This is a very busy weekend with so many new releases. While the weekend biggie 83 lined up later today, I thoughtvof finishing up on some of the other new releases. But before that we at Popcorn Reviewss wish you a Merry Christmas. This is probably the best time of the year for us, tracking our highs and reflecting on our lows and learning from them to kick off the new year on a high! And with that I finished watching the Tamil film Maanaadu on Sonyliv which had earlier had a theatrical release. Since it was out last month, the word of mouth for the film was extremely positive with several critics calling it A High Concept thriller. After awaiting its OTT release, the film is finally out this weekend. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Maanaadu follows the story of a cat and mouse game between the protagonist and the antagonist who are stuck in a time loop. The story is definitely a high concept one although there are several films that are also based on the time loop(and there is a pop reference for the same in the film too). A month back the Malayalam film Churuli had also tackled the concept of a labyrinth. But then this film cannot be compared to that as at the end of the day, Maanaadu is in the commercial space. There are a few over the top sequences as well. But all of it is nicely wrapped in the form of a high concept thriller. The screenplay standing at almost two and a half hours takes a while to gather speed. The initial few minutes(about 30 odd minutes) are dedicated to the buildup. But once the time loop begins this drama moves at a break neck pace. It doesn’t allow you time to breathe or provide any respite. The cat and mouse chase is engaging and would keep you on your toes throughout. The sequences of events are repeated more than once but at no point do you feel bored. In fact it is the opposite. You are privy to a series of twists and turns where each the two leads try and overpower one another. That until the time loop begins. This culminates into a satisfactory end which is quite interesting to watch too. Another thing that I liked was that once they got to the main concept there were no distractions. It was pure entertainment and a high concept one! Overall, a brilliantly penned screenplay although with a few “loops” that I am willing to let go.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are adequate and do their bit in keeping you engaged. The music is peppy and so is the BGM although I found it a little loud at certain places. The cinematography is quite good here, so is the VFX. Director Venkat Prabhu had a challenging subject on his hands and he does a swell job. The margin for error was almost zero and it is here that the director steps up. Amazing direction.
The performances are pretty good. Mahat Raghvendra, Stunt Silva, Karunakaran and Anjena Kirti all have their moments to shine. Kalyani Priyadarshan as Seetha looks very pretty and does a good job here. S A Chandrasekhar as the CM is first rate, so is Manoj Bharathiraja as John. S J Suryah as DCP Dhanushkodi is quite brilliant as the eccentric villain and he does a pretty good job. Silambarasan as Abdul Khaliq is outstanding and his acting manages to hold your attention.
Maanaadu is a high concept political thriller that doesn’t take the audiences’ intelligence for granted. Available on Sonyliv and Highly Recommended.