Maanagaram: A Gripping Thriller Backed by Strong Performances
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Maanagaram is a brilliant portrayal of a mistaken identity and a failed kidnapping plot resulting in an incredible turn of events. Director Lokesh Kanagaraj’s storyline ventures into the dark side of the city in his debut film Maanagaram (Metropolitan).
A few minutes into the film, a radio jockey narrates that Chennai is ranked first as the safest city in India as the scenes capture the hustle and bustle of the city. With this as the starting premise, the storyline follows the rarely used hyperlink narrative, previously seen in films like Aayutha Ezhuthu and Vaanam. The city forms the crux of the four characters whose storylines gets interwoven during the course of the movie.
A swearing auto driver, the unwelcoming attitude of the policemen and the urban life is perfectly captured by director Lokesh. Sundeep Kishan has excelled in playing as a brash youngster with a good heart while Shree is apt for the role of a newcomer to the city. Charlie plays the role humble cab driver while Ramdoss is at his creative best playing the role of a dimwit goonda.
The film is an emotional roller-coaster ride, where the characters are pushed to the edge, and they reach a point of either do-or-die. While the four lead characters face dire consequences in a turn of events, Sundeep’s love interest Regina Cassandra is hyperlinked to the positive outcome in the movie. The film’s stunning narrative is similar to Alphonse Putharen’s Neram in parts, with a sound design that suits the theme of the film. The way Sudeep deals with an acid attacker and Ramdoss’s tact in abandoning a lump sum of money are scenes that are worth a mention.
The background scores and songs by music director Javed Riaz add a punch to the gritty storyline. In a span of 48 hours the plot smoothly transitions from brightness to darkness in the latter half of the movie.
Cinematographer Selvakumar SK has perfectly captured the agonizing journey of the lead characters and their emotions while Philomin’s editing delivers a nail-biting and crisp narration.
The genius of Maanagaram is in its writing and narration that is enhanced by strong performances and technical sensibilities. This emotional roller-coaster ride will leave you on the edge of the seat, wondering if the fate of the characters will see the light of day.