Hava Nagila!

Everything does pass, and we can endure and we can survive!! – Rahul Dravid

Mankatha – Well played!!

To put it in one line, Mankatha is a story of many kettavans and one romba kettavan. 🙂 You will find elaborate details and plot (spoiler) below.

I am not an Ajith movie fan. Barring a few, most of his movies lack a lot of stuff that I believe movies are about. But I do like Ajith. Who doesn’t? No matter how bad the movie, he acts exceptionally well and looks dashing.

I usually don’t follow non Rajni movies from the time they start shooting. But Mankatha was different. The hype of the movie was so great that I could not escape it. I maintain that Ajith is good until he starts speaking. 🙂 Naturally, I liked the posters, teaser and the songs. The trailer was  cool too.

I went to Devi Paradise on 3rd Sep 2011 to see Mankatha – 4th day from its release. All I expected was a decent movie, worth the 100 bucks I had paid towards the ticket. Well, I had my money’s worth and felt that the movie was really, really good.

People had been saying it is a copy of Jannat, Oceans series, this and that. It is nothing of the sort. Venkat Prabhu did copy some stunt scenes from Angelina Jolie’s Wanted and Bruce Willis movies. But then, nothing very alarming to put me off.

It is not something that I have seen in Tamil movies before – the bad guys have won and go scot free. We are a good always wins in a good versus evil fight kind of society. And this movie tugs at those very roots. This is a movie in which everyone is bad and the worst of them wins. 🙂 The film makers have given the viewers liberal doses of smoke, drink, women and unlimited blasphemy. Coupled with guns, handsome guys, skimpily clad women and beautiful locales, it is indeed a sinful movie. 🙂 Abhacharam, abhacharam!!

It takes great courage for a tamil hero to do what Ajith has done. He lies to everyone including his lover, disgraces the very sacred police department and Khakhi sattai, smokes and drinks all day and sleeps with random women. He plans for a robbery, uses cuss words that need censor, doesn’t attempt to save the society, shows greed and betrays his friends. He oozes evil like never seen before. He doesn’t even have a heroine!! He even says “unkitta 500 kodi irundha, un pondaati maadhiri 1000 pondaati kedaippa daa.” He pushes his lover’s father from a car while she is watching. He uses Trisha and her father and disposes of them when he is done. How very un tamil!! This is one movie which lives up to its tag line – STRICTLY NO RULES. It takes Ajith Kumar to play this very powerful role in such a mesmerizing way.

The story revolves around a heist planned to take away 500 crore rupees – the money from cricket IPL betting. Four guys (Sumanth, Ganesh, Mahath and Prem) have already planned to do this and Ajith has smelled their plans. He gate crashes into their party and shows them how to do a heist. They accept him (they don’t have a choice). Then the heist is brilliantly planned and executed. The police give chase and capture Sumanth. He turns approver and tells all to Arjun. Ajith kidnaps Arjun’s wife and forces the police to kill Sumanth.

Ajith plans to eliminate the others and take the money for himself. This planning is one awesome bit of screenplay. The chessboard sequence and Ajith’s imagination are wild and simply superb. But his plans are ruined as two of the guys (Prem and Mahath) steal the money and escape. Now is when Ajith shows his true colours. He shoots at whoever comes in his way and delivers death blows with his powerful hands. He escapes the police headed by Arjun and co, knocks out chettiar and his goons and kills many. Prem and Mahath who stole the money are now divided by Lakshmi Rai who pits one against the other. Lakshmi Rai kills Mahath and Ajith kills both Lakshmi Rai and Prem. Ajith even kills Subbu (a police officer) and Ganesh. In the end, the spectacular plans of Ajith and Arjun are revealed. They are friends from their police training days and have very ardently worked out this strategy. They escape with the money and settle abroad with everything in life.

The finesse with which the roles have been essayed by Ajith and Arjun deserve special mention. Ajith displays villainy in such a way that it had people cheering for him. It is comparable to what Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight. That performance got an Oscar. His laughter, though borrowed from Rajni is fantastic. Looks like Ajith has consciously worked on his voice modulation. It has been his weak point so far. He has turned it into a strength in this movie. I am impressed. 🙂

Stunts are awesome. The whistles and cheers in the theatre when Ajith came on the motor bike were very sincere and well deserved. People don’t doubt that he did the stunts on his own. He belongs to the race tracks anyway. He is just brilliant when he drives. When Ajith looks behind when taking the car in reverse in the final stunt, you know that it is his genuine race car driver instincts. The other stunts are also well done and decent.

He has also tried his luck at dancing and I must say, Machi open the bottle was nice. He could have moved around a bit more in Vilayadu Mankatha. The change of scenes, costumes and furnishing for Vaada Bin Lada was very nice.

The girls have nothing to do in this movie. It is an out and out boy’s fare. Good attempt by Venkat Prabhu. He has tried to move into the big league. Although there are gaping holes in the direction, he covers it up skilfully.

Yuvan’s songs and rerecording were exceptional, editing was crisp and art was fine. The camera was good, though it didn’t have much to do. Costumes – if the persons you are dressing up are Ajith and Trisha, what is that you need to do really? Needless to say, they gave a very stylish dimension to the film.

Premji is becoming intolerable by the day and the screenplay isn’t what you would call near perfect. But when you have a hero who has the devil’s own charm in well-tailored suits, can smoke away to glory, romance the women he wants and has all his plans working, who cares?

Ajith and Venkat Prabhu have played their trump cards well and it is Three Aces for them!! Ajith takes top honours and is truly the Ace of Spades! It is a film by, for and of him. What a 50th film for Thala!! And what a treat for his fans and the audience in general!! Now looking forward to 7 am Arivu and Billa 2.

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2 comments on “Mankatha – Well played!!

  1. Sathish DV
    September 7, 2011

    Very nice….. Thanks a lot for such a good review on MANKATHA and our THALA 🙂

  2. Ramesh
    September 8, 2011

    Great Review…Very well articulated !!!
    keep going !!!
    I enjoyed reading it !!!

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This entry was posted on September 4, 2011 by in Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , .

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