By: By Moviebuzz

Critic's Rating: 3/5

Tuesday 06 September 2011

Movie Title



Venkat Prabhu

Star Cast

Ajith, Arjun, Trisha, Lakshmi Rai, Premji, Vaibhav

Mankatha is an out and out Ajith film. He rocks as the man with ice in his veins as the mean and diabolic cop Vinayak Mahadevan.

The film is a mash-up of many interesting ideas and has a larger-than-life feel to it but the screenplay has enough holes in it for it to work as fishing net. It?s also shamelessly manipulative. It?s hard to care for Venkat Prabhu?s characters because the emotions never feel real.

You can?t judge a film by its teasers. After the trailer vignettes, one anticipated a cracker of a movie especially since it comes from Venkat Prabhu. However, the length of the film, especially the first half (85 minutes) and the songs thrust in at regular intervals act as party poopers.

The story is set in Mumbai milieu with Vinayak Mahadevan (Ajith) as a renegade Mumbai cop who is under suspension. He meets Arumuga Chettiyar (Jayaprakash), who runs a gambling den and a theatre which plays second run movies and controls international betting syndicate known for their cricket match fixing. Chettiyar?s daughter Sanjana (Trisha) falls for Vinayak. The only thing that interests Vinayak is ?money, money, money?.

Vinayak teams up with four young guys - Sumanth (Vaibhav) who is Chettiyar?s accountant, Mahath (Mahath) a guy who runs a night club, local cop Ganesh (Ashwin) and a computer nerd Prem (Premgi Amaran). They plan to steal Chettiyar?s Rs 500 crore betting money coming in as US dollars in a container lorry for the finals of the IPL. And to thwart their plans is the CBI officer Prithviraj (Arjun) who heads the anti-betting squad.

The last 15 minutes in the climax is the clincher in the film and helps it sail through. The rest of the film is just packaging and that?s what makes it sagging. Who is on whose side and the double cross leading to cat and mouse game in the second half keeps the tempo alive.

There are nodding references to various films like the character of Chettiyar looks straight from Kamal Haasan?s Nayagan, Vaibhav marrying Anjali very similar to a scene from Rajinikanth?s Dalapathy. In a particular song picturised on the lead pair a wall mounted TV shows the same pair singing in Kireedam!

There is not even one scene on the betting syndicate or how cricket betting is run. Nobody plays high stakes card games either! The hero dreaming and playing the eliminator on chess board, is silly and just does not fit in with the narration.

The scene which is a scream is the bedroom scene where a sozzled Ajith gets up in the morning after getting a call from his girlfriend Trisha who says she is coming to meet him. Suddenly he finds Lakshmi Rai by his bed side, the girl he had met at a disco the previous night and the confusion that follows is a scream. The scene in which Arjun saves Vaibhav who is on the run is slickly executed. Unfortunately moments like these are few and far between.

Wink and you will miss all the female characters in the film that doesn't demand much from them. Trisha as Sanjana, Lakshmi Rai in a vamp role, Anjali as a bride and Andrea as Arjun?s wife are wasted. After Ajith it is Premgi Amaran as the comedian who has more screen space than others. Arjun lives up to his image as the ?Action King? and plays the cop with dignity and has a style of his own.

However it is Ajith who steals the thunder and plays the emotionless bad man, to perfection. He looks smashing and his scorching screen presence is unmatchable but is let down by a dull script.

The music of Yuvan Shankar Raja is strictly average with just one song Nanbane.. being the only hummable number. For die-hard fans of Ajith who don't have a problem with an unforgivable 2 Hours 40 minutes running time and juvenile comedy, this might be a treat. For others though, it's strictly average entertainment.

PS: Don't miss the end title cards, its genuinely funny!

Verdict: Average

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