Maanaadu Review: Taking us into a fascinating world of time loop, a must-watch thriller

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Review for MAANAADU:

•Language: TAMIL. 

•Duration: 174 Minutes.

•Genre: SCI-FICTION THRILLER. 

•Theatre: REVATHY CINEMAX KOLLAM.

• REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI.R.VALIYAVEETIL.

•POSITIVES:

1: Direction.

2: Story, Screenplay and Dialogues.

3: Performance of actors.   

4: Background score.   

5: Cinematography.

6: Editing.

•NEGATIVES: 

1: Average song.

•ONE WORD: Taking us into a fascinating world of time loop, a must watch thriller.

 • DETAIL REVIEW: 

1: STORY IDEA:  

Maanaadu begins when Abdul Khaaliq from abroad arrives at Tamil Nadu to attend his friend’s wedding. On the flight he meets Seethalakshmi who was also going to attend the same wedding and both get mingled easily and decide to go together with Abdul Khaaliq’s friends. At the wedding event some unexpected things will occur and after coming back from the wedding his car will unknowingly hit a stranger. The police will immediately arrive at the spot and DCP Dhanushkodi and his team will arrest Khaaliq and his friends. Soon he will be forced to assassinate the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu at a public function. With no other way remaining he will shoot the CM and the police will eventually shoot back Khaaliq. At the time when he gets shot he will wake up in the same flight in which he came to Tamil Nadu, soon he will find out that he is stuck on a time loop. Rest of the story unfolds Khaaliq’s journey to find the people who are behind this conspiracy.

2: ANALYSIS INTO DIRECTION, STORY, SCREENPLAY & DIALOGUES: 

Maanaadu is directed by Venkat Prabhu who himself handles the story, screenplay and dialogues. The movie is produced by
Suresh Kamatchi under the banner of V House Productions and is distributed by SSI Productions. Yuvan Shankar Raja composes the music and Silambarasan, S.J Suryah and Kalyani Priyadarshan appear in the lead role. The cinematography is by Richard N. Nathan and editing is by Praveen K.L and the movie comes with a running time of 147 Minutes.

Indian cinema and Tamil industry won’t be familiar with the concept of time loop, it’s a tough subject that used to come often in Hollywood and every time those types of movies show something unique. Basically the concept of time loop itself is complicated so to execute a loop movie an extra level of brilliance must be needed and that’s what the director Venkat Prabhu had proved, Maanaadu is all about the brilliant and clever execution of Venkat Prabhu. I was actually stunned at the time of watching the film, the way Venkat Prabhu had made the film was shocking, and after the 20 minutes of the film till the end I felt the real emotion and vibe of an edge seat thriller. The plot of the film is tricky and tough which was filled with many surprising events and ongoing situations, so the methods and process he implemented on the story and screenplay was perfectly sinking to set the movie forwards without any flaws. Therefore I can strongly say that Venkat Prabhu did an amazing job on both the writing and making.

The characterization and performance given for the actors in the whole script was exceptionally written, the fights happening between the hero and villain on the time loop was actually a treat to watch. An interesting angle I liked in the movie is, first the hero will try to destroy the plans of the villain one by one and later the villain will learn the actual plans of hero and he in return will gives a tough game to the hero, so all this fights will be happening with the help of time loop so both of their fight will be truly exciting and thrilling to watch. The curiosity to know what will happen next is what makes Maanaadu different, scene by scene everyone will be contrived with the gripping mood. As a time loop oriented film, one may feel confused or the chances of getting an off-balance from the script and making are high but here the intelligent writing and powerful direction from Venkat Prabhu avoids and kills these types of diversion. Each and every scene in the whole film was made without making any confusion, proper detailing and explanations was given to every situations so from the starting of the time loop till it end from a normal audience to a person who is familiar with these subjects can easily understand and recognize what the film is trying to convey, all because of the effective direction and writing.

In the direction the visionary of a director to use the acting talents of the lead actors according to the story and screenplay was authentically used. The screen space for both Silambarasan and S.J Suryah was equally given, their fights and their combination scene was precisely taken according to the plot. Venkat Prabhu’s clear instructions and guide to his actors on how to perform according to the script was clearly evident in the film because compared to the previous performance of lead actors the way they performed was having many significant changes especially in the performance of Silambarasan. When compared with Silambarasan’s last film Eeswaran, a proper way of mannerism and a matured level of undertaking the character was practically seen in Maanaadu. S.J Suryah is an actor who is an expert to act naturally and he did perfectly in Maanaadu but the characteristics of a bad cop was brought out more beautifully, an extra energy was initiated till the end so I am sure that Venkat Prabhu’s masterly ideas on how to perform was successfully given to his actors.

No doubt the story is unique and it is added with the best elements of science fiction but what makes it more special is the method Venkat Prabhu had used in the script. A time loop story was fascinatingly created with convincing logic and here in the writing Venkat Prabhu doesn’t go for giving complicated scientific reasons, he makes the whole script in his typical style for the clear cut understanding. Also there are some politics which Venkat Prabhu points out, the atrocities against Muslim communities, the discrimination they faces and the tagline which use to put their head labelling as terrorist was bravely presented with many bold dialogues.  

