Film: 'Mambattiyan'; Cast: Prashanth, Meera Jasmine, Prakashraj and Vadivelu; Director: Thyagarajan; Music Director: Thaman; Rating: **
'Malayur Mambattiyan', which came in the 1980s, was based on a desi Robin Hood who lived in the rural Tamil Nadu. The movie had a magical impact at the box office and in Thyagarjan's career. So Thyagarajan decided to use the same theme to give a boost to his actor son Prashanth's dwindling career, but couldn't recreted the same magic.
In the film, Mambattiyan (Prashanth) turns into a killer after his father and mother are murdered by a local bigwig (Kota Srinivasa Rao) for opposing him. In revenge, Mambattiyan kills his whole family and takes refuge in a jungle. The incident changes his life and he starts acting like a saviour by looting corrupt and greedy rich people and helping poor.
During one of his operations Mambattiyan stumbles upon beautiful Kannathal (Meera Jasmine) who is about to get married, but the groom runs off seeing Mambattiyan.
The girl is not worried as she doesn't want to marry a coward. She is instead impressed with Mambattiyan's and eventually falls in love with him.
Mambattiyan and his team are under trouble when a senior cop Ranjith (Prakashraj) enters the village with a big team to arrest him. What happens after that forms the climax of the movie.
Director Thyagarajan chose a story with proven potential. He also had a fine script and he just had to update few things and he e tried to give the movie a slick look by adding few elements. But he has grossly failed to make it appealing.
He couldn't retain the old flavour. It is predictable, tame, out-dated and slow. No single scene could be cited as well conceived or well made. Full of cliches!`
Prashanth's career is going through a bad patch following flops and his personal problems. Earlier, he worked with top directors like Mani Rathnam and Shankar and had a lot of hits under his belt.
He is well-trained in martial arts and a good dancer too. He has also proven that he could handle a variety of roles. But, of late, he lost his midas touch, thanks to poorly etched characters in poorly made films. His personal problems worsened the things and his career touched rock bottom.
He got a chance to prove his worth with this big budget movie, but failed miserably due to ill-conceived script and poor characterisation. He could not lift the character with his acting as his body language and dialogue delivery seemed rigid.
Meera Jasmine is a fine actor, but didn't get a chance to showcase her acting skills.
Mumaith Khan is impressive. Prakashraj is competent in the routine role.
Comedian Vadivelu makes a decent come back after a long hiatus.
Nothing special about Thaman's music, as two of the three songs are just repetitions of the numbers in the original. Shaji's cinematography is pretty good.
Overall, 'Mambattiyan ' is out-dated and slow.