Mandela review: Yogi babu shines in this political satire

Mandela: A good political thriller

Source: SIFY


Critic's Rating: 3.5/5

Tuesday 06 April 2021

Movie Title

Mandela review: Yogi babu shines in this political satire


Mandone Ashwin

Star Cast

Yogi Babu, Sheela, GM Kumar, Kanna Ravi, Sangili Murugan

Its not easy to make a riveting political film in Tamil without a huge budget. Generally, in Tamil cinema (especially after Mudhalvan), political films are either made on a grand scale or the directors make fun of all political parties that their intentions which is just to make money. After a long time, we have a genuine political satire that has not hurt any political party or real-life leaders. Instead, debutant director Madonne Ashwin's Mandela asks an earnest question to the people and tells them the importance of their votes.

Yes, the ugly face of politicians has been unmasked but Ashwin has not taken any names. His intentions are very clear,as he wants to make a change with his film without hitting below the belt but at the same time, his smart writing makes us think before we vote. Mandela is a relevant film during the election season.

Ilicha Vaayan aka Smila (Yogi Babu), an innocent barber is often ridiculed by people in his village as he is a lower caste. They don't even consider him a human. But when the leaders of the two clans of the village compete in the local body elections, the prediction ends up in a tie. Meanwhile, Smile who has now got the name Mandela, thanks to the local postwoman Thenmozhi(Sheela) is now eligible to vote and even got his voter ID. Now, the leaders of both these clans are trying to lure Mandela to win his vote.

Though Mandela enjoys the freebies at the beginning, he understands the real face of the politicians as they approach the election day. Now, Mandela takes a surprise decision that he wins the heart of the local people but pisses off the politicians. Watch the film to know more...

After Pariyerum Perumal and Aandavan Kattalai, Yogi Babu has finally got an author-backed role. He is very subtle throughout the film, which is a revelation. Like Nagesh and Vadivelu, if given a proper role and storyline, Yogi Babu can shine like a diamond. Glad that a debutant director took the extra risk by casting Yogi in a unique role.

Sheela has got an interesting role and she has justified it with her realistic performance. The rest of the actors including GM Sundar, Sangili Murugan, and Kanna Ravi are perfect.

Besides the mainstream electoral politics, Mandonne Ashwin also talks about caste politics without glorifying or demeaning anyone. We like his balanced approach towards a strong yet content.

Technically Barath Sankar's music sounds grand in a simple film but rightly enhances the content. Cinematographer Vidyuth Ayyana and editor Philomin Raj have also done their parts well.

Overall, Mandela is a good political thriller and a perfect study for directors who wish to touch on sensitive topics in the future.

Verdict: Good

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