By Malini Mannath
10th September 2012 12:55 PM
Director: S Jaishankar
Cast: Appukutty, Swathi, Vaishali
After bagging the National Award for his performance in 'Azhagarsamiyin Kudhirai', Appukutty returns with yet another stellar performance in 'Mannaaru'. In a role that seems to be tailor-made for him, he plays a simpleton who is forced by circumstances to shoulder a burden he would rather let go.
Helming the film is debutant S Jaishankar. As he tracks the unconventional travails of his protagonist Mannaaru, the director weaves in humour and sentiment in a screenplay neatly laid out.
The protagonist’s problems begin when he is persuaded to help a couple in a secret marriage. When their plan of eloping goes haywire, thanks to the intervention of the girl’s influential family, Mannaaru is persuaded to escort the newly wed bride Anjali (Swathi) to a safe destination, with the groom to follow later. But matters don’t go as planned and Mannaaru is forced to act as her husband.
The second part shifts to Mannaaru’s village, where his act creates havoc in his life. Debutant Vaishali as Mallika, Mannaaru’s cousin and sweetheart, proves to be an actor of emotional calibre. She is nonchalant throughout the movie.
Appukutty’s frustration and dilemma, and his expressions as he reluctantly goes on with the act are a delight to watch. Thambi Ramaiya plays the village chief, livening up the narration whenever he appears. But, the pace in the second half does turn a little slow.
The locations are eye-catching and lush, and the cinematography by Aku Ajmal adds a distinct character to the film
The songs have a rustic flavour and go with the feel. Refreshing and simple in its narrative style, 'Mannaaru’ is worth a watch.
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