You shall be turned out of my house and I will never have your name pronounced in my presence again. It is disgusting-degrading-disgraceful.
– Adolphus Longestaffe to his daughter Georgina in Anthony Trollope’s fine satire The Way we Live Now over her plans to marry a Jew
It never ceases to surprise me how Tamil Cinema “Stars” retain a faithful fan following despite unleashing hideous junk after junk.
A mystery that perhaps more intelligent species in the future may unravel.
Garbage Lovers, Ahoy
Ajith Kumar’s 50th movie Mankatha released today, a day ahead of a normal release.
The garbage loving Tamil audience thronged Big Cinemas near Chicago in surprisingly large numbers.
Ajith’s fan following is impressive.
The 7 pm and 7:30 pm shows were sold out. The number of shows was increased from 2 to 4 today and when my show ended I saw a long line for the next show. Hey, the adjacent Ebony Lounge even threw a dinner buffet after seeing the crowd.
Well, never underestimate the diehard garbage-loving Tamil movie fan’s penchant to embrace trash with gusto.
Cast: “Thala” Ajith Kumar, “Action King” Arjun, Trisha, Premji Amaran, Lakshmi Rai, Vaibhav, Anjali, Andrea, matrum palar (and Others)
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Direction: Venkat Prabhu
Producers: Dayanidhi Alagiri (Cloud Nine Movies)
Vinayak Mahadevan (Ajith) is a dirty cop and under suspension for bumping off a fellow cop and abetting the escape of a smuggler. The smuggler, Faizal works for Arumuga Chettiyar, a bigger smuggler.
Chettiar’s daughter Sanjana (Trisha) is in love with Vinayak which he pretends to reciprocate.
Prithviraj (Arjun) is another cop who leads a special branch to investigate and eradicate betting against the backdrop of the IPL Cricket tournament.
A lot of money under Chettiar’s supervision is about to exchange hands. Vinayak plans to loot that money.
Chettiar’s henchman Sumant (Vaibhav) and his friends (a local Sub Inspector, a bar owner and the bar owner’s friend, Prem – Premji Amaran) also plan to loot that money. Vinayak discovers their plan and drops into the gang as the leader.
They loot Rs 500 Crores stashed in a godown secured by a Navtal pootu (an old fashioned lock popular in India) that is digitally secured by Prem the hacker.
What follows is a sloppy cat and mouse game between Vinayak, the gang, Chettiar’s henchmen led by Faizal, and Prithviraj with several predictable twists and monotonous turns that end in a dramatically stale climax.
The movie is touted as an action thriller but director Venkat Prabhu is clueless in handling that genre.
He messes it up one scene at a time until he successfully botches it completely.
Given his penchant for stealing, Prabhu generously borrows ideas from several Hollywood movies but proves utterly incapable of even getting inspired properly.
The Mankatha story flow is jerky and the movie unevenly paced.
First half is filled with amateurish comedy evoking no more than a mild chuckle once in a while and plethora of irritating songs that pop up for no reason.
The movie picks up some pace in the second half although it’s hampered periodically due to Venkat Prabhu’s inability to move the plot to the next scene.
None of the songs are worthy of a second hearing and most were intolerably cruel on the ears even on first hearing.
Yuvan Shankar Raja is surely walking his talented father to an early grave with such mind-numbing and uncreative music.
The self-styled Ultimate Star Ajith Kumar has ‘acted’ in 49 movies before this!
It’s a miracle how the audience has endured and survived that many movies from this buffoon.
One would think that with age and experience would come some improvement but, alas, not for our TharuThala.
Bad as ever, Ajith’s acting is devoid of expressions and ability of any kind.
Arjun has been relegated to a second fiddle and that’s hardly a surprise considering how poorly his movies have fared over the past decade.
He brings nothing exceptional to the role other than his physical fitness which is by far the only convincing feature for his role.
Trisha – Awful
Trisha is bad as ever.
It seems she was paid by the song as she goes missing halfway through the movie.
Lakshmi Rai is sleazy and sexy and carries off the role of a vamp quite adequately. She shows just enough skin to hold our attention 😉
Premji Amaran is an irritating comedian who gets roles only in elder brother Venkat Prabhu’s films. He hardly evokes a chuckle and puts up a repetitive performance which seems like an extension of his roles in previous films.
Andrea and Anjali are in a blink and miss roles.
Nonsense Ad Nauseum
1. The movie is set against the backdrop of Mumbai but everyone in Mumbai speaks Tamil. Hindi is spoken with a Tamil accent.
2. Sabari Taxi, which I believe runs only in Chennai, is seen plying on Mumbai Roads in a couple of scenes
3. Although the movie is about betting on IPL games, nothing remotely related to betting or IPL is shown
4. Venkat Prabhu’s idea of planning to loot is sitting, standing and walking with different clothes and expressions.
5. All you need to hack into any system is the IP address
6. The idea of hacking and controlling traffic signals is stolen from “The Italian Job”
7. Ajith’s repeated shout of 500 crores gets pretty irritating after a while
8. It was probably part of Arjun’s contract for the second fiddle role to be addressed as “Action King” by Ajith throughout the movie. Arjun returns the favor by addressing Ajith as Thala at one point.
9. A ridiculously long scene with Ajith walking the audience through his chain of thought on how to eliminate others and keep all the 500 Crores for himself, is so bad that you want to choke yourself to death.
The list of atrocities on the hapless Tamil movie fan committed by the Mankatha folks is endless.
Disgusting, Degrading, Disgraceful
Mankatha is meant strictly for Ajith Kumar’s fans, such as they are.
Thoroughly predictable fare, a screenplay full of loopholes, bad music, poor acting and absolutely no regard for logic or reason makes Mankatha unwatchable for the discerning audience.
The second half has a lot of typical Tamil cinema action. The last 20 minutes was ok if one can ignore all the loopholes and lack of logic.
Echoing Adolphus Longestaffe in Trollope’s fine satire, I’d say Mankatha is a disgusting, degrading, disgraceful piece of trash.
Stay away and you’ll live another day!