The dialogues were also beautifully written by Venkat Prabhu, the conversations lead by the actors in the film were according to the scenarios. There are humour filled dialogues which were funny and the punchy dialogues lead by hero and villain are memorable, the style of writing the dialogues was on a proper systemic level. There are many catchy dialogues which will eventually lead us to cheer and clap for its punch, for the fans of STR his strong dialogises at the crucial areas was giving a heroic feel and same was for villain also, most of the dialogues of S.J Suryah was giving the moments of thrill and fun.

3: PERFORMANCE OF ACTORS:

 The movie comes with the casting of Silambarasan, S.J Suryah, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Y.G Mahendran, S.A Chandrashekar, Premgi Amaren, Karunakaran, Anjena Kirti, Aravind Akash, and many more. Looking into the performance of Silambarasan as Abdul Khaaliq he shines throughout till the end. It’s a strong comeback and a massive transformation to a matured actor. The style and his unique attitude gave more impact to the character, the level of seriousness the character demands was acted out amazingly. The dialogue delivery was stunning especially when it comes to the crucial scenes where he shows his anger and frustration. The emotional scenes were handled perfectly so the sentiments had worked out genuinely in his acting. The style which was seen on his action sequences were also impressive, the kicks, punches and fights showed a mass heroic manner effectively. His combination scenes with S.J Suryah was thrilling at its best and the chemistry of a hero and villain was brilliantly seen all over the performance. S.J Suryah as DCP Dhanushkodi is now one of the best villains I had seen in my life, what a performance, it’s hard to express his powerful acting. He stole the show by his acting skills, the way he speaks, the way he expresses, the way he behaves everything was flawlessly enacted. His outstanding dialogue delivery and the timing in telling the dialogues made me shocked, it was all like a true villain. The fast telling conversations, his behaving in situational comedy areas and the frustration he shows at the time loop areas was astonishing. He had given a tough competition to Silambarsan, both maintained to give their best and the whole combination till the end was an absolute treat to watch. Y.G Mahendran as Paranthaaman did an impressive performance, the villain shade was done well and he maintained the right negative shade on his character. Kalyani Priyadarshan as Seethalakshmi was great, her outlook was cute, her expressions were good and the dialogue delivery was excellent especially at the crucial scenarios, also her combination with Silambarasan was lifting the film brightly from the beginning. Premgi Amaren and Karunakaran did a great supportive role as the friends, two of them did well and their situational comedies were entertaining. S.A Chandrashekar as the Chief Minister and Aravind Akash as the Hitman, Subbu Panchu Arunachalam did total justice to their respective roles.

4: MUSIC AND BACKGROUND SCORE: 

The musical works for the film are composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja who also tunes the background score. The film has only one song called ‘Meherezylaa’ sung by Yuvan Shankar Raja, Rizwan and Raja Bhavatharini was an average one. The song was made for a wedding scene and it was just ok, not that great. But more than the song Yuvan Shankar Raja had done a magnificent job of bringing out some best background scores. The background score was on another striking level, it’s one of the main winning highlights of this film. The background score tuned for the scenes of S.J Suryah is still hanging on my mind, the tune had given another level of impact for his scenes. The film is containing many types of different scenarios and whatever Yuvan had given the right tunes, no one can make a complaint. The background score at the time loop scenes was creating an accurate vibe of curiosity so those scenes were thrilling at it’s best. The background score at the emotional scenes and also at the struggling scenes of hero and villain was also great, it was having the power to contrive the viewers to give a full engaging feel, no doubt it’s one of the best works of Yuvan Shankar Raja. 

5: TECHNICAL ASPECTS: 

The whole crew behind the technical division of this film deserves a huge applause. The cinematography, the editing, the work of the art department, the stunts etc was faultless, teamwork was made to make the movie technically best. The remarkable cinematography by Richard M. Nathan took the movie to another unimaginable level. The whole camera work was awesome, what I liked most was the camera movements he created for the action scenes and chase scenes. The bike chasing starting from the airport was stunning, it was one of the best dolly shots I have seen. The movements at the fight sequences were also adequate so the action and fights had given a mass thrilling feel. The lighting was also used effectively, the night shots were transposed to give a natural feel and also for the indoor scenes the whole lighting method was impressive. The editing of Praveen K.L was excellent, it’s his 100th work and the cuts were perfect. The sudden transition was amazing, the cuts and sudden scenes showing the time loop were at the steady track without falling to give any mismatches. The action sequences were delightful, the stunts look matching and nothing overdosed, a heroic mass feel was felt at the action of Silambarasan. 

•CONCLUSION: 

So overall Maanaadu is all about the intelligent and clever work of Venkat Prabhu, the brilliantly written story, the compelling screenplay, catchy dialogues and skilled masterly direction makes Maanaadu as one of the best thriller film of this year. The performance from Silambarasan and S.J Suriya is another wining success also the background score of Yuvan Shankar Raja makes the whole capitivating and thrilling. Therefore to conclude Maanaadu had given me a spectacular and different cinematic experience and I will recommend this movie to everyone, it’s like an adventurous journey into the world of time loop, never miss it. 

•VERDICT: A MUST WATCH SCI-FICTION THRILLER. 

•RATING: 4/5