



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