Maanaadu Tamil Movie Review
After an eternity of waiting for this movie, we finally got to watch it now. Maanaadu has been the talk of the town right from its inception and fans around the world were waiting to watch the new avatar of Silambarasan in Venkat Prabhu's Maanaadu.
Maanaadu has a star cast comprising of Silambarasan, SJ Suryah, Kalyani Priyadarshan, SA Chandrasekar, Y Gee Mahendran, Premgi and Karunakaran. Maanaadu isn't your standard sci-fi time loop movie in the sense that the whole concept of time loop is used only as a catalyst to bring out the politics going on in the movie which the protagonist tries to stop.
Abdul Khaaliq, played by Simbu arrives at Ooty to help his friend Moorthy, played by Premgi get married to Zarina, the girl he loves. In a series of events, we see Abdul Khaaliq being framed by Dhanushkodi, played by SJ Suryah as the person who tried to assassinate the Chief Minister and stir up anti-Muslim riots. The film shifts gears when Khaaliq dies and wakes up again in the airplane he was arriving, which triggers the loop. Khaaliq discovers this ploy through a series of loops and how he manages to stop this 'maanaadu' from happening forms the rest of the film.
Maanaadu incorporates the concept of time loop as a narrative tool rather than as a scientific concept. The best example where Venkat Prabhu shows this is in a fight sequence which would seem like a regular commercial fight sequence, but Khaaliq dies several times in this sequence, but because of the loop, he is able to predict what's going to happen next time he comes alive, which helps him move forward. The true hero of this sequence is Praveen KL, the editor, Maanaadu being his 100th film, and makes it a memorable one.
SJ Suryah like several of his recent outings as an antagonist with over the top acting, plays Dhanushkodi, a cop who is also caught in the loop when Khaaliq dies. SJ Suryah has loads of mass with shots of the leg shown first as the camera slowly pans out to his face.
Simbu's character arc evolves with each of the loops. All of Maanaadu's characters are nothing you'd see out of the blue, all are politicians, silly friends and that one heroine which you've seen countless times over the years. But it's still refreshing to watch because of Venkat Prabhu's ingenious screenplay.
Y Gee Mahendran plays the quintessential politician vying for the position of Chief Minister and the scene where there is a banter between Simbu, SJ Suryah and Y Gee Mahendran is a riot.
The film plays out like a cat and mouse chase in the second half between Khaaliq and Dhanushkodi, as SJ Suryah manages to outwit Simbu till the last loop. Despite knowing that the loop will end at some point and that Khaaliq would overcome the hurdles, there is the element of uncertainty that is there in every loop which keeps you hooked to the film.
Amplifying the movie is Yuvan Shankar Raja with his background score which has both mass and class to it yet not blasting music to your ears when the hero is smashing bad guys.
In the end, Venkat Prabhu's clever writing is what makes Maanaadu work as he judiciously uses the concept of the time loop to narrate his political film.