Maanagaram Movie Review
Writer & Director : Lokesh Kanagaraj
Producer : S R Prakashbabu, S R Prabhu, Prabhu Venkatachalam, Gopinath P, Thanga Prabaharan R
Cast : Sundeep Kishan, Sri, Regina Cassandra
Music : Javed Riaz
Cinematography : Selvakumar SK
Editor : Philomin
Production company : Potential Studios
Running Time : 145 mins
Chennai as a backdrop have been an intriguing part of our very own urban thrillers that includes Pudhupettai, Aaranya Kaandam and few more of this genre. Moreover, we have come across the realistic comedy drama set again the same city that involves Marina, Vanakkam Chennai and Chennai 600028. The latest one joining the league to the thriller genre set against Chennai backdrops is ‘Maanagaram’. As the title suggests, it all involves the drama across the lanes and corners of Chennai city that happens over a single day.
The film opens with the establishment of multiple characters – Shri, Sundeep Kishan, Regina Cassandra, Charlie and Munishkanth, who happen to bounce upon each other over a day in Chennai. Shri has come with all hopes from his native place to Chennai in need of a job and is appointed at an IT firm, where Regina Cassandra works as HR. Sundeep Kishan, a happy-go-lucky but with aggressive righteous nature is in love with Regina and she too has a soft corner for him. Charlie has rented a car from the city’s most dreaded don and his son has an ailment with Asthma. In spite of not knowing any places in Chennai, he takes up the shift basis for commuting IT employees. Munishkanth with a hilarious nature is hired by a bunch of hooligans to kidnap a kid from school and with mistaken identity; he abducts the son of the same dreaded don in town. With these characters having its own issues and clashes that makes them collide and confide upon each other, the tales goes with some twists and turns.
First and foremost, debut filmmaker Lokesh Kumar deserves a whole lot of applause and appreciation for making a film with brilliant script. 2 minutes into the film, we are directly transported to the premise of story and there are no diversions anywhere. There isn’t any unwanted comedy tracks and even tracks come up with montage based ones, where the title track has been very well shot using intense CG works to narrate the sequences. The first half gets completely intact with engaging moments and by the point of intermission, we are left with huge question on what’s gonna happen next. Sooner, the second hour comes with some interesting moments, but it seems to have been stretched out with few unwanted sequences. Say for instance, the don’s henchmen torturing the staffs in school and Drill master being ridiculed is completely unwanted. Moreover Madhusudhana Rao who is initially portrayed as a powerful don later turns out to be a Goofy caricature as every character makes him run here and there. But the characterization of Shri has been very well depicted. The scenes involving Shri and Charlie as innocent people out there and how they are being connected from morning till night in an indirect manner has been narrated convincingly. Regina Cassandra has nothing of more prominence though she remains as a connecting dot for Shri and his dreams. Munishkanth is the ultimate showstopper, where he grabs our attention eclipsing every actor in the frame.
Technically, it’s Sound by Sync Cinema that gains our attention instantly and background score by Javed Riaz. Cinematography by Selvakumar is commendable with most of the shot being canned in night and he does it perfectly. It’s complete hard work by editor Philomin that offers full support to the narrative of Lokesh Kumar.
There isn’t much to mention across the flip side, but having carried the title ‘Maanagaram’, it would have been nice if there was a proper detailing to the locations in Chennai as location should play an important role in such a city based thriller. There are few sluggish moments in the second hour and this is a movie that should be a perfect version with just 100 minutes.
Nevertheless, it’s a good and best attempt for a team that is loaded with first timers and young team.