Mambattiyan Movie Review
Cast: Prashanth, Meera Jasmine, Prakashraj, Vadivelu
Malayur Mambattiyan, which came in the 1980s, was a cult movie that featured young Thyagarajan. It was based on the life of Robinhood like gangster who lived in rural Tamilnadu. An angry young man, Mambattiyan was admired and adored by many (much before the likes of Veerappan and others happened).
When Thyagarajan, who played the lead role in the original, chose to direct his son Prashanth in the remake, expectations obviously soared high. Does the movie justify the expectations?
Mambattiyan (Prashanth) turns a serial killer after his father and mother are murdered by a local bigwig (Kota Srinivasa Rao) for opposing him. Mambattiyan kills his whole family including him and takes refuge in a jungle. After the incident he decides to dedicate his life to fight for the poor and exploited people. He gets admirers who join hands with him and they ring an alarm bell to landlords and casteist corrupt forces. He becomes messiah of the masses.
He helps one Kannathal (Meera Jasmine) in a critical situation. She falls for his brave and honest characteristics.
The real action begins when a senior police officer Ranjith (Prakashraj) enters the village with his men to end the menace of Mambattiyan.
Since Mambattiyan is the king of the jungles no one could capture him. People’s unconditional support stands as his major strength. But Ranjith tries all kind of tricks and creates many traps to capture Mambattiyan. The hero of the masses escapes from his clutches but he has been put under siege by a battalion of police and special commando force. What happens to Mambattiyan and his love forms the climax.
The movie is out-dated and slow. Predictable and clichéd from the word go Mambattiyan is no patch on the original. When a director chooses to make a film with a well known story he has to be very careful in the presentation. Thyagarajan has grossly failed in the department. The scenes are not interesting. The hunt by the police gives some hope in the beginning but that too becomes quite routine after a point.
Prashanth plays the role with vigour. He is right there giving his best though his body language is found wanting in some places. He excels in stunts too. Pretty Meera Jasmine has put on some weight and hence looks old. She plays a stereotype heroine and there is nothing special about her performance.
Mumaith Khan, the new-age Silk Smitha is impressive. She tries to recapture her charm, but in parts. Prakashraj chips in with his best. But speaks from his belly at places and sounds too loud.
Vadivelu’s reentry after a long time could have been better though he manages to make us laugh in some scenes.
Thaman’s music is fresh and the remix of a couple of Ilayaraja’s numbers doesn’t strain our ears. Shaji’s lens adds strength to the story.
Music, cinematography, and stunt scenes.
Predictability and slow pace.
The movie impresses only in parts. The original was bigger and bolder.
Mambattiyan: Not patch on the original