Friday 21 August 2015

Manjhi movie review


All good things come to an end and so it has once again with Manjhi. The ongoing saga of how great an actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui is, has been left exposed to the harsh truth from the very first scene where he falters in delivering a heartfelt cry on the death of his character Manjhi's wife.

Based on the real life incidents surrounding Dashrath Manjhi's life, Ketan Mehta's Manjhi fails to live up to the hue and cry that surrounded its release. Afterall, just taking two lead actors that are currently on a high with their film careers doesn't make a good film. Real work needs to be done. That said, Manjhi, which was poised to be a realistic document of an ever inspirational life has been torn by overly dramatic and pitifully cinematic scenes so as to get the hearts of mainstream audiences pumping a bit. But by doing so, the movie loses its credibility both as an artistic film and also as a cinematic spectacle.

Dashrath Manjhi (Nawazuddin) has a romantic life with his wife Phaguniya ( Radhika Apte) and the couple has two kids. They live in a village the development of which is hindered by the presence of a mountain around it. One day, the mountain takes away Manjhi's sole gift in life- his wife and he pledges revenge against it. He sets on clearing the mountain on his own. He faces many setbacks but his will ultimately proves to be stronger than the mountain. It's a great great story because it's a real one but the movie never succeeds in getting the viewer to feel that way. That said, it's a failure on multiple grounds.

There are few sequences in the movie Nawazuddin should be credited with for accepting. The way he survives the drought and how he lives through a famine is the kind of Cinema Manjhi should have been all the way. But the film rather focuses on showing raunchy sequences between Nawaz and Radhika Apte which are not at all easy on the eye. Also, Nawaz's inability to carry a film on his shoulders whereby he actually has to operate in different moods and emotions is exposed. He just doesn't seem to be able to do it. Radhika Apte, on similar grounds, fails to live up to the character of a village girl. She talks as if she is a metro girl who is trying to mimic a desi woman in a village she has visited. I remember calling her the next big thing in my review of  Hunterrr but I guess she has yet to grow to take on varied roles.

What really kills Manjhi is the attempt of the makers to depict a sensuous drama on the screen rather than an inspiring story. Also, Bollywood actors must realize the importance of Method acting while taking up challenging roles. Just because you looked good in Wasseypur, doesn't mean you would rock in Gehlaur.

Bandwidth verdict- It isn't what you expected. If you feel like you would see it just for Nawazuddin, think again.

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