Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Cast: Shri, Sundeep Kishan, Regina, Charlie, Ramdoss, Madhusudan
The plot revolves round a set of unconnected characters whose lives get interlinked as the story progresses. How the action of one inadvertently affects the life of another, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, mistaken identities and cross-talk confusion, all form part of the script. The detailing in the smartly written screenplay, the smooth flow of scenes, the seamless integration of the various characters and incidents into a coherent whole, and the deft treatment belies the fact that it is the work of a debutant director.
Nonlinear in its narrative style, the plot travels on multiple tracks. Each character is well fleshed out and given its space. And except for the main villain of the piece the dreaded gangster P.K.P. (Madhusudhan), we don’t get to know the names of the rest of the characters, it being irrelevant to the scenario. So while one is identified by the colour of his shirt, 'the guy with the red checked shirt' another as a ' boy in the school' etc. A smart move what with mistaken identities being the norm here than the exception!
The characters are from various strata of society. They include a youngster new to the city and on the verge of getting a job, an unemployed man often landing himself in trouble with the cops, a woman executive of a firm, a cab driver in dire need of a job , an unscrupulous cop, PKP the ruthless thug , a gang of small time extortionists and a simpleton who inadvertently becomes part of a kidnapping deal gone awry. Colourful characters that pep up the proceedings, the sparkling lines lending an added flip.
The actors are suitably cast and perform well. Like Sundeep's nonchalance, Shri's intensity, Regina's matter-of-fact portrayal and charlie's emotional take on his role. The scene stealer is Ramdoss who after 'Mundasupatti' gets a role right up his sleeve. Reveling as the bungling kidnapper, the actor is hilarious.
The dark humour is worked out well in this Guy Ritchie kind of scenario. There are a couple of messages conveyed. That a common man when pushed beyond endurance can reveal a tougher side and that a ruthless cold blooded killer can also have a softer emotional side to him. But the stronger and a more relevant message is that a film need not boast of big names; it need not be exorbitantly budgeted with foreign locations and glamorous song picturisation thrown in to make it an engaging experience. All that it needs is a solid screenplay, deft treatment and a right selection of cast to make it an interesting and an eminently watchable fare. 'Maanagaram' is proof of that!