Ok so the weekend is just a day away but the new releases begin from today. And first up is the Chiyaan-Dhruv Vikram starrer Mahaan on Amazon Prime. This film was much anticipated as it marked the comeback of the former and it was the first time that the father and son duo were sharing the screen space together. And to top it, the film was directed by Karthik Subbaraj who may have been in indifferent form recently but he still has a pretty good filmography. So naturally I was curious going into the movie. I did not watch its trailer and hence I wasn’t sure what to expect from the film. That said, does Mahaan impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Mahaan follows the story of a Gandhi Mahaan who decides to leave his family and principles behind and lead a life of freedom. The story is entertaining but predictable. There isn’t much novelty here. The screenplay standing at 162 minutes is a tad too long. A crisper edit was the need of the hour as certain portions definitely felt repetitive. But the good bit is that the proceedings are entertaining. As a part of a brief flashback, the film begins on a hilarious note. A boy born in a Gandhi family caught gambling! And it is here that the writers establish their philosophy very early on in the film. From there on the struggle of the protagonist to stick to his principles only to walk away is what forms the first half. The politics which the protagonist has to bear is also interesting to watch. In between there are some nicely choreographed fight sequences that keep you entertained throughout. The halfway mark is a highlight where the father and son duo meet and face off in style. So an entertaining first half. While I expected a cat and mouse chase in the second half, the second half flatters to deceive in the sense that the writing isn’t layered enough. Again it is watchable but somehow that adrenaline rush was missing. The face off(second one) is good but the drama around it isn’t the best. The supposed twist in the final act could have been penned better to add a shock element to it which was missing. But again the screenplay was highly enjoyable and entertaining nevertheless, despite being predictable.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are hinted at the masses and they are impactful. The music is excellent and so is the BGM. But the final 10 minutes is where the BGM scores wonderfully. The beats are outstanding that go so well with the drama. The choreography is outstanding especially in the fight sequences. Certain sequences are where the camera is shaking with every punch which adds a lot of flair to the drama. Director Karthik Subbaraj has done a good job here and you can’t fault his style of filmmaking. He manages to hold your attention throughout despite a predictable storyline which speaks volumes of his talent as a filmmaker.
The performances are excellent here and they do manage to hide a few flaws in the screenplay particularly in the second hour. Simran as Naachi shines and holds her own in an otherwise a male dominated universe. Sananth as Rocky is first rate. Vettai Muthu Kumar as Gnanodaiyam adds the much needed wickedness to the drama. Bobby Simha as Sathyavan(notice the name) is excellent and he delivers a very nuanced and restrained performance. But it is the father and son duo who set the screens ablaze! Dhruv Vikram as Dadabhai Naoroji(again notice the name) is absolutely on fire and shows glimpses of the talent which he possesses. Had this been his debut outing, he would have been a countrywide phenomena with his oomph and style here. And it is Chiyaan Vikram who in his comeback venture as Gandhi Mahaan delivers a memorable performance, perhaps his best by a long way in recent times. At the age of 55 he is as fit as anybody else and he matches every ounce of his energy with his son. This includes a phenomenal one take action sequence in the first half which had me whistling and clapping at 2 am while watching the film. The man is a legend and we are just happy he is back with a bang!
Mahaan might have a predictable story but it is a highly enjoyable, entertaining and a paisa vasool drama. Available on Amazon Prime